Monday, February 25, 2008

Simon Dupree & The Big Sound - Kites (1966-69)

Simon Dupree started out The Howling Wolves and later became The Road Runners, a Portsmouth-based R&B band. 'Simon Dupree' was actually vocalist Ray Shulman and the band got the new name in 1966. Their early music was almost entirely soul, mostly Wilson Pickett and Otis Redding covers.Their debut 45, I See The Light, was a good stomping R&B number, but it made little impression on the record buying public. The flip side was more soul-based with lots of brass. Their follow-up, Reservations, was an uptempo, organ-driven R&B number, which was certainly one of their better singles. It's sales were quite encouraging although it failed to make the Charts. The flip side, You Need A Man, was frankly nondescript. Their next release, Day Time, Night Time, was another organ-led R&B belter. A fine record of its type but again it failed to Chart. The flip side was similar in style but a weaker composition. Their album, Without Reservations, released at the start of August 1967, included much of the material from their live act. There's the soul medley, 60 Minutes Of Your Love/A Lot Of Love, a cover of Sam Cooke's Amen, as well as some self-penned compositions like Who Cares and Get Off My Bach. The only remotely psych-pop track was There's A Little Picture Playhouse and the album certainly isn't worth purchasing for connoisseurs of psychedelia, but it is if soul or R&B is your scene. The release of the quasi-psychedelic Kites in October 1967 marked a drastic change of image and musical direction. Recorded at the Abbey Road studios it's full of interesting sound effects and instruments like the mellotron, gongs and vibraphone. It shot them into the Top Ten but gave them an image that was at odds with their R&B roots which they had difficulty reconciling themselves to. The flip side, Like The Sun Like The Fire, also had a hint of Sgt. Pepper about it but wasn't quite as good. From here on the band's career was in decline through their failure to score another Top Twenty hit. Of their later singles, For Whom The Bell Tolls and Broken Hearted Pirates, are the most interesting. The former did reach No 43 in the Charts in April 1968. It features some pleasant flamenco-style guitar and another strong vocal performance from Ray Shulman as well as tolling bells, naturally. They also recorded a single called We Are The Moles Pts 1 And 2 (Parlophone R 5743) under the pseudonym of The Moles in 1968. When the group dissolved in 1969, the Shulman brothers went on to form Gentle Giant.
(Taken from "Tapestry Of Delights")

This collection of their best songs was released by See For Miles (SEE FOR MILES CM 109 / 1986).

- Kites
- Like The Sun Like The Fire
- Sleep
- For Whom The Bell Tolls
- Broken Hearted Pirates
- 60 Minutes Of Your Love/A Lot Of Love (Medley)
- Love
- Get Off My Bach
- There's A Little Picture Playhouse
- Day Time, Night Time
- I See The Light
- What Is Soul
- Amen
- Who Cares
- She Gave Me The Sun
- Thinking About My Life
- It Is Finished
- I've Seen It All Before
- Reservations

Derek Shulman (vcls) [AB]
Phil Shulman (sax, trumpet) [AB]
Ray Shulman (bs, gtr, vcls) [AB]
Pete O'Flaherty (bs) [A]
Eric Hine (keyb'ds) [AB]
Tony Ransley (drms) [A]
Gearie Jay Kenworthy (bs) [B]
Martin Smith (drms) [B]

Band origin:
Portsmouth (Hampshire/UK)

1. (A) Without Reservations (Parlophone PMC/PCS 7029) 1967

1. (A) I See The Light/It Is Finished
       (Parlophone R 5542) 1966
2. (A) Reservations/You Need A Man
       (Parlophone R 5574) 1967
3. (A) Day Time, Night Time/I've Seen It All Before
       (Parlophone R 5594) 1967
4. (A) Kites/Like The Sun Like The Fire
       (Parlophone R 5646) 1967
5. (A) For Whom The Bell Tolls/Sleep
       (Parlophone R 5670) 1968
6. (A) Part Of My Past/This Story Never Ends
       (Parlophone R 5697) 1968
7. (A) Thinking About My Life/Velvet And Lace
       (Parlophone R 5727) 1968
8. (B) Broken Hearted Pirates/She Gave Me The Sun
       (Parlophone R 5757) 1969
9. (B) The Eagle Flies Tonight/Give It All Back
       (Parlophone R 5816) 1969

Get it here (Artwork included / vinyl rip)

Listen to She Gave Me The Sun


Anonymous said...

Great album.Nice "souvenirs"of searching the cd during long years till the issue in 2004 of the docd "Part of my past".

AgustinH said...

Excelent album

Xyros said...

Great lp...thank you.

Anonymous said...

Quizá la banda más grande de todos los tiempos. Y con eso lo digo todo. They were better than OASIS, no question about that.

hooch said...

thank you!

Anonymous said...

Big thanks.

the saucer people said...

I had no idea they also did the wonderful The Moles single, which is perfect bonkers psychedelia of the highest order! So many perfect sixties psych-pop tunes on this compilation it is hard to know where to begin...Kites was the first Simon Dupree & The Big Sound track I heard (like most people I imagine) and it is still my favourite, For Whom The Bell Tolls is another favourite which I saw you mention in the write up and Daytime Night Time of course is a classic....

...anyway, I applaud your taste.

Anonymous said...

The vocalist is Derek, not Ray.