cool hand bak

Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand.

Friday, March 18, 2005

An Unusual Groove

There's no doubt in my mind that if I had been born just a few years earlier I would've been a vinyl junkie, hopelessly addicted to hunting down the rarest of the rare. Alas, I'm a child of the digital age: the majority of my collection is CDs. I've moved six times in the last five years (including to Europe and back), I do a great deal of my listening while I'm driving and I can't imagine going for a walk without headphones (preferably plugged into something), so vinyl for me is entirely impractical. Luckily for people like me there are those who've dedicated time, energy and passion to rescuing forgotten gems from the obscurity of the great black vinyl mine. Some of them are bloggers, some DJs, but they all deserve respect and gratitude for making it possible to hear songs that, most of the time, are certainly worth hearing.

It was with this in mind that I picked up a "psychefunk rarities" compilation by Gareth Goddard. Under the pseudonym Cherrystones, Goddard released the perfectly-titled Hidden Charms last year to the inattention of most, but to the complete delight of me. Ranging from Ennio Morricone to The Shadows to the best Cher song you've never heard, Hidden Charms delivers almost an hour's worth of jewels, with the highlights popping out left and right like road signs on a late-night highway cruise. It's worth seeking out by anyone who has enjoyed the Nuggets or Pebbles discs or similar compilations of lost classics. Ultimately, the best compliment I can possibly pay to Goddard is to say I hope there's much more where it came from.

Here are the two Hidden Charms songs I think you most owe it to yourself to listen to:

Shocking Blue - "Hot Sand"

These track descriptions come directly from the liner notes, presumably written by Goddard himself:

A Dutch pop band with decided contemporary trend tendencies. Their big hit was ‘Venus’. This is the b-side, a tale of idyllic situations and supposed ideals, Tongue in cheek, with its sitars yearning for wisdom. Nirvana covered ‘Love Buzz’, another one of their better tunes early on in their career.
The Badboys - "Black Olives"

Back to the garage. This trio of (bad) boys were from Frederick, maryland. From 1966, this was the B-side of their only release. The other side, ‘Love’, is a more typical garage/punk affair.
The closest thing I can find it a Cherrystones website is this here, although it doesn't seem to have any information on Hidden Charms.

Click Here