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The Alan Bown!

Headline News

The Alan Bown Set – a musically daring mix of horns and rock – was conceived in the Summer of 1965 by four former John Barry Seven members: Alan Bown (trumpet); Dave Green (saxophone / flute); Jeff Bannister (organ / vocals); Stan Haldane (bass) together with Vic Sweeney (drums) and Pete Burgess (guitar).

Bown’s musical career began after his stint in National Service during which he served with the Royal Air Force.

He formed his first group in the early ‘60’s and performed as far afield as the Star Club in Hamburg, crossing paths with The Beatles and others who were treading the same, burgeoning, musical path.

Alan Bown joined the John Barry Seven in September 1963, being appointed leader shortly after; Jeff Bannister joined just before they backed singer Brenda Lee on a tour of Europe (UK, France & Germany) in November ‘64. 

Pretty much as Alan stepped in, John stepped out – his career as a composer of music for major films becoming a dominant force and, it was from this merry-go-round, that The Alan Bown Set! began their own musical journey.

They signed to Pye Records and released their first single, the Tony Hatch produced Can’t Let Her Go in September of the same year.

The flip-side was their cover of the Curtis Mayfield cut, I’m The One Who Loves You – both cuts featuring Jeff Bannister as lead vocalist.

In January 1966 Dave Green left and was replaced by John Anthony Helliwell and, a month later, Jess signed on as vocalist.

'There wasn't any real prospect in The Shakes for making a real record or anything like that'

Jess remembers...

“The ‘Shakes’ were on the verge of splitting up when, on a Friday night, sometime in February, we played a gig at Digbeth Civic Hall in Birmingham supporting a band from London called the Alan Bown Set.

‘I thought that the AB boys were good.

‘What we were doing in The Shakedown Sound was…

‘We started out as a kind of straight ahead blues band, but then morphed into a mod-Blues band where you started to do some Otis Redding bits ‘n pieces in the set as opposed to all the Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and T-Bone Walker kinda things.

‘But… there wasn’t any real prospect in The Shakes of making a real record or anything like that.

‘So... it was really a logical choice to make... and, pretty much from the word go, it was full-on.”

The first single Jess recorded with The Alan Bown Set was ‘Everything’s Gonna Be Alright’ c/w ‘Baby Don’t Push Me.’

... which was fairly quickly followed by their take on the Edwin Starr original of ‘Headline News’ c/w ‘Mister Pleasure.’

‘I could have only been doing three or four songs with them at that time and Jeff would have still been doing ‘I’m The One Who Loves You’, y’know all The Impressions stuff that they also did.

‘Tony Reeves who ended up being the bass player in Colosseum and worked with John Mayall and other people. He was one of the house producers for Pye working under Tony Hatch. And, that was my first time in a proper studio and working with a proper producer

‘So, we did those – they were just three hour sessions. And then, of course, we set in to the gigging scenario.

The first record - Everything's Gonna be Alright
The JB7 with Alan Bown  pictured far right

Emergency 999 – a song that garnered a lot of momentum on the Northern Soul scene – followed suit as did a gigging schedule up and down the length and breadth of Britain.

For every major venue the group played there were sometimes seen in the most unlikely of places – such as a village hall in New Erswhick just outside York, the venue for that particular night being named The Tinned Chicken.

‘We rehearsed quite a bit. We used to rehearse at a place in Hanwell.

‘When we were doing new tunes, we would go there perhaps twice a month. We were just getting busier and busier - the whole live thing was growing and growing and growing.

‘We were working right across the country – in the North like at the Mojo, we were there every month and a half or so; Redcar at the Coatham Bowl up there, the Country Club that was owned by John McCoy and his brothers in Middlesborough; Newcastle too.

‘The smaller clubs were sort of stop-off places to the likes of the Coatham Bowl which was a big ballroom in a hotel that probably held about eight hundred people…

‘And, this was the circuit that everyone was on… well, anyone who was anyone at the time… The Who, Small Faces, everyone you can think of… all playing the same venues. 

‘I don’t really remember days off as such, we were constantly working.

‘Financially, it was better than the Shakedown Sound because we didn’t hardly earn anything then but, it still wasn’t a great deal, though it was alright –  I bought my first car off my sister and stuff like that which I couldn’t have afforded to do prior to then.”

In July and with their stock rising, the group appeared on the seminal TV show, Ready Steady Go. Later the same month, they played the inaugural Windsor Jazz & Blues Festival and, in September one of their electrifying live shows at London’s Marquee Club was caught on tape and released as one half of a live album – the other side being devoted to another club-land legend in the making, Jimmy James and The Vagabonds.

Before the year was out, however, yet another personnel change occurred as Tony Catchpole replaced Pete Burgess on guitar.

The Alan Bown with JR seated center front
Headline News LIVE  from The Marquee
Left, the original quarter-inch master tape box from the Alan Bown live at The Marquee
'The next day I received a call from Alan B. And, on the following Tuesday, I caught a train to Slough and became a member of The Alan Bown Set.'
Emergency 999

Jeu De Massacre

At the start of 1967, the band were commissioned by French composer and jazz pianist, Jaques Loussier to record the soundtrack to an Alain Jessua film, Jeu De Massacre (The Killing Game); a French film that tipped its hat to ‘Op Art with bandes dessinées (cartoons) by Guy Peellaert.

It starred, as husband-and-wife cartoonists, Jean-Pierre Cassel and Claudia Anger and was premiered at that year’s Cannes Film Festival, an event that coincided with The Alan Bown Set making their European television début in Monte Carlo.

“We all attended the premier of the film at the Festival and afterwards went to a major party at a very swanky ‘discotheque’.

‘The whole affair was so unreal – so far removed from the blues – and like something out of my wildest imagination.

‘We stayed at an hotel that overlooked the beach and, for some reason, every time I see the movie ‘Some Like It Hot’, the imagery reminds me of my one and only trip to Cannes.”

Clip of car chase from the movie with Alan Bown soundtrack

The band were also becoming television veterans having appeared on Alan Freeman’s show – All Systems Freeman; the Simon Dee Show and Eamonn Andrew’s “Today”.

They also played London’s Royal Albert Hall – a show which included both Joe Cocker as well as the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band.

The former coming off the back of his Woodstock appearance and With A Little Help From My Friends, the latter having hit the high spots with The Doughnut In Granny’s Greenhouse, an album peppered with such luxurious track-titles as My Pink Half Of The Drainpipe, I’m The Urban Spaceman and Trouser Press. 

However, it was in August that the cruelest of luck beset The Alan Bown following an appearance on the BBC’s flagship music programme, Top Of The Pops

With their single, We Can Help You – a cover of the Patrick Campbell-Lyons and Alex Spyropoulos of Nirvana original that appeared on that group’s Story Of Simon Simopath debut LP for Island Records – riding high at #26, the TOTP airing on August 8th virtually guaranteed a top ten placing for the single when the following week’s British charts were published.

However, the record company’s pressing plant went on strike and production halted.

The band’s manager took out a court injunction but, by the time the dispute had been resolved, We Can Help You had lost all sales momentum and disappeared off the face of the charts.

 

Jess Roden, right,
LIVE at the Marquee
The Alan Bown played the inaugural Windsor Jazz & Blues Festival
After The Alan Bown TOTP appearance, We Can
Help You lost all sales due to industrial action at
the record pressing plant.

The Alan Bown!

 

Original cover of Outward Bown.
'We recorded the first album proper.'
The Alan Bown! Toyland and c/w Technicolour Dream
The Alan Bown! All Along the Watchtowwer 1968

The Mojo Club

Peter Stringfellow and his brother also owned and ran The Mojo Club in Sheffield which was a major venue on the scene at that time;

‘We played there quite a few times and some great DJ’s played there too.”

The Mojo Club was located at Dey’s Ballroom, in Pitsmoor, but Stringfellow was asked by the owner to cough up £5,000.

“It was like asking for £5m in my eyes, and he couldn’t believe I didn’t have that kind of money ... so in the end he rented it to me for a phenomenal £30 a week.”

Paul Norton – a young Chesterfield-born artist – was cajoled into painting the walls black and put exotic murals on the walls and the legend of the Mojo club was born.

“I’d done a pencil drawing of him as a birthday present. He wanted stuff doing on the walls and I was one of the people he asked,” Paul recalls. “There were a trio of art college girls, Sue Barfield, Julie Shrivastava and Alanah Hatfield plus Dave Senior and Colin Duffield – he did all the club posters.”

‘We were playing music which no one else had and then we were booking acts to fit the music,’ says Stringfellow.

‘So it started off as a Blues club, then became a R&B club, then a soul club, a pop art club and a psychedelic flower power club.”

“I mixed all this music together, so in one month in 1965 you would have Wilson Pickett, The Who, the Small Faces, The Alan Bown and Geno Washington all playing.”

 

 

Peter Stringfellow inside the Mojo Club (below)

The list of those who played the Mojo actually reads like a Who’s Who of ‘60s music – from Jimi Hendrix to The Spencer Davis Group; from The Isley Brothers to Pink Floyd who topped the bill on Sunday, May 7th 1967; from Junior Walker & the All Stars to Steampacket (featuring Rod Stewart, Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger, Mick Fleetwood) and everyone else in between.

The Alan Bown headlined the night of New Year’s Day there in 1967 as well as playing the ‘Hands Off the Mojo Show’ on June 23rd at Sheffield City Hall alongside The Drifters, Ronnie Jones & the Q Set, Amboy Dukes Big Band and The Pitiful when the club was threatened with closure the same year.

“When I went back to Kidderminster to see my Mum and Dad, my Mum would say to me, ‘Ooh, that one was nearly a hit wasn’t it?’ ...You see, I still wasn’t jaded by the fact that it was just nearly a hit.”

Ironically, shortly after this debacle, the group appeared on the (appropriately named) Innocence, Anarchy & Soul television spectacular host by Jack Good.

Two further singles (Toyland c/w Technicolour Dream in October and Story Book c/w Little Lesley) kept up the momentum; releases that backed up a hectic gigging schedule.

 The band’s growing popularity saw packed-to-the-rafters residencies at London’s Marquee Club as well as opened them up to the dangers inherent with over-enthusiastic crowds in smaller venues; band-member-blood was spilled after a big fight broke out one night at The Wellington Club in East Dereham, Norfolk

This was where – in the words of one eye-witness - “the local “Rockers” took exception to The ‘Alan Bown!’ mod panache.’

“Jess and The Alan Bown! were forced to leave the stage early, (and the situation) got completely out of hand when the door to their dressing room in the basement was smashed down while members of the band were desperately striving to protect themselves.

‘It was a total disgrace and those of us who lived for the Alan Bown!, who until then played in Dereham regularly were shocked and ashamed.”

“Then we parted company with Pye.

‘But things were changing even then; all this new wave of music was coming in from America.

‘And also… the British groups like The Beatles were starting to do things that were kind of better than bands like ours; we were still mimicking the Americans yet things coming across from the States were moving in a different direction – pop music was growing up.

‘And, I suppose, it was all about to take off with the so-called Summer Of Love, hippyness and mind expanding drugs and all those sort of things.”

The label switch was to Deram.

“We weren’t on Decca, that was for the likes of Frank Ifield and Frankie Vaughan – obviously the label heads weren’t getting shot of all those kind of artists as it was still big business, the central league entertainers.

‘So us and The Moody Blues were put on Deram and we recorded the first album proper.

‘I suppose that’s where we also started writing the little ‘story-like songs’.

‘But, of course, I hand a hand in them as well... but, y’know, I’d bring forth these other things which were from the American bands like The Young Rascals and, of course, All Along The Watchtower ­– ‘cos I’d just heard John Wesley Harding.

‘The majority of the tracks were one take; it was pretty much live. With one tune, we’d done it.. a really good take… and, then Stan makes a mistake… right near the end and, I’ve gone la-de-dah-de-dah as if its all over and we’ve gotta do another take but, in fact, what they said was, ‘nah we’ll just fade it off.’

‘It was almost like… ohhhh nooooooo… its broken down in the last second, we’ll have to do another take because that’s how live it was.

‘Yeah, we used to kind-of overdub vocals but that was pretty much only to double-track.

‘It wasn’t really to replace because the art of punching in and punching out hadn’t really developed that much by then.

‘We could edit and things like that – but... you know, if you didn’t get it right, basically, you had to set the tape back to zero and do it again.”

The album was produced by Mike Hurst – a former member of The Springfields. When that group fell apart in 1963, he formed a group of his own with Albert Lee, Jimmy Page and Tony Ashton but, despite the stellar talent involved, they too found little success.

Two years later he began work with Mickie Most and Andrew Loog Oldham and within a few months had produced Cat Stevens’ first hit, I Love My Dog. He quickly followed this with hits for Marc Bolan, The Move, PP Arnold and Spencer Davis Group – becoming one of the go-to producers of the era.

‘At the very early gigs there was no sound-check or any of that malarkey. But, between Outward Bown and the next album we did get to have roadies.

‘Bob (Pridden - originally Alan Bown’s driver-cum-roadie) had gone on to The Who by then but we had two guys, sometimes three – one used to drive the van because we, by this time, were travelling in a car – a great big American seven-seater Galaxy with three rows of seats.

‘We had a WEM PA by then too, monitors were still really not that well developed but the entire set-up was a lot more sophisticated than it was when I first started with them.”

The group continued their journeying to the four corners of the British Isles – playing the likes of Marc Altman’s Ballroom in Leeds, with Spooky Tooth and Elmer Gantry’s Velvet Opera and at the Assembly Rooms in York, where Peter Stringfellow used to run the between-act disco.

The band were also in the studio – two singles were released during 1969, Still As Stone c/w Wrong Idea and Gypsy Girl c/w All I Can – and tracks were laid down for their second album.

However, on completion of the album sessions, Jess announced he was leaving.

 

“They were ‘of the day’ as things were getting to be a bit slightly psychedelic but it was so far removed from the soul band roots. These twiddly diddly mind-expanding drug-songs weren’t much more than nursery rhymes, quite honestly.”

“I’d only been with them a couple of years or so but had started to get a bit disillusioned. And, there was a bit of a sort of… upheaval… By this stage we had a manager, and while outfits were important, they weren’t to me…

‘What they said was, “This is not a four piece band, this is a seven-piece band... and, if everybody looks like they’ve come from a different area of the country – city, town or whatever – you’ll just look like a shambles.” And that’s absolutely true.

‘We had these suits and the reason we wore them makes major sense to me – now. Alan’s was a red one, mine was a pin-striped brown, John’s was yellow and Vic’s was green – they were very nice tonic mohair. But, frankly, I couldn’t keep a jacket on longer than one song because I’d soak it up.

‘So, I didn’t kinda like that – I wanted to go on in my own clothes, I had some nice Granny Takes A Trip clobber, they were hip…!

‘So, there was lots of things I was rebelling against, plus, by this time Steve had left Spencer Davis and decamped to Berkshire and there was an awful lot of stuff going on down there with the Birmingham people – we’d be down there every day off, as would Trevor Burton and Ace Kefford from The Move and there’d be lots of jamming – good times.

‘So, Alan B sat me down in front of the manager and, to be fair, there had been a problem as I’d had a bad throat – there was some kind of danger that I might have damaged or had some nodes on my vocal cords… actually turned out that there weren’t…

‘But, I was loosing my voice, maybe down to generally over-doing it so, they sort of said… “Look… please… you’ve got to do this, do that…” And they were probably right… but, I wasn’t having it.

‘I was like… hmmm, this is freedom time… lets love everyone and I really wasn’t ready to be disciplined in any way at all… this wasn’t the army…  So, I’m sure they didn’t want me to go but they did try to correct me.

‘I suppose within three or four months of that I decided to go.  

‘It wasn’t a move in a new direction away from soul and funky kind of music; it was more of a new direction away from doing Tamla covers.

‘It was still Blues and Soul for me – I couldn’t get away from the Soul singers – Otis Redding was pretty much my favourite singer; his delivery, just fantastic…

‘And Marvin Gaye too… you’d think… jeez, what great singers but I really liked the tenderness and naievety of people who, in those days, you’d consider couldn’t really sing.

‘People like Neil Young – he wouldn’t have been considered a top of the tree vocalist but there was just something in his voice that was… particularly on the melancholy songs that was so… yearning, so right, that I started to view that as – another kind of soul.

‘Y’see there was also this new wave of American music that was turning my head too. Bob Pridden was away with The Who and always coming home with a suitcase full of albums. He’d buy pretty much everything that was coming out – and that was the first time I’d seen gate-fold sleeves and stuff like that. 

‘And, in a way, that’s where Music From Big Pink enters the picture.

‘And, of course, then The Spooky’s went on to do The Weight and there’s no doubt that record shaped some of the things that Traffic were doing as well. 

‘In general our heads were open to so much experimentation and this juxtaposition of different musics.

‘So, what I was really really getting involved in then was, besides the Blues and Soul, I loved The Byrds, Moby Grape, Love, Buffalo Springfield; it was those kind of groups that were really doing it for me, filling my head then… and so, in that respect, I was moving in to that arena.

‘I just went back to Kidderminster – frankly, I didn’t know what else to do.

I knew I wanted to do something different but, the only other musicians I knew were people who were all in fairly steady groups and, I really didn’t want to get involved in one of those kind of here’s Johnnny from this band and Ted from that group and Bill from some other band… and Jess Roden on vocals – that wasn’t right for me at all. 

‘But, quite honestly, I had very little skill as a songwriter.”

Immediately after completing the sessions, Jess announced he was leaving in pursuit of pastures new although. According to a Melody Maker news item from that same August, he ‘had been forced to take a rest on doctor’s orders’.

The Alan Bown!

 

 Despite the boddy-blow to the band, the band’s management managed to concoct a bit of PR spin - and simply announced that Jess was taking a break as advised by his doctors.

Doubtless a public relations exercise in satisfying honour on both sides since that self-same announcement trumpeted the arrival of the former Mandrake Paddlesteamer vocalist Robert Palmer together with news that The Alan Bown! would be touring America the following October.

‘This name’ recalls Jeff Bannister, ‘was an amusing misnomer. Even Robert couldn’t explain where the Paddlesteamer tag came from. His band was called The Mandrakes.’

 

As a footnote to this section, Jess’ vocals were re-recorded by the band’s newest vocal recruit – Robert Palmer and, in fact, two versions of the album were ultimately released; the British issue on Deram contains Robert’s vocals while the American release featured Jess’ vocals.

The Alan Bown! switched from Deram to Island in 1970, releasing Listen as their label debut, the record featuring Robert Palmer on vocals. However, Robert jumped ship as soon as the album had been completed and Gordon Neville re-recorded all of the vocal tracks.

A single (Pyramid) followed before yet another personnel change that saw Andy Brown come in on bass.

A second Island album entitled Stretching Out was released in 1971 before Jeff Bannister, Andy Brown and Tony Catchpole all quit, the latter two being replaced by Dougie Thompson and Derek Griffiths respectively.

The band essentially folded at the start of 1972 but briefly reformed with Dave Lawson (keyboards), Tony Dangerfield (bass & vocals), Frank White (guitar) and Alan Coulter (drums) for one final tour before ending their days in July ‘72.

“BP sent the first Band album back and said, ‘you’ve gotta hear this…’ You could immediately hear it was absolutely life-changing. I remember being at Kellie’s, down at Woolwich Green Farm, and we just endlessly played it.”
Music From Big Pink and Mike Kellie, Spooky Tooth

The Alan Bown - Albums

London Swings: Live At The Marquee

1. It’s Growing (Moore, Warren)

2. Emergency 999 (Korda)

3. I Need You (Mayfield)

4. Sunny (Hebb, Bobby)

5. Headline News (Hamilton)

6. Down In The Valley (Berns)

7. Boomerang (Covay)

Produced by: No Producer listed - but, recorded by Spencer Brooks at The Marquee Studio

Recordced live at The Marquee, London,

September 16th, 1966

Label: Deram - Pye 18156

Released: Autumn 1966

Re-released in 1993 on CD via Vanguard / Sequel Records - NEB CD 652. (Vanguard / Sequel are a division of Castle Communications)

NOTES: A side - Jimmy James and the Vagabonds; B side The Alan Bown Set.

Minor title differences on the front cover to the track titles on both back sleeve and label for both acts.

Jimmy James track-listing: Ain’t Too Proud To Beg / I Can’t Turn You Loose / Amen / If I Had A Hammer / You Don’t Know Me Like I Know You / The Driving Beat / Don’t Know What I’m Gonna Do / Sock It To ‘Em, JB

Outward Bown

1. My Friend

2. Strange Little Friend

3. Elope

4. Perfect Day

5. All I Can Do

6. Friends In St Louis

7. The Promise

8. Kick Me Out

9. Children Of The Night

10. Gypsy Girl

Produced by: Mike Hurst

Engineer: Terry Johnson

Strings arranged by: Phil Dennys

Recorded: Pye Studios, Marble Arch

Labels: US (MES 12000) - US cover top

Deram (SML 1049) - UK cover below

Re-released with the original US cover by Esoteric (subsidiary of Cherry Red ECLEC 2190)

Released: 1970 / re-released March 29, 2010

Photography: Richard Dunkley;

Sleeve: Peter Kerr / Cover Mary Parfitt & Daniel Johnson

NOTES: The UK release featured Robert Palmer’s vocals, recorded after Jess left the band; the US release was issued with Jess’ vocals.

The re-release is, purportedly, re-mastered and the ‘new’ set includes two bonus offerings - Still As Stone & Wrong Idea.

NB: On Esoteric’s www site there is no mention if these recordings feature JR or Robert Palmer as vocalist... plus, it is a known fact that journalist / blogger Sid Smith’s sleeve notes are inaccurate.

Outward Bown

1. Toyland

2. Magic Handkerchief

3. Mutiny

4. All Along The Watchtower (Dylan)

5. Sally Green

6. Penny ForYour Thoughts

7. Story Book

8. Technicolour Dream

9. Love Is A Beautiful Thing

10. Violin Shop

11. You’re Not In My Class

12. My Girl The Month Of May (DiMucci)

The single Toyland c/w Technicolour Dream

Produced by: Mike Hurst

Engineer: Terry Johnson

Recorded:Pye Studios, Marble Arch

Label: Music Factory

Released: September 1967

Photography: Peter Dyer

NOTES: The Alan Bown recording of All Along The Watchtower predates the Jimi Hendrix version by around six months.

Hendrix and Alan Bown played a number of the same shows / venues during 1968 plus, they both shared the same sound engineer (Eddie Kramer) on their respective recordings.

Outward Bown

1. Toyland

2. Magic Handkerchief

3. Mutiny

4. Little Lesley

5. All Along The Watchtower (Dylan)

6. Sally Green

7. Penny ForYour Thoughts

8. Story Book

9. Technicolour Dream

10. We Can Help You

11. Love Is A Beautiful Thing

12. Violin Shop

13. You’re Not In My Class

14. My Girl The Month Of May (DiMucci)

Label: Music Factory

Released: 1996

NOTES: This a UK compiled, 14-track, limited edition 1,000 only LP pressed on 180gram virgin vinyl, with the bonus tracks ‘We Can Help You’ & ‘Little Lesley’, presented in individually numbered picture sleeves with extensive sleeve notes.

The Alan Bown - Singles

Kick Me Out

1. My Friend

2. Strange Little Friend

3. Elope

4. Perfect Day

5. All I Can Do

6. Friends In St Louis

7. Still As Stone

8. Prisoner

9. Kick Me Out

10. Children Of The Night

11. Gypsy Girl

12. Wrong Idea

NOTES: Essentially the second AB album with one additional track, the single that featured JR.

Released on the See For Miles label in the US.

Kick Me Out

1. I Can’t Let Her Go

2. I’m The One

3. Baby Don’t Push Me

4. Everything’s Gonna Be Alright

5. Headline News

6. Mr. Pleasure

7. Emergency 999

8. Settle Down

9. Gonna Fix You Good (Everytime You’re Bad)

10. I Really, Really Care

11. Jeu De Massacre (The Killing Game) - previously unreleased - originally a French only single

12. Love Me - previously unreleased

13. Mr. Job - previously unreleased

14. Gonna Fix You Good (Everytime You’re Bad) - demo version & previously unreleased

15. It’s Growing (live)

16. Emergency 999 (live)

17. I Need You (live)

18. Sunny (live)

19. Headline News (live)

20. Down In The Valley (live)

21. The Boomerang (live)

Label: Castle/Sequel (NEMCD 483)

Released: 2000

NOTES: Contains all of the 45’s plus their appearance on the “London Swings” album as well as unreleased material.

Later released - same track listing / different cover via Sanctuary in 2002

Can’t Let Her Go c/w I’m The One Who Loves You

Written by: Leese / Mayfield

Produced by:  Tony Hatch

Recorded at:

Label:  Pye

Released: September 1965

Notes: Recorded and released prior to JR joining the group / under the name The Alan Bown Set

 

Everything’s Gonna Be Alright c/w Baby Don’t Push Me

Written by: Mitchell / Townsrow

Produced by: Tony Hatch

Recorded at:

Label: Pye

Released: 1966

Notes: Released as The Alan Bown Set

 

Headline News c/w Mister Pleasure

Written by: Hamilton/ Creighton

Produced by:

Recorded at:

Label: Pye

Released: 

Notes: Released as The Alan Bown Set

 

Gonna Fix You For Good (Every Time You’re Bad) c/w I Really Really Care

Written by: Pike / Bown

Produced by:

Recorded at:

Label:  Pye

Released:  1966

Notes: First released under the name The Alan Bown!

 

We Can Help You c/w Magic Handkerchief

Written by: Patrick Campbell Lyons & Alex Spyropoulos / Alan Bown, Jeff Bannister, Tony Catchpole & Jess Roden

Produced by:

Recorded at:

Label:

Released: July 1968

Highest chart UK: #26 UK

 

 

Toyland c/w Technicolour Dream

Written by: Roden / Catchpole / ???

Produced by:

Recorded at:

Label: MGM 61170

Released: 1968

 

 

 

 

Still As Stone c/w Wrong Idea

Written by: ??? / ???

Produced by:

Recorded at:

Label: Deram

Released: 1969

 

 

 

 

Gypsy Girl c/w All I Can

Written by: Roden / Catchpole / ???

Produced by:

Recorded at:

Label: Deram

Released: 1969

 

The Alan Bown - Compilation Albums

Shapes & Sounds Volume 2:

Shades Of Deepest Purple From The BBC Archives 1967-1971

Tracks:

5. The Alan Bown - Pandora’s Golden Heebie Jeebies, recorded for Top Gear, 29th November 1967

8. The Alan Bown - Movie Star Baby, recorded for Radio One Club, 30th June 1969

17. The Alan Bown - Interview with Alan Bown

18. The Alan Bown - Magic Handkerchief, recorded for Saturday Club, 6th July 1968

A 2008, 20-track CD retrospective album, featuring recordings from the BBC archives between May 1967 and January 1971.

Released on Top Sounds - TSCD 003.

Comes complete with a 24 page booklet featuring rare photographs and liner notes by Nigel Lees.

Both Pandora’s Golden Heebie Jeebies & Movie Star Baby are previously unreleased - indeed, neither feature on any other Alan Bown album.

 

Doin’ The Mod (Volume 2) - Jump And Dance

 

Tracks

4 - The Alan Bown - Baby Don’t Push Me

29 - Everything’s Gonna Be Alright

Label: Castle Music CMRCD 97

Released: 2001

 

Doin’ The Mod (Volume 4) - Ready Steady Stop

 

Tracks

10 - The Alan Bown - I Really Really Care

Label: Sanctuary

Released: 2002

30 Track compilation

 

The Best Northern Soul All Nighter... Ever

 

Tracks:

36. The Alan Bown Set - Gonna Fix You Good (Every Time You’re Bad)

Label: Circa Records  VTDCD 377 & VTDL 08

Released: Jan 8, 2002 and Reissued: 2006

60 track compilation

 

We Love The Pirates : Charting the Big ‘L’ Fab 40

 

Tracks

CD2 / 7 - The Alan Bown - Headline News

Label: Sanctuary Records Group

Release date: 2003

A 2 CD, 47 Track Compilation

Doin’ The Mod (Volume 1) - The Go Go Train

 

Tracks

12 - The Alan Bown - Emergency 999

Label: Sequel Records NEMCD 479

Released: 2000

Empire Made: The In Crowd 2

 

Tracks

10 - The Alan Bown - Emergency 999

Label: RPM CMRCD 97

Released: 2002

22 track compilation

Dance Like The Devil 

 

Tracks:

10. The Alan Bown Set - I Really Rally Care

Label: Castle Music CMRCD 97

Released: 2001

30 track compilation

Joe Meek : The Alchemist Of Pop 

 

Tracks:

CD2 / 7 - The Alan Bown - Headline News

Label: Sanctuary Records Group

Release date: 2003

2 CD, 50 track compilation

Dance Like The Devil 

 

Tracks:

10. The Alan Bown Set - I Really Rally Care

Label: Castle Music CMRCD 97

Released: 2001

30 track compilation

 

The Casuals : Hour World

 

Tracks

2. Cover of The Alan Bown’s Toyland - very likely the first ever cover of a JR song (albeit a co-write)

Label: Decca LK-R 5001 (mono) & SLK-R5001 (stereo)

Released: 1969

The Casuals were a British group from Lincoln, best known for their 1968 #2 hit Jesamine. In 1965 they won ITV’s Opportunity Knocks three times and signed to Fontana tho’ later they moved to Italy (signing to CBS there - to record Italian language covers of British hits (!) In 1968, they switched to Decca (scored their one and only huge hit with Jesamine) and this - their only album - was released in 1969. They were dropped by Decca in 1971, signed to Parlaphone a year later, moved to Dawn in ‘74 but, after their final single ‘Good Times’ flopped, disbanded in 1976

 

Keepin’ The Faith Vol 2

 

Tracks:

4. The Alan Bown - Emergency 999

Label: Precision Records PRC5573

Original Release Date: unknown

Ultra-rare 12 Track vinyl compilation

 

Producers Archives Volume 1

 

Tracks:

11 The Alan Bown - Strange Little Friend

Label:  Angel Air

Release Date: 06/01/2004

Original Release Date: November 2002

16 Track compilation – remastered by Ian Shepherd

 

Do You Dream

 

Tracks:

13 - The Alan Bown - All Along The Watchtower

Label: www.angelair.co.uk

Release date: June 2010

21 Track Compilation

Compiled by Stefan Granados with tracks drawn from the ever expanding UK “heritage” Angel Air label who, since their inception in 1997, have developed a catalogue of much sought after original recordings from the 60’s onwards. This album includes The Treacle (from Hull) featuring Mick Ronson as well as Atomic Rooster’s original demo of ‘Devils Answer’ recorded in 1970.

 

Legend Of A Mind

 

Tracks:

16 The Alan Bown - Still As Stone

Label: Decca

Released: 2002

3CD, 40 track compilation

 

Producers Archives Volume 3

 

Tracks

1. The Alan Bown - All Along The Watchtower

10. The Alan Bown - My Girl The Month Of May (claimed to be never before released)

Label: Angel Air

Released: May 2009

19 Track compilation

All Things Mod 

 

Tracks:

8. The Alan Bown Set - Emergency 999

 

Where the Action is 

 

Tracks:

CD1 / 15. The Alan Bown - Baby Don’t Push Me

Label: Discotheque  DQFDD005

Released: 2004

Compiled By - Gary Crowley

40 track 2xCD compilation

Doin’ the Mod, Vol. 5: That Driving Beat

 

Tracks:

14  The Alan Bown Set - Headline News

Release date: 11 Aug 2003

30 Track Compilation

Fading Yellow Volume 4 

 

Tracks

15. The Alan Bown - All I Can

Label: Flower Machine FMRCD 1004

Release Date: 2003

23 Track compilation

The Weekend Starts Here: Chapter 2 

 

Tracks:

CD3 / 15 The Alan Bown Set - Headline News

Label: EMI

Release date: 20 October 2008

3 x CD / 75 Track Compilation

(Probably) titled after a key Ready Steady Go TV catchphrase from being broadcast on a Friday night... ‘The weekend starts here!’

Soul For Sale: Pye Northern Soul Chapter 2 

 

Tracks:

9. The Alan Bown Set - Emergency 999

Label: Sequel

Released: 1998

30 track compilation

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