2.26.2010

A-Square (Of Course): The Story of Michigan's Legendary A-Square Records


At Skip's suggestion I used my birthday money and bought A-Square (Of Course): The Story of Michigan's Legendary A-Square Records [Import]

Hugh 'Jeep' Holland was in many ways the catalyst for the Detroit rock revolution of the late 1960s. This enigmatic individual graduated from running hip record store Discount Records in Ann Arbor to his operating his own label and management stable, as well booking every major act that played in Michigan during that heady era. The legendary bills at Detroit's Grande Ballroom were all overseen by Jeep, and many musicians in the state still single him out as the true steward of 60s Detroit rock.

A-Square (Of Course), named for Jeep's booking agency, chronicles the fascinating career of this lovable rogue whose reputation preceded him. It draws principally on the vaults of his A-Square label, so beloved of 60s garage collectors, but also includes rare recordings by some of the groups that Jeep managed and/or booked.

Foremost amongst the latter are the MC5, whose super-rare 1968 single Looking At You was issued by the band on A-Square without Jeep's knowledge. It is featured here from the original master tapes, as are the incendiary early recordings by the Scot Richard Case, later known by the acronym SRC. The Thyme were another popular group that Jeep nurtured, and in addition to their singles, several unissued tracks by the outfit are included.

Jeep also booked the Bossmen,(Mark Farner) later to become Grande stalwarts the Frost, and several previously unreleased tracks are present on A-Square (Of Course). Of great interest to Stooges freaks will be a live track by the rarely heard Prime Movers, featuring a snotty young Iggy Pop on drums and lead vocals, circa 1966. Collectable items by the Up, Apostles, Rain and others round out the set, which is profusely annotated and illustrated with items from Jeep's personal archive. A-Square (Of Course) finally and definitively documents a major chapter in Detroit rock history.

1. I'm So Glad - The Scot Richard Case
2. Looking At You - The MC5
3. Somehow - The Thyme
4. Stranded In The Jungle - The Apostles
5. Get The Picture - The Scot Richard Case
6. Wanna Walk Down - The Thyme
7. She Is A Friend - Rain
8. Easy Way Out - The Bossmen
9. Time Of The Season - The Thyme
10. Midnight To Six Man - The Scot Richard Case
11. Tired Of Waiting For You - The Apostles
12. Borderline - The MC5
13. I Found You - The Thyme
14. Who Is That Girl - The Scot Richard Case
15. Get Down - Half Life
16. I'm A Man - The Prime Movers
17. Love To Love - The Thyme
18. Just Like An Aborigine - The Up
19. I Cannot Stop You - The Bossmen
20. Very Last Day - The Thyme
21. Cobwebs & Strange - The Scot Richard Case
22. Listen My Girl - The Bossmen
23. Window Song - The Thyme
24. Mystery Man (demo) - Dick Wagner & The Frost
25. I Found A Love - The Thyme



Review:

Dano "rock man" (New Jersey USA)

The high points of this collection definitely puts it into the must buy category of any 60's music afficianado. They are The Scot Richard Case (early SRC)recordings of not one but 2! Pretty Things covers plus a version of I'm So Glad which easily equals The Cream.

Their original song Who is That Girl and cover of The Who's Cobwebs and Strange are great also. The 2 MC5 recordings sound better than ever especially the fabulous Borderline.Iggy Pop lays down the blueprint for his fine singing voice which we all know and love on I'm a Man. But the "Big" find has to be a group called Half-Life whose song Get Down actually gives the MC5 a run for their money (Please! there has to be a full album by these guys somewhere). Oh,did I forget the great demo version of The Frost's Mystery Man. The rest is less hard rock type music(more Hollies and Zombies,there's even a great cover of Time of the Season) but I'm sure it'll sink into my subconscious eventually. An all around fantastic compilation that really makes me drool thinking about The Rationals collection that's on the way. To hear these classics from the original master tapes instead of from crummy sounding bootlegs will be a wonder to behold!

Foot note from Kimmer: Scott's new record just wrapped and read my Scott Morgan post below on that one.

The Rationals Compilation is in my record collection already! Thanks Scott and Willy.
You can buy it here:


                                                           

Biography

When serious collectors compose lists of the top shoulda-been-bigger bands of the '60s, the Rationals are often among them. Coming out of the same Ann Arbor, MI scene that gave birth to the MC5 and the Stooges, the group's forté was a sort of garageish take on blue-eyed soul, built around the fine R&B-hued vocals of frontman Scott Morgan. Their mid-'60s singles, however, didn't break in many areas…

2009 two CD collection from the Michigan-bred '60s rockers. This punchy quartet from Ann Arbor ruled the state during the mid-1960s with a blend of rootsy Garage and exciting Blue-Eyed Soul. The handful of records they cut have become totems of cool to Garage fanciers the world over. Many Rock 'N' Roll, Garage and '60s music enthusiasts are still shocked that the band did not break out on a national or international level. They predated the MC5 and Stooges, so perhaps they were just a few years ahead of their time. 34 tracks. Big Beat Records.

3 comments:

John Miatech said...

Very cool music site Kim!

My friend, Cheryl Sinclair turned me on to your site. I really like it!

I was wondering if you are familiar with a record called "Michigan Rocks" that includes old stuff by Seger, MC5, SRC, The Rationals, etc. I am curious if it is available as a CD, and you seem to be the person to ask!

I'm Pioneer High 1970....used to see Bob play down in the back of Hessenour's hardware and at the Fifth Dimenson. Always went to West Park to watch MC5 kick 'em out! Rationals played at our junior high dances!

Thanks for any info you can provide on the record!

John Miatech

RetroKimmer said...

Not sure about the record but I'll track it down John! Thanks for the kudos!

xxoo KIM

GARY QUACKENBUSH said...

"Thanx lots 4 way kool fan site-I need to add srcwebsite to links how to do ? I just invited all my fbook friends to join-Hideaway vid missing-same venue as RedHouse-I'll find more pics & footage-I promise! THANX GQ"

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