Sunday, 30 June 2013

Cult Album: 'LOVE, HATE, REVENGE' by EPISODE SIX


LOVE, HATE, REVENGE:
THE MANY FACES
OF EPISODE SIX

Album Review of:
‘LOVE, HATE, REVENGE’
by EPISODE SIX
(2CD, 2005, Castle Music CHEDD 894)

EPISODE ONE: INTRODUCTIONS

Episode Six were a Smoothie-Blender of a group. An all-things to all-punters group. A composite of various stylistic devices whipped up together into a sometime satisfying completeness. At one time they seemed well on their way to becoming the go-to group for teen-angled programme-makers. An effectively safe Pop beat-group one minute, adept at covering appropriate audience-pleasers, yet sharp enough to pass muster among the more discerning. Plus they front-lined an easy-on-the eye girl singer in a mini-skirt. Every demographic catered to.

The main nexus of retro-interest now is that two long-term members of Episode Six – Ian Gillan and Roger Glover, evolved into key players in Deep Purple. At the time, that wasn’t the case. Far from it. The focus was on Sheila Carter-Dimmock, in every way the perfect sixties icon, composed and glamorous, big eyes outlined and intensified into blurry oblongs by black encircling eye-shadow, dark hair back-combed, teased, coiffed, and spray-fixed into the style every girl ‘Rave’ reader aspired to. ‘Five boys, and one dishy girl’ as a ‘Record Mirror’ snippet announced them. Female members of Pop-groups were rare enough to count on the fingers of Homer Simpson’s hand. Honey Lantree drummed with the Honeycombs. Megan Davies played bass with the Applejacks. And Sheila played WEM electric organ and fronted Episode Six, while brother Graham played lead guitar and – as the ‘owner of a wonder falsetto’, shared the mike as required. The group were visibly around for some five years, did all the important tours and TV-shows, issued a number of highly-rated singles, none of which actually charted. And yes – they were a ‘group’, or maybe Beat-Group. No-one talked about Bands. Not yet.

Their “Love Hate Revenge” forms the centre prong of a fine trilogy of 45rpm’s, a plateau of excellent Psyche-Pop. Its lyrical ingenuity depends on a hoodoo-voodoo doll called ‘Tanya’. The kind they use in the dark monochrome Horror-movies to hex, punish and kill by Juju proxy. And from the opening declaiming guitar the Six set their sights on revenging their lost lover, ‘if I want you to cry, bet your life you’re gonna cry, when I put two drops of water in this little doll’s eye’. There’s an unsettlingly creepy bowel-shaking intensity about ‘I’m in control of your subconscious mind… all I’ve got to do is break its heart and you’ll feel misery’, making it a serious proposition. In fact, it’s got a lot of what they called ‘the most’…

EPISODE TWO: EARLY DAZE

Episode Six were very much a presence on the scene. Always on the brink of making it big. While never quite breaking on through to the other side, into big-league status. Why? One reason could be lack of clear focus. Even Simon Robinson’s extensive insert-notes to their retrospective double-CD admits his doubts about the group’s struggle to find ‘a real identity’. He also expresses doubts about their ‘ill-chosen covers’. Witness their earliest demos – unreleased until their CD compilation years. These are home-rehearsal tapes from 1964, the tail-end of the first Beat-Boom wave, and it shows. A sing-along run-through of “ZipA-Dee-Doo-Dah” borrowed from Phil Spector’s Bob B Soxx And The Blue Jeans, but already covered by the Big Three. Competent harmony arrangements backed by catchy up-tempo guitar-and-drums, with Sheila soloing the ‘hey Mr Bluebird’ verse. There are two from the Fats Domino canon, an uncertain slow-paced retread of “Walking To New Orleans”, and “Let The Four Winds Blow” fronted by Sheila with the boy’s vocal back-up and inventive drum effects. As a nod in the de rigueur direction of R&B, they do a passable take on Little Walter’s “My Babe”, with harmonica-break and the boys trading vocals. Then it’s back to Sheila for her breezy version of “Cottonfields”, not exactly a classic, but at least five years before the Beach Boys chart with their own arrangement of the same song in May 1970.

At this earliest phase of their collective story they’d just amalgamated from two rival combos based around ‘Harrow County School’, a NW London redbrick boasting earlier alumni Michael Portillo, Clive Anderson, Simon Napier-Bell and old-time comedian Cardew Robinson. The two Carters, with vocalist Andy Ross (aka Tait), were performing as the Lightnings (although, due to the school’s boys-only policy, Sheila wasn’t a pupil!). While Roger Glover – ‘bass guitarist, poet, songwriter’ was with the Madisons, playing school dances and youth clubs alongside guitarist Tony Lander (aka Bareham), and Harvey Shield (aka Schildkraut), ‘Blues enthusiast and beat-layer-down in chief’ (‘Record Mirror’). Both groups competed at the End of Term Concert.

Once their schoolyard days were over – although Harvey stayed on a further year and despite Roger going up to ‘Hornsey Art College’, the two groups fused. Pooling resources to become Episode Six in April 1964, with shared vocals and support-harmonies democratically passed around from Andy, to Sheila and to Harvey. They learned their craft rehearsing in the Carter’s front-room, driven to venues by their Dad, piecing together an impressively wide repertoire. Turned down by Decca, they nevertheless scored a four-week German club-residency, at the Frankfurt ‘Arcadia’. When Andy dropped out, his place was taken by Ian Gillan – another old Harrow-boy, recruited from Wainwright’s Gentlemen, in time for their pro debut at the ‘Oldfield Hotel’ on London’s Greenford Road. ‘I joined Episode Six because they had a recording contract’ he later confided to ‘New Musical Express’ (27 March 1971). Well, not yet they hadn’t, although its first steps would take him into recording. ‘They were very professional’ he went on, ‘everything was very clinical and organised, but I didn’t realise that until later.’ The ‘Record Mirror’ snippet calls Ian ‘lead singer and fanatical Elvis Presley fan’ – well, he did score an October 1980 Gillan hit with Elvis’ “Trouble”!

Another tranche of demos from 1965 are more promising, headed off with the ‘What’d I Say’ chords and Sheila’s lead voice on “Love Is A Swingin’ Thing” with the boys doing the ‘bop-boppa-shoo-wop’ background harmonies (replicating the Shirelles old 1961 ‘B’-side of “Soldier Boy”). But the lyric, on closer examination has something of a prescient sexual liberation frisson to it, ‘I’m gonna tell my tale, I’m gonna have my fling’ she teases, ‘I may be young today, but tomorrow I will be grown’. Then, with piping organ solo, ‘some people say love is always this, that or the other’, all bright and bouncy, but ‘I don’t need a wedding gown, I don’t need a diamond ring’. Unexceptional sentiments today. At the time the freedom she was celebrating attacks the entire safe nuclear family ‘love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage’ thing. Before the decade was officially swinging, this was a definite advance tremor. Another track, “Steal Your Heart Away” was penned by Bluesmaster Bobby Parker, the ‘B’-side of his 1961 hit “Watch Your Step”. The Six add a playful vocal interplay. The male-voice vocalist – probably Ian, doesn’t care about her other man, he just ‘wanna squeeze you’. ‘Yes you can’ Sheila responds flirtatiously. ‘Ah – Oh – YEAH!’ he burbles with delight. And this time, when they auditioned for Pye, A&R man Tony Reeve signs them.

EPISODE THREE:
SWINGING SINGLES

There were lots of aspiring Beat-Groups around at the time. Unknown to them, other parts of the future Deep Purple story were working in various line-ups in the same swinging scene. Jon Lord was out gigging with Mod-Soul group The Artwoods. Ritchie Blackmore doing session-work for eccentric producer Joe Meek, he can supposedly be heard on Heinz “Just Like Eddie” no.5 hit in August 1963, while he was playing with the Outlaws. By 1966 Ian Paice was drumming for The Maze, with vocalist Rod Evans. But Episode Six were burning with more drive and commitment than most.

The Hollies were another group very much around. They’d begun as a covers band too, like pretty much everyone did. But were now making concerted efforts to push their own material, which Allan Clarke, Graham Nash and Tony Hicks wrote under the collective alias ‘L Ransford’. A songwriter’s demo of their “Put Yourself In My Place” – destined for their September 1965 LP ‘Hollies’, reached the group. So it became ‘A’-side for the debut Episode Six single issued in January of the New Year, with ringing guitar and tambourine, pleading vocals and harmonica break. Admittedly, the Hollies original does have more bite and tension, compensated for by the cover’s more melodically-smooth ooze. But it’s a strong song, open to creative interpretation. It established Episode Six as a name to watch out for. Flip the record over though, and the ‘B’-side perhaps packs more significance. “That’s All I Want” constitutes Roger Glover’s songwriting debut. Its deceptively light wafting harmonies soften a manipulatively controlling lyric, firmly asserting ‘I want you to show me your love, in every possible way, and every time that you can’. Meanwhile, the group does studio try-outs on a couple of other titles. The standard “The Way You Look Tonight”, and Burt Bacharach-Hal David’s jumpy “My Little Red Book”, most closely associated with Love. Although the songs continue to be a part of their live set, and there would be later studio outtake attempts to record the definitive Episode Six versions, they were shelved.

The Tokens wrote themselves into Pop history with “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” in 1961, but continued as a creative writing and production unit for outfits as diverse as the Chiffons through to Dawn. Meanwhile they entered the US ‘Billboard’ chart in April 1966 with their “I Hear Trumpets Blow” (BT Puppy 518), which peaked at no.30. Sensing hit potential Episode Six grab studio-time over a fast turn-around 48-hours into Good Friday to get their UK version out first. Not that it does them much good. An attractively effervescent single with a ‘ba-ba-ba-ba’ chorus framing the tale of a poor boy’s love for ‘a fair young maiden’, it’s an adornment to their retrospective CD in decades to come, but was largely passed over at the time. Again, it’s backed by a group original, “True Love Is Funny That Way” – penned by drummer Harvey Shield this time. Fuzz-guitar flashes adding a harder edge to its call-and-response ‘how does it feel?’ – ‘it feels good!’

Where next? Ah yes, the infallible golden ticket into the Top Ten is that magical Beatles cover-song. It always works. Doesn’t it? And there it is, in amongst the strange weirdness’s of ‘Revolver’, Paul McCartney’s soft-focus close-harmony “Here There And Everywhere”. All manner of no-hoper non-entities had broken through with fortuitous Beatles songs – who now cares about the Overlanders, St Louis Union or Truth? It was a means to an end, a utilitarian no-effort guaranteed hit. Except it wasn’t. Ian takes lead vocals. The label is Pye red. It was voted a resounding ‘hit’ by BBC-TV’s ‘Juke Box Jury’ panel. They showcase it live as part of package tour headlined by Dusty Springfield, with the Alan Price Set, Dave Berry, The Settlers, plus Davis & Jonathan. It got heavy rotation radio-play across the Pirates – especially ‘Radio London’, yes. But massive sales, no. Flip it over, sweet-tempered and eclectic, there was Roger Glover’s “Mighty Morris Ten”. Betraying and warping his affection for the West Coast surf and drag-racing scene, by distorting it through a singularly English quirkiness. He’s ‘doing the ton’ in his ‘ninety-six year-old Morris Ten’, burning up the inside lane ‘down the Harrow Road’ (not far from the Gayton Road address of their old school). A diverse, strange incompatibility of tracks. But already a pattern that would continue.

EPISODE FOUR:
OBLIQUE STRATEGIES

So far, three strong hotly-tipped singles. Still no major breakthrough. Time for a rethink. A shift of strategy. The label was happy to go along with a little diversification. So Sheila does her solo single. Charles Aznavour – satirised by hipsters as ‘Charles As-no-voice’, does his smoocher “I Will Warm Your Heart (Je Te Rechaufferai)” on his 1965 Reprise-label LP ‘His Love Songs In English’. Sheila wasn’t exactly keen. But Dusty Springfield had been doing fine with big Euro-centred ballads. And with its doomy organ leading into lushly romantic strings, the label insisted it was perfect for her. Others would consider that the ‘B’-side, “Incense”, showcases her vocal range and what ‘Record Mirror’ called her ‘belting-style’ strength to better effect. A deep club favourite written by Jimmy Miller it had started out recorded by Steve Winwood under the now much sought-after alias of the Anglos.

Safely back under their regular nomenclature, “Love Hate Revenge” was laid down immediately prior to Episode Six winging out for eight-week cabaret dates in the Beirut ‘Casino Du Liban’. For its American release via Elektra the Yardbirds-style ‘hey-hey-hey’ clash of gong break is edited out and replaced by the kind of freaky theramin-quaver electro-whine designed to target the newly-emerging Psychedelic scene. Uniquely of its time, again there’s a contrasting flip, borrowed from Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers ‘Drivin’ You Wild’ LP (Music For Pleasure MFP 1121, 1966), with a faux-Soul ‘in the midnight hour’ lyric.

Then, “Morning Dew” might just about be as good as Episode Six ever got. The song has a disputed history, with probable trad roots. Although credited to Canadian Folkie Bonnie Dobson it was lifted by Fred Neil, but became most powerfully associated through Tim Rose’s raw intensity. When the Grateful Dead cover it for their debut album, it carries credits to both Dobson and Rose. The lyric is sufficiently evasive to allow all manner of interpretations, but centre around a two-way post-apocalyptic dialogue. A complex simplicity wound around and into the CND anti-nukes thread running through and irradiating the decade. The clean riff picked out semi-acoustic, with the doomy bite of crashing drums. Three Episode Six voices switch in the Jefferson Airplane manner, with haunting effect, most tightly and effectively alternating between Ian’s ‘now there’s no more morning dew’, followed by Sheila’s ghost-response ‘what they were saying all these years was true’. There’s undeniable power here, which captures over into the later live version. This might have been the breakthrough moment. I remember it on the radio. In fact, it climbs the ‘Radio London’ chart, as high as no.6, but the Pirate’s charts were based on DJ’s whims, not hard across-the-counter sales. More vitally, the newly-launched BBC Radio 1 effectively ignores it. Admittedly I bought the Tim Rose single, but rated the Episode Six version too.

But wait. To be convincing, a song like “Morning Dew” requires commitment. And flip the single over and you find…? the cutesy-coy “Sunshine Girl”. It opens with the rhythmic crunch of a stomping great drumbeat some might relate to the Beach Boys “I’m Waiting For The Day” ‘Pet Sounds’ track, before lapsing into the kind of fizzing ‘ba-ba-ba-ba’ Bubble-Pop left over from a Herman’s Hermits or Cowsills session, with soaring West Coast falsetto swoops. Two sides, two different bands!

EPISODE FIVE: DESPERATE DAZE

As the tectonic plates of Pop shift, Episode Six were busy keeping it all in the air, endlessly in play. Into that brief and singularly British brand of freak-beat where all the former Mod-Soul groups overnight discover phasing, fuzz-boxes, beads, and off-the-shelf nonsense-surrealist lyrics. Glorious while it lasted. In a very strange and rare place, it marked the outer limits of the Episode Six style-adventures. When I talked to Jon Lord about his changes with the Artwoods across the same period he laughed ‘at least we never wore kaftans’ – a pointed snipe at Episode Six. Check the psychedelic cover-swirl of the ‘Love, Hate, Revenge’ compilation CD, showing the Six in very Hippie regalia. Not that they were ever totally convincing psychedelicatessens. Their first manifestation came in the guise of a Graham Carter solo single. Sheila had already done her solo project. Graham undertook his through the strange alias of Neo Maya, which determined not only that it escaped notice at the time, but that it was subsequently forgotten – until reclaimed much later by Deep Purple researchers. “I Won’t Hurt You” uses gauzy vocals inviting ‘strike me with your lightning’ against what sounds like stand-up bass, with sudden outbreaks of horns and strings, and a spaced-poetry lyric worthy of Marc Bolan – ‘your mouth’s a constellation’, caught in a spacey-pale blue storm.

Yet the ‘B’-side is stranger. A high-hat cymbal shimmers, drums rattle an accelerating riff as a voice-over narration recites details of unexplained X-Filed “UFO” sightings. A January 3rd Boeing airliner pilot reports a wingless aircraft holding close-formation with them, then veering away at five times their velocity. A conical ‘glowing object’ sighted March 12th over SE England, Kent, Middlesex and Surrey. And three orange discs observed April 7th over New York. Radar reports read negative in each instance. There’s a percussive barrage. But no melody. No song. Almost a great leap forward to the ‘sampling’ fad of Paul Hardcastle’s 1985 “19”. A hugely underrated curio.

While the group itself responds a month later with tunesmith Roger Glover’s first ‘A’-side composition, “I Can See Through You”, a perfectly charming Pop-Psyche single with dancing flute. For the line ‘though you’re living underground’ there’s faint phasing on the last word, then the bassline descends into a fast-switching instrumental sequence over time-changes and drum stomp – until it reduces back down to just woodwind. Although the wistful line ‘you will never touch the sky’ proved prophetic, the track is very much in a groove with Roger’s “Plastic Love” outtake recorded around the same time, but unissued until decades later. Here he’s going to a ‘paper station, riding on a cardboard train’ – no ‘plasticine porters with looking-glass ties’, but we get the picture. And ‘did you hear the dying poet scream?’… well, there are other excursions into oddness. Their live 1968 “I Am The Boss” is a nursery-rhyme populated by ‘Hans Christian Handkerchief’, plus nonsense lines ‘Charlie the chair was sat-upon’, ‘Cyril Celery is crunchable’ and a possible political snipe at ‘Old Wedgewood Benn is a funny chap, he’s a door-stop’? It closes with the other group members chiming in ‘He’s quite mad and you’ve been had!’ The previously unissued “Time And Motion Man”, is a kind of ‘Poor Man’s Son’ which is neither freaky enough to be Freak-beat nor Pop enough to be Pop. And there’s Roger’s self-pitying hard-luck story “Only Lonely People”.

But to offset all that healthy madness, just check the immaculately tailored flipside of “I Can See Through You”… “When I Fall In Love” is pure cheese, the Lettermen via a Beach Boys ‘B’-side, within the same closest-of-harmonies context as outtake “The Way You Look Tonight”. Perfectly executed, sure, but in the repertoire of another band maybe, another career. Is this an exercise in hedging bets? In the group’s curious hodge-podge of styles which takes eclectic – which is good, out beyond the rim of cohesion – which is not. Although the single dragged their Pye contract limply to an end, and drummer Harvey was the first group-member to parachute out of the line-up, there was more to come. On the upbeat, they signed a management deal with NEMS. And there were two one-off singles, the first – abbreviated to The Episode, with the yellow-label MGM, and the second through the personal intervention of Les Reed’s Chapter One Records.

With stand-in drummer John Kerrison (ex of a reformed post-Johnny Kidd Pirates), “Little One” consists of Ian’s lead voice surrounded by light pleasantly-building harmonies that might have worked for the kind of studio-concocted candyfloss confections contrived usually by Rogers’ Greenaway and Cooke, and fronted by session-men like Tony Burrows under such names as Vanity Fair, White Plains, Edison Lighthouse or Harmony Grass (say, “Move In A Little Closer Baby”). Nothing more substantial. New producer Mike Hurst – who had scored hits for Cat Stevens and Dusty Springfield, introduced soft horns and a catchy Fortunes-style ‘You’ve Got Your Troubles’ falsetto hook. It was backed by the first Glover-and-Gillan songwriting collaboration, although “Wide Smiles” is a paradigm shift away from their Deep Purple compositions. Its ‘be-doobie-doobie-do’ is as catchy as a viral TV-ad jingle, or the theme-tune for the kind of youth-trendy TV sitcom that used to feature Paula Wilcox or Richard O’Sullivan. Why are we talking such insubstantial disposable Pop trifles? Because such bright shiny baubles were guaranteed cash-generators. Maybe for Episode Six there was a sense of opportunities missed. Of time slipping away. They’d tried their damnedest with all their abilities set to stun, a row of class singles bristling with fire and energy, and fallen below expectations. Maybe coasting it easy might yet do the trick? Naturally, it didn’t.

Their live set-list and demos hardly inspire confidence either. Take a listen. Grouped for the ‘Cornflakes And Crazyfoam’ compilation CD as ‘The Ultimate Covers Band’, their competent “Him Or Me” perfectly replicates all the Paul Revere And The Raiders harmony-breaks with nothing of the originals energy or urgency. There’s an unnecessary showband take on Simon And Garfunkel’s “Hazy Shade Of Winter”. Plus Love’s intricate “The Castle”, as well as other stuff by Bob Dylan (“I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight”), Moby Grape (“Can’t Be So Bad”) or the Doors (“Light My Fire”). The point, surely, is not how accurately they Xerox, it’s to create something as uniquely original of their own. Even Simon Robinson’s insert-notes concede that ‘their live shows had become an eclectic mix of Pop covers, West Coast songs, comedy turns and originals. This made for a great night out, but left audiences wondering exactly where the band themselves wanted to go.’ A PR promo-blurb from Gloria Bristow management seems equally confused, describing ‘A kaleidoscope of vibrating vocal excitement 8 miles high and 9 miles deep that’s Episode Six live on stage… and in cabaret they’re pure professionalism in motion.’ Despite which, crowd-pleasing ‘YouTube’ clips of “Morning Dew” and “I Hear Trumpets Blow” – salvaged from a 1967 German TV Pop-show, catch them in full off-the-peg Carnaby Street Hippie regalia, with Graham in face-paint and Ian in headband and beads. They retain considerable period magic.

There were ups, downs and knockbacks. As, elsewhere, the first Deep Purple line-up was already firming, issuing its debut single with their heavyed-up take on Joe South’s “Hush” climbing to an American no.4. Episode Six’s live “Slow Down” – Larry Williams via the Beatles, at least shows trace-elements of the same guitar heavyosity. But things were fraying. Although Kerrison was a fine drummer, he’d never quite found his place within the group’s tight-knit loyalties, rooted in their shared schooldays. In July, he was replaced by Mick Underwood of the Herd. His more Rock-solid playing is there underpinning the quasi-liturgical voices of “Lucky Sunday” – written by Johnny Worth under his ‘Les Vandyke’ alias (he’d already written “What Do You Want?” for Adam Faith, plus many more hit-songs), backed by Gillan/Glover’s “Mr Universe”, a howl against god, destiny, or existence personified, asking cosmic question ‘are we just the bubbles in your beer?’. Stronger than recent releases with percussion, keening guitar and Glover’s solid bass foundation, manic laughter and absurd voice exaggeration, even while borrowing a raft of Traffic’s “Mr Fantasy” bass-build to do it. Alone among all the Episode Six back-catalogue it would survive to become part of Ian Gillan’s repertoire, titling the 1979 Gillan LP ‘Mr Universe’.

Finally, “Mozart Versus The Rest” was definitely a last-chance grab at the passing moment. Dave Edmund’s Love Sculpture had charted with a speed-guitar Khachaturian. They could do the same with Ludwig Van? No. Vivaldi? No. Why not… Mozart? It was fast. Nifty fretwork. It was deranged, with Tony Lander’s matching more moody instrumental ‘B’-side. They played it live on the BBC’s ‘Radio One Club’ (16th December). It caught on. Got radio-played to general enthusiastic response. Like so much of what had gone before, it seemed on the brink of breaking out into bigger things. Then it vanished.

“Mozart’ was totally unlike anything they’d done before. But then again, there was never a single Episode Six ‘sound’ – only several identities. This was merely another of their multiple personalities. They never really found their path and went down it. In their grab-bag of styles any one of their singles might have caught on. The close-harmony surf-derived ones. The sharp Pop-Psyche. The Folk-Rock of “Morning Dew”. The deranged instrumental. But collectively they form an unwieldy body of work. A Smoothie-Blender of a group. An all-things to all-punters group. A composite of various stylistic devices whipped up together into a sometime satisfying completeness.

‘In the end, there were two ways of thinking in the band’ Gillan told ‘New Musical Express’ (27 March 1971), referring to the conflicting Pop/cabaret and Heavy Rock tendencies, ‘and for about a year I felt really stagnant.’ Elsewhere he explained how he felt he was treading the proverbial mill, ‘I’d been a Rock ‘n’ Roll singer, then I got into Episode Six and I was really beginning to go downhill a bit, singing-wise. I was writing too, but Episode Six didn’t want to record any of Roger’s or my songs because none of the others were involved’ (‘Melody Maker’ 17 September 1971). If there had been hits it might have been different. As it was first Ian, then Roger Glover jumped ship to shift into the second Deep Purple line-up in mid-1969. There’s talk of negotiations with Episode Six lawyers and manager Gloria Bristow who was looking out for the group, and a release fee being paid, but the new configuration was finalised in time to create the epic ‘Deep Purple In Rock’ (June 1970). Graham Carter took the opportunity of dropping out around the same time.

For a while Episode Six carried on as a four-piece, drafting in Johnny Gustafson on bass, before he split off to form Quatermass – taking Mick Underwood with him. A final line-up centred on Sheila – and alternated as The Sheila Carter Band, with the loyal Tony Lander on guitar, and a rhythm section of Tony Dangerfield (bass) and Dave Lawson (drums, later of Greenslade). It took the name through until 1974. So Episode Six had lasted a decade. Longer than most of their contemporaries. But there would be no more. Not until the archivists and Rock archaeologists began delving into their history, and the first of the LP compilations was pieced together to answer a new ripple of interest in the group’s lost legacy.



EPISODE SIX:
EPISODE BY EPISODE

21 January 1966 – “Put Yourself In My Place” c/w “That’s All I Want” (Pye 7N 17018) Deep Purple’s Gillan and Glover’s recording debut, not the later Isley Brothers song of the same name, but credited to ‘L Ransford’ which is Hollies Allan Clarke, Tony Hicks and Graham Nash songwriting alias. The ‘B’-side is written by Roger Glover.

29 April 1966 – “I Hear Trumpets Blow” c/w “True Love Is Funny That Way” (Pye 7N 17110), cover of US hit by Tokens (Mitch Margo, Phil Margo, Hank Medress and Jay Siegal), recorded in fast turn-around 48-hours on Good Friday, ‘B’-side written by Harvey Shields

19 August 1966 – “Here, There And Everywhere” c/w “Mighty Morris Ten” (Pye 7N 17147) Lennon-McCartney ‘A’-side, Roger Glover ‘B’-side

4 November 1966 – “I Will Warm Your Heart” c/w “Incense” (Pye 7N 17194) issued as by Sheila Carter & Episode Six. By Lees/Charles Aznavour, ‘B’-side written by Jimmy Miller/Fallon, with Ian Gillan on organ

3 February 1967 – “Love, Hate, Revenge” c/w “Baby Baby Baby” (Pye 7N 17244) by Adams/Levin, with ‘B’-side by Jam

9 June 1967 – “Morning Dew” c/w “Sunshine Girl” (Pye 7N 17330), written by Bonnie Dobson/Tim Rose, and recorded 10 and 11 May with Gillan/Shields vocals. ‘B’-side written and vocals by Roger Glover

September 1967 – “I Won’t Hurt You” c/w “UFO” (Pye 7N 17371) Graham Carter’s solo single, issued as by Neo Maya. The song was originally done by the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band

6 October 1967 – “I Can See Through You” c/w “When I Fall In Love” (Pye 7N 17376) recorded 3 and 4 July, ‘A’-side written by Roger Glover

3 May 1968 – “Little One” c/w “Wide Smiles” (MGM 1409) issued as by The Episode, recorded 20 and 21 February. ‘B’-side written by Glover and Gillan. Reviewed by ‘Disc’ as ‘probably their most commercial release’

25 October 1968 – “Lucky Sunday” c/w “Mr Universe” (Chapter One CH 103) recorded 3 September, ‘B’-side by Gillan and Glover. Reviewed by ‘Melody Maker’ as ‘a glorious sound, bristling with hit potential. Here are a group who have long deserved a hit and look like breaking through at last’

14 February1969 – “Mozart Vs The Rest” c/w “Jack D’Or” (Chapter One CH 104) recorded 20 December, ‘A’-side an arrangement of Mozart’s “Rondo À La Turk” by Tony Lander, and ‘B’-side written by Lander. Produced by David Balfe

‘RRReady… Steady… RRRave!’:
The Albums

1987 – ‘Put Yourself In My Place’ (PRT Records PYL6026) with side one: (1) “Put Yourself In My Place”, (2) “That’s All A Want”, (3) “I Hear Trumpets Blow”, (4) “True Love Is Funny That Way”, (5) “Here, There And Everywhere”, (6) “Mighty Morris Ten”, (7) “I Will Warm Your Heart”, and side two: (1) “Incense”, (2) “Love, Hate, Revenge”, (3) “Baby Baby Baby”, (4) “Morning Dew”, (5) “Sunshine Girl”, (6) “I Can See Through You”, (7) “When I Fall In Love”. Liner notes by Brian Hogg

1991 – ‘Footsteps To Fame Vol.1’ (Repertoire REP4184-WZ) one of a multitude of Sixties and Psychedelic compilations to include Episode Six tracks, this one has “That’s All I Want” and “Put Yourself In My Place” alongside other tracks by Riot Squad, Spectres and the Bystanders

1991 – ‘The Complete Episode Six: The Roots Of Deep Purple’ (Sequel Records NEX CD156) (1) “My Babe”, (2) “Put Yourself In My Place”, (3) “That’s All A Want”, (4) “I Hear Trumpets Blow”, (5) “True Love Is Funny That Way”, (6) “Here, There And Everywhere”, (7) “Mighty Morris Ten”, (8) “I Will Warm Your Heart”, (9) “Incense”, (10) “Love, Hate, Revenge”, (11) “Baby Baby Baby”, (12) “Morning Dew”, (13) “Sunshine Girl”, (14) “I Won’t Hurt You”, (15) “UFO”, (16) “I Can See Through You”, (77) “When I Fall In Love”, (18) “The Way You Look Tonight”, (19) “My Little Red Book”, (20) “Plastic Love”, (21) “Time And Motion Man”, (22) “Only Lonely People”, (23) “Little One”, (24) “Wide Smiles”, (25) “Lucky Sunday”, (26) “Mr Universe”, (27) “Mozart Versus The Rest”, (28) “Jack D’Or”

1997 – ‘BBC Radio 1 Live 1968/1969’ (RPM Records RPM178) Intro: Radio One Club Sheila and lan Interview: “A Hazy Shade Of Winter”. Sheila Picks The Numbers 1: “Morning Dew”, “That’s The Way Life Goes”, “Light My Fire”. Sheila Picks The Numbers 2: “Jesse James”. Sheila Picks The Numbers 3: “Monster In Paradise”, “Slow Down”. Tony and Sheila Interview, lan Gillan Interview: “Mozart Vs. The Rest”. Sheila Picks The Numbers 4: “Rolling Stones Medley”, “Stay With Me Baby”, “The Castle”, “Spanish Caravan”, “I Am A Cloud (take 2)”, “I Am The Boss”, “Orange Air”, “River Deep Mountain High”, “I Am A Cloud (take 3)”, “Can’t Be So Bad”, “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight”, “Something’s Gotten Hold Of My Heart”, “Morning”, “Been Such A Long Way Home”, Coda

1999 – ‘All You Need Is Covers: The Songs Of The Beatles’ (Castle 1396 CM000) includes Episode Six “Here There And Everywhere” alongside other Lennon-McCartney songs done by Tommy Quickly, the Truth and Overlanders. The album reissued in 2006

2001 – ‘Pre Purple People’ (Purple Records Ltd) compilation of various groups which included members of the later Deep Purple, with four Episode Six rarities not available elsewhere. “Have You Ever Been There” is a previously unreleased folk-pop ballad by Roger Glover, “Love Hate Revenge” is the American single edit, with the weird psychedelic instrumental break of oscillating sounds, “I Am A Cloud” and “I Am The Boss” are taken from a March 1969 radio broadcast, different from those on the Episode Six compilation ‘The Radio One Club Sessions’

2001 – ‘Nuggets II: Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969’ (Rhino R2 76787), with “Love Hate Revenge” by Episode Six, plus other tracks by Creation, Smoke, Idle Race and Tomorrow

November 2002 – ‘Cornflakes And Crazyfoam’ (Purple Records PUR 319D), fifty-two track compilation of largely previously-unissued tracks taken from the group’s 1964-1969 archive of demos, live material and acetates. Includes “Gentleman Of The Park” – previously only available on the soundtrack LP of the ‘Bicyclettes De Belsize’ movie, plus Ian Gillan singing Sandie Shaw’s “Always Something There To Remind Me” and Sheila doing Gene Pitney’s “Something’s Gotten Hold Of My Heart”

2005 – ‘Love, Hate, Revenge’ (2CD set, Castle Music CMEDD 894) expanded double-CD of earlier Sequel ‘Complete Episode Six’ compilation, with twenty-two extra tracks, thirteen of them previously unissued. CD1 (1) “Put Yourself In My Place”, (2) “That’s All A Want”, (3) “I Hear Trumpets Blow”, (4) “True Love Is Funny That Way”, (5) “Here, There And Everywhere”, (6) “Mighty Morris Ten”, (7) “Love, Hate, Revenge”, (8) “Baby Baby Baby”, (9) “Morning Dew”, (10) “Sunshine Girl”, (11) “I Can See Through You”, (12) “When I Fall In Love”, (13) “Little One”, (14) “Wide Smiles”, (15) “Lucky Sunday”, (16) “Mr Universe”, (17) “Mozart Versus The Rest”, (18) “Jak D’Or”, (19) “I Will Warm Your Heart”, (20) “Incense”, (21), “I Won’t Hurt You”, (22) “UFO”. CD2 (1) “Love, Hate, Revenge (US)”, (2) “The Way You Look Tonight”, (3) “My Little Red Book”, (4) “Plastic Love”, (5) “Time And Motion Man”, (6) “Only Lonely People”, (7) “Zip-A-Dee Doo-Dah”, (8) “Cottonfields”, (9) “My Babe”, (10) “Love Is A Swingin’ Thing”, (11) “Steal Your Heart Away”, (12) “Walking To New Orleans”, (13) “Let The Four Winds Blow”, (14) “Mozart Versus The Rest (live)”, (15) “Him Or Me”, (16) “Hazy Shade Of Winter”, (17) “Monster In Paradise”, (18) “Orange Air”, (19) “The Castle”, (20) “Slow Down”, (21) “I Am The Boss”, (22) “Morning Dew (live)”

2007 – ‘This Is Psychedelia’ (Metro Triples METRT CD827) includes Episode Six track “I Can See Through You” plus others by Smoke, Yardbirds, Byrds, and Strawberry Alarm Clock

2008 – ‘Girl On A Motorcycle And Les Bicyclettes De Belsize’ (RPM Retro 840) double-soundtrack CD of Les Reed’s movie scores, includes Episode Six rare track “Gentlemen Of The Park”

2008 – ‘The Sound Of The Sixties’ (EVA 080150), Episode Six track “I Can See Through You”, alongside others by Maze, the Sorrows, Blossom Toes and Creation

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