'THE STORY OF OAK RECORDS' (WHCD007)

1. You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover - The Wild Oats

2. Shame Shame Shame - The Bo Street Runners

3. Hide & Seek - The Thyrds

4. I'm Leaving You - The A-Jaes

5. Aw Shucks Hush Your Mouth - The Betterdays

6. Route 66 - The Five Of Diamonds

7. Hello My Darling - The Hickory Stix

8. Now You Wonder Why - The Jaguars

9. Love In The Making - The Exiles

10. Too Much Monkey Business - The Four Degrees

11. Baby I Got News For You - Miller

12. High Time Baby - The Gremlins

13. Alright Girl - The Four Leaved Clovers

14. You're My Girl - The Kingpins

15. The Addicted Man - The Game

16. Faint Heart - Five Steps Beyond

17. You Are The Moon And The Stars And The Sun - The Phoenix

18. Yellow And Red - Amber

19. Our Love - Sons Of Man

20. Concerto Of Thoughts - Mike Stuart Span

21. Lavender Grove - Lavender Grove

22. She's A Witch - Keith Dangerfield

23. Jehovah - The Velvet Frogs

An offshoot of the R. G. Jones recording studio in Morden, South London, the Oak label pressed limited edition vinyl and one-off acetates for bands to sell at gigs or hawk around the major labels in search of a deal. The best of those recordings are now feverishly collected by British R&B/freakbeat aficionados, selling for hundreds of pounds on the rare occasions that they surface. This lavishly-tooled anthology, which includes a 20 page booklet crammed with photos and information on both the studio and the bands, includes all of the Oak legends (the Four Leaved Clovers, the Game, the Thyrds, Miller, the Betterdays etc) as well as some more recent discoveries like the Phoenix and the magnificent, Fleur de Lys-connected Gremlins. Full-blown freakbeat, R&B and psychedelia spanning the years 1964-68, this is an essential purchase for anyone interested in '60s Britpop's parallel universe.

"Superbly researched and annotated, as ever, stuffed to the brim with choice selections of mid-'60s British rock, and likely to send a shiver of excitement down the spine of anyone who's become jaded by the countless reissues of the Kinks, Yardbirds and Small Faces catalogues. Most of all, The Story of Oak Records proves that stardom owes as much to luck as talent. In an alternate universe, the Gremlins might have been the definitive 1966 freakbeat band; Miller the presiding genius of British R&B; or the Velvet Frogs the focus of all-night happenings at the Roundhouse. Freed from the watchful eye of top-flight producers, the Hickory Stix were able to combine the moodiness of Billy Fury with the sonic menace of the Stones; while the Phoenix coupled Cliff Richard's commercialism with the incense of psychedelia. Pulled from Oak acetates and releases spanning 1964-68, this album uncovers the secret history of British rock's most turbulent decade." (Record Collector)

"Some of the deadliest R&B and freakbeat ever made… you are commanded to buy this." (Ugly Things)

 

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