Friday, September 12, 2008

Ellie Pop - Ellie Pop (1968)


Personnel:
Doug Koun
Len Dunn
Wayne (no last name)
George R. Dunn

ALBUM:
1(A) ELLIE POP (Mainstream S6115) 1968

45:
1 Seven North Frederick/Can't Be Love (Mainstream 686) 1968

1) Released by the Mainstream label, Ellie Pop offered little information on the band in terms of liner notes or performance credits. Here's what you can tell: 1.) judging by the album cover they were a quartet (or an eight piece if they employed the four pigeons), and 2.) brothers S. and R. Dunn were responsible for penning all 10 tracks. Whoever these guys were, they definitely had a thing for Anglo-pop, tracks such as 'Some Time Ago' and 'Caught In the Rain' literally dripping with Beatles influences. To many folks that's probably the kiss of death and in many cases they'd probably be right, but not in this time around. Exemplified by material such as 'Seven North Frederick', 'Seems I've Changed' and 'Watcha Gonna Do' (love the "yeah, yeah, yeahs"), the Dunns avoided the usual clichés turning in a wonderful set that was catchy and commercial, but retained an innovative edge that made ever selection worth hearing. One of the few albums we've given a five star rating to ... One word of warning; while the set's occasionally been billed as psychedelic, in spite of isolated distorted guitars and a few oddball time signatures, to our ears it's simply too mainstream to be considered anything other than pop. Naturally the album vanished without a trace, followed in short order by the band.

2) Eponymous 1968 Mainstream label album is definitely a pop/psychedelic classic-in-waiting, whose time has perhaps finally come; great songs right from the start, all oozing Beatles harmonics, with tracks such as 'Some Time Ago' and 'Caught In the Rain' especially thick with Beatles influence (thus explaining their appearance on the Pepperisms compilation); as with most Mainstream releases, there is precious little information on the band in the original LP notes, besides the fact that they were a quartet, with brothers S. and R. Dunn responsible for writing all tracks; this is really a wonderful set of catchy and commercial songs, not exactly psychedelic, with innovative edge-distorted guitars and odd time signatures that make every song worth hearing. Naturally the album vanished without a trace upon original release, followed soon by the band. Liner notes feature a few words from the band's guitarist, as well as some gig listings alongside some Michigan heavy-weights, leading one to think that the band were from that state

Tracks:
1 Seven North Frederick
2 Winner Loser
3 Can’t Be Love
4 Remembering (Sunnybrook)
5 Seems I’ve Changed
6 Caught In The Rain
7 Oh My Friend
8 Some Time Ago
9 No Thanks Mr. Mann
10 Whatcha Gonna Do

7 comments:

henry said...

ever since i heard Amboy Dukes - Journey to Center of The Minds on Mainstream, i've been interested in the sound that label released. None of it has matched the Amboy Dukes, in my mind, but some of it was pretty darned good. Thanks for the chance to hear another one i never knew existed.

Anonymous said...

George and Doug's last name is Kouri--Dunn was a stagename. George still plays at Bix in San Fran. Len, George & Doug wrote most of the songs. Just wanted to add that-- Doug & George's nephew.

Anonymous said...

The guitarist that is mentioned in the liner notes is from Roseville Michigan. His name is Bill Long. He was also the guitarist from the Tidal Waves.

He still plays the bar circuit in Metro Detroit. For more info see www.BillLongBand.com.

Anonymous said...

Bill Long the lead guitarist recently played with his 4 piece band featuring Doug Kuri in St. Clair Shores Michigan.

They still have it!

Anonymous said...

My uncle was the drummer in the band, from Roseville, MI. His name is Wayne KOLAR. You said his last name was unknown and now you have it!

Anonymous said...

Thanx a lot!

Anonymous said...

Glad you added Wayne's last name. His dad worked at Chrysler in Detroit with my dad who got them a major outdoor gig on Anchor Bay while they were still 'the epidemic' covering Beatles. Met them all that day in i think '67. Blew us away.