Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Plastic Penny - Currency (1969 uk, spectacular psychedelic rock, Repertoire bonus tracks release)

They are too good a group to vanish without trace after one hit. On this, their first album since Brian Keith left, they show they are talented songwriters as well as good performers. Apart from a rather dreary seven and a half minute version of Macarthur Park they come through well on tracks like Currency, Turn To Me, Give Me Money and Sour Suite, which includes a well-executed drum solo.

1. Your Way to Tell Me Go (P. Raymond, T. Murray) - 2:52
2. Hound Dog (Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller) - 2:48
3. Currency (M. Graham, N. Olsson, P. Raymond, T. Murray) - 3:40
4. Caledonian Mission (J. Robertson) - 3:00
5. McArthur Park (J. Webb) - 7:35
6. Turn to Me (E. John, Bernie Taupin) - 2:46
7. Baby You're Not to Blame (P. Raymond, T. Murray) - 2:53
8. Give Me Money (P. Raymond, T. Murray) - 3:00
9. Sour Suite (M. Graham, N. Olsson, P. Raymond, T. Murray) - 8:12
10.She Does - 3:08
11.Celebrity Ball - 2:41

Plastic Penny
*Michael Graham - Guitar
*Tony Murray - Bass
*Nigel Olsson - Drums
*Paul Raymond - Organ, Piano

1968 Two Sides Of Penny

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  1. Thank-you Marios, much appreciated.

  2. Revelation!!! music - which is the link between the psychedelic era and a new progressive rock. Hammond organ, combined with great guitar and excellent drums parties sound in an atmosphere of The Nice, Velvett Fogg and the Gods.

    A second album and a fourth single were released in 1969, the single being a psychedelic and slowed-down version of Hound Dog! The album still had its moments on Baby You're Not To Blame and the eight and a quarter minute Sour Suite with great organ and guitar, but also was left alone by the record-buying public. A big mistake was the awful cover of MacArthur Park. After they had called it a day, Page One released one more album with leftovers and some new tracks as well, which weren't saying anything new, but made for pleasant listening.

    Plastic Penny's second album offers various shades of British psychedelic pop that aren't near either the top or bottom of the class. It left the impression of a group who were good musicians, but not ones who had exceptional material or a markedly identifiable style. Beatlesque psychedelic pop that was lighter than the Beatles was the main ingredient, perhaps with elements of the Bee Gees and the poppiest facet of the Who as well, though there was more organ involved in Plastic Penny's arrangements than there was in those of any of these other groups. Sometimes the keyboard-driven sound had shades of Procol Harum and Traffic. It's respectable listening, but not a record to win commendations for originality; "Give Me Money" in particular is a shameless imitation of the Who and the Move in their circa 1967 power pop days, albeit a pretty good one. The inclusion of a couple instrumentals (the closing "Sour Suite," lasting eight minutes, and "Currency") with a heavier, more improvised-sounding organ-grounded approach, as well as mediocre covers of "Hound Dog" and "MacArthur Park," raises the suspicion that the group really didn't have enough material ready to make an album, even though those instrumentals aren't bad. Serious Elton John fans, however, will be interested in collecting this record for the presence of an early Elton John-Bernie Taupin composition, "Turn to Me," that Elton John never recorded. The way Plastic Penny do it, it sounds like an early Badfinger track. The CD reissue on Repertoire adds two bonus tracks.
    Although Plastic Penny were not remarkable in themselves, several of their members went on to greater fame. Mick Grabham (then billed as Mick Graham) moved on to play with Cochise, and then Procol Harum. Brian Keith later became the lead vocalist with Congregation, who, oddly and coincidentally, share the unwanted one-hit wonder tag with Plastic Penny. Paul Raymond replaced Christine Perfect in Chicken Shack, then joined Savoy Brown and recorded five albums with them, and later played several spells with the long-lived rock band, UFO. Nigel Olsson became an in-demand session musician, most notably drumming on much of Elton John's early work. He has also worked with The Spencer Davis Group, Uriah Heep, Kiki Dee, Neil Sedaka, Rod Stewart and Leo Sayer. Tony Murray played bass on all tracks of Elton John’s Empty Sky LP, before joining The Troggs.

    All their albums are increasingly difficult to obtain.
    Thanks again Marios for the sharing.

  3. Superb album,even better than the "TWO SIDES OF PENNY"Thank you "MARIOS"...

  4. Thanks for the history, adamus. It gets pasted right in with the rest of the info that I gather here concerning these bands. Not just for me, but for future generations who will inherit all this great stuff when I’m gone, you know.....

    "Rock and roll is young people's music. And it will go on forever. Just as long as there's young people in the world..." Mick Jagger [or Chuck Berry or Bo Diddley... I can't remember which!]

  5. Link dead for the second Lp too,Thanks for re-up .

  6. Thank you for this Marios, from the Chairman Of The Board.


    Friday 16th January 2015 0.01am