CHOCOLATE WATCHBAND / MELTS IN YOUR BRAIN... (2CD)

CHOCOLATE WATCHBAND / MELTS IN YOUR BRAIN... (2CD)

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...NOT ON YOUR WRIST - THE COMPLETE RECORDINGS

By Alec Palao...

Great rock'n'roll rarely translates properly to disc. The history of the genre is littered with literally thousands of acts that were blinding and transcendent on the bandstand, yet limp, ineffectual or misguided in the studio. And the opposite is just as true, though the art of the recording medium allows for a control and an innovation that usually isn't possible in a live context. When the two disciplines are matched, there is the potential for true greatness; yet for those involved, the realization of such may come only after years of frustrated disillusion with the initial outcome. Such is the case with the Chocolate Watchband.

The recorded legacy of this supreme psychedelic punk combo paints a picture quite removed from the truth, yet as our definitive new anthology MELTS IN YOUR BRAIN . . . NOT ON YOUR WRIST demonstrates, it nevertheless holds up as one of the finest catalogues of the 1960s, balanced between the Watchband's own Anglophile blueswailing, and a preternatural aura, the result of studio trickery imposed without the bands knowledge or consent.

The juxtaposition acts as a paradigm of how the British Invasion-inspired punk fury acquired an experimental veneer, and led to something unique. By unwittingly having their record career mapped out for them by producer Ed Cobb, the Watchband paradoxically wrote themselves into the annals of cultdom; yet it is the rock'n'roll heartbeat of this once-in-a-lifetime band that is their true heirloom. As well as handily collecting their complete recorded works 1965-69 in one nicely remastered package, "Melts In Your Brain . . . Not On Your Wrist" seeks to finally clarify the peculiar and fascinating history of this consummate group.

The tracklisting on this definitive 2 CD set clearly delineates between the tracks that truly feature the definitive Watchband ie the grinding 1966 model led by frontman par excellence David Aguilar - and everything else attributed to the Chocolate Watchband name, whether it be recordings by the earlier and later incarnations of the combo, or those trippy cuts on their three long-players either adulterated or recorded by someone else entirely.

The many aficionados that have come to love the Watchband's albums over the years are no doubt blissfully unaware of the machinations behind the substitutions and studio fakery on their records, and no doubt cherish the non-Watchband sides on those records just as much. To which end, their studio adventures, as well as the illustrious life and times of the Watchband are examined in great detail in the copiously illustrated booklet, with commentary from all the bands members, and a rare interview with the late Ed Cobb. OK, enough press release hyperbole. It's been my very great pleasure to have known the guys in the Chocolate Watchband for over fifteen years: writing extensively on their career, rummaging through their archives, grilling the poor fellows like cheese sandwiches at every opportunity, and even sitting-in on sessions and gigs, most memorably a headlining slot at the recent Le Beat Bespoke weekender in London. I consider them the dearest of friends the band played my wedding after all - and so you have to believe me when I tell you I have a proprietary and excessive pride in all things Watchband.

Though Big Beat's earlier Chocolate Watchband CDs remain in print, the definitive nature of "Melts In Your Brain . . . Not On Your Wrist" is deliberately intended as the last word on the group. And for one member at least, some long overdue justice is finally served. Those familiar with Watchband history will know that their Nuggets-endorsed classic Let's Talk About Girls ironically featured not the voice of David Aguilar, but that of a faceless session singer selected by Cobb.

With access to the original multi-track masters, David recently returned to the studio to add new vocals to a trio of backing tracks where his vocal had been erased or replaced. And so these songs now approximate the way they would have originally sounded and, in the case of Girls, the Chocolate Watchband's unwitting signature tune is now back with whom it rightfully should belong.

Disc One 01 LET'S TALK ABOUT GIRLS 02 SWEET YOUNG THING 03 IT'S ALL OVER NOW, BABY BLUE 04 BLUES THEME 05 LOOSE LIP SYNC SHIP 06 DON'T NEED YOUR LOVIN' 07 SITTING THERE STANDING 08 MISTY LANE 09 SHE WEAVES A TENDER TRAP 10 ARE YOU GONNA BE THERE (AT THE LOVE IN) 11 NO WAY OUT 12 IN THE MIDNIGHT HOUR 13 COME ON 14 GONE AND PASSES BY 15 I'M NOT LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE 16 I AIN'T NO MIRACLE WORKER 17 MILK COW BLUES 18 MEDICATION 19 'TIL THE END OF THE DAY 20 PSYCHEDELIC TRIP

Disc Two 01 LET'S TALK ABOUT GIRLS 02 IN THE MIDNIGHT HOUR 03 HOT DUSTY ROADS 04 GOSSAMER WINGS 05 IT'S ALL OVER NOW, BABY BLUE 06 MEDICATION 07 DON'T LET THE SUN CATCH YOU CRYING 08 SINCE YOU BROKE MY HEART 09 UNCLE MORRIS 10 HOW YA BEEN 11 DEVIL'S MOTORCYCLE 12 I DON'T NEED NO DOCTOR 13 FLOWERS 14 FIREFACE 15 AND SHE'S LONELY 16 DARK SIDE OF THE MUSHROOM 17 EXPO 2000 18 VOYAGE OF THE TRIESTE 19 IN THE PAST 20 THE INNER MYSTIQUE 21 THE UNCHARTED SEA AKA VOYAGE OF THE TRIESTE 22 LET'S GO, LET'S GO, LET'S GO 23 LET'S GO, LET'S GO, LET'S GO

Product Code (CDWIK2249)
Condition New

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