Monday, August 10, 2009

Night Shadow - The Square Root Of Two (us 1968)

Night Shadow(s) - The Square Root of Two (us 1968, Garage)

Formed: December 1959 , Atlanta, GA, United States
Disbanded: May 1969 //

Members:
Bobby �Bones� Jones (vocals, harmonica, 1959-61),
Aleck �AJ� Janoulis (bass, 1959-69),
Ronnie �Goose� Farmer (guitar, vocals, 1959-63, 65-69),
Johnny �Cha Cha� Pitner (guitar, 1959-61),
Bobby Newell (piano, organ, 1959-61, 63-69),
Ray Massey (drums, 1959-61),
Little Erv [Ervin Barocas] (vocals, 1961-64),
Helene Koppel (vocals, 1961-63),
Mike Moore (organ, 1961-63),
Charles Spinks (drums, 1961-69),
Judy Argo (vocal, 1963-64),
Jimmy Callaway (guitar, vocals, 1963-65),
Little Phil [Phil Ross] (vocals, 1964-69)

Also Known As:
The Cavaliers, The Kavaliers, The Barons, Little Phil And The Nightshadows

Discography:
"Square Root Of Two" 1968 (Spectrum 2001) [bonus 45; poster; 1000p]
"Square Root Of Two" 1979 (Hottrax 1414) [remixed; altered sleeve; 200p]
"Square Root Of Two" 199? (no label, Europe) [blue vinyl; +2 tracks]
"Square Root Of Two" 199? (CD Cosmic Mind, Italy) [+2 tracks]
"Vol 3: The Psychedelic Years 1967-69" 2003 (CD Hottrax 60012) [LP +9 bonus tracks]

Tracks:
side A:
01. Prologue 3:27
02. So Much 2:12
03. In The Air 2:50
04. Plenty Of Trouble 1:48
05. I Can't Believe 9:31
side B:
01. 60 Second Swinger 3:08
02. Illusion 3:00
03. Anything But Lies 2:37
04. Turned On 3:44
05. The Hot Rod Song 3:03
06. The Hot Dog Man 2:25

Reviews:
And here's another longtime legend, reissued as early as 1979.
The band was usually known as Little Phil & the Nightshadows and had roots in the pre-Beatles era, but changed their name due to legal complications at the time. Unlike the Litter LPs I think this really is as great as people would have you believe, particularly side 1 which is like listening
to a comp of killer fuzz acid punk 45s. Beyond Phil's showmanship and the blatantly druggy lyrics
and sound fx the fact remains that the superb songwriting puts most "Nuggets" classics to shame, and the band is completely at home in a sound that was unusual for the deep South. Some silly songs close the LP but all over this must rank among the top early garage psych LPs. Apart from the LP they had some killer 45s in 1966-1967.
~ [PL]
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The Nightshadows discography is very complex and includes multiple versions and remixes of the same recordings, as well as 45s released under aliases, withdrawn records, and more. Here's an attempt to sort "Square Root" out:
1) The 1968 original came with a bonus 45 that contained the band's risque songs 'Hot Dog Man'
and 'Hot Rod Song' on Banned records (both also on the LP); this with 900 copies of the LP. The
poster was supposedly included with the remaining 100 copies that did not include the 45, although some subsequent finds of sealed copies have included both the 45 AND the poster.
2) The 1979 Hottrax release is a unique remix with "So Much" having an extra guitar lead, while
"60 Second Swinger" has a loud fuzz riff added throughout. "Anything But Lies" has been shortened by 1 minute. Both front and back cover have been altered, as well as the running order.
3) Both the European 1990s bootlegs are sourced from the 1979 remix rather than a 1968 original.
4) The recent CD series is the easiest way to get a complete picture of the Nightshadows. Vol 3
has all tracks from the LP except "Hot Rod Song", which can be found on vol 2. "So Much" is the
1979 remix version, while "60 Second Swinger" and "Anything But Lies" are the 1968 LP versions. The running order from the LP has been completely broken up. Some of the unreleased bonus material is very good.
~ (Internet Source).
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The Night Shadows were one of the first and longest lived garage bands. They started out in the
50�s hailing from Georgia and first received notoriety when releasing the dirty, perverted garage
rock single Garbage Man. The early 60�s were not kind to the Night Shadows as they went through various lineup changes. Other singles followed though, influenced by the British Invasion,
utilizing feedback and other current recording techniques. In 1966 a new revived Night Shadows
(including Little Phil) released the excellent 60 Second Swinger. It�s similar to the Seed�s
efforts from around the same time but the Night Shadow�s cleary had more instrumental prowess and experience behind them.
In 1968 they released their psychedelic masterpiece, Square Root of Two. Square Root of Two has some rerecorded psychedelic interpretations of earlier singles along with then current
compositions.
Of the 11 songs there are a few throw away tracks such as the Prologue, Hot Dog Man and Turned On.
These songs are a little too self indulgent with sped up vocals, lengthy commentary, backward
tapes, phased guitars and just plain stupidness. The rest of the lot fairs much better though and
even with the above mistakes this album still rates as a prime slice of acid punk.
I Can�t Believe follows the silly intro on side one and is nine and a half minutes of fuzz guitar
soloing and howling courtesy of Little Phil. Somehow it all works and the psychedelic versions of
Plenty of Trouble, 60 Second Swinger and So Much work well too. Plenty of Trouble sounds like a devil chant with shakers and wicked vocals from Phil. The classic 60 Second Swinger is transformed into a hard, bluesy garage shuffle with some Itchycoo Park-like organ and a fake live intro. Most essential though are Anything But Lies and So Much. Anything But Lies is characterized by distorted, angry vocals and jackhammer riffs while So Much has great stinging acid guitar and is psych punk perfection. The Square Root of Two is a good, forgotten album that should not be missed by garage psych fans.
~ (Internet Source).
Enjoy !!!

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