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Flamin Groovies

One of America's greatest, most influential, and legendary cult bands, Flamin' Groovies came out of the San Francisco area in 1965 playing greasy, bluesy, rock & roll dashed with a liberal sprinkling of British Invasion panache, in an era soon to be dominated by hippie culture and hyperextended raga-rock freakouts. Caught in a double bind of playing the wrong kind of music at the wrong time (as well as not looking the part), the Groovies were almost completely forgotten as the Fillmore/Avalon Ballroom scenes, dominated by the Dead, the Jefferson Airplane, et al., rendered them anachronistic. The plain truth, however, was that despite not being in tune with the zeitgeist, the Groovies made great music, and managed to sustain a career that lasted for over two decades.

What made the Groovies such a formidable band was the double dynamite supplied by guitarist Cyril Jordan and singer/wildman Roy A. Loney. Together they formed an uneasy partnership that guided the band through its most fertile period, from 1968-1971. In 1968, for next to nothing, the band recorded a seven-song EP entitled Sneakers. This little bit of DIY ingenuity resulted in a contract with Epic and the huge sum of 80,000 dollars (1968 dollars, mind you) to be spent on their debut recording, Supersnazz. It was a great album that didn't sell, but did get them dropped from Epic. Quickly signing with Kama Sutra, the Groovies closed the '60s and started the '70s with two terrific records (Flamingo and Teenage Head), but public apathy and the increasingly tempestuous relationship between Jordan and Loney led to the latter's departure for a solo career in 1971. Jordan, now free to run the band as a "benevolent" dictator and indulge his passion for a more folk-rock (read: Byrds) focus, hired guitarist/vocalist Chris Wilson, curiously added the apostrophe to their first name, and in 1972 moved the band to England.

Oddly enough, the Groovies had a larger, more enthusiastic following in Europe (especially in England and Germany) than they did in the States, and it seemed perfectly reasonable to assume that if great rewards were to be reaped, it would happen in Europe first. Hooking up with Dave Edmunds, who was keen to produce them, Jordan and company recorded a handful of songs as early as 1972. However, this seemingly natural collaboration yielded little until 1976, when the Groovies released their finest post-Loney effort, Shake Some Action. Loaded with ringing guitars, great covers, and Edmunds' spongy, bass-heavy production, Shake Some Action became a well-received album in punk-era Britain, as was the fine follow-up, Flamin' Groovies Now. This new notoriety brought renewed interest in the Groovies in America, but the string of good albums ended abruptly with the mostly covers and mostly forgettable Jumpin' in the Night, in 1979. Clearly, the band had run out of gas. That fact, however, did little to convince Cyril Jordan that Flamin' Groovies in any form were no longer viable.

So, after five or six years of no new music -- there were instead countless repackagings, anthologies, and lousy bootlegs -- the band ended up in Australia, now reduced to Jordan and a bunch of unknowns (with the exception of longtime bassist George Alexander), shamelessly covering '60s material and living off the band's legend. It should be noted that after his departure in 1971, Roy Loney, after a couple of music industry jobs, made some wonderful records with his band the Phantom Movers (with ex-Groovies drummer Danny Mihm). Loney occasionally worked behind the counter at Jack's Record Cellar in San Francisco, and recorded with the Young Fresh Fellows. ~ John Dougan, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Garage Hits

1. Slow Death

2. Shake Some Action

3. Kicks

4. Slow Down

5. Teenage Head

6. I Can't Hide

7. Money (That's What I Want)

8. Milk Cow Blues

9. Call Me Lightning

10. Way Over My Head

11. Tallahassee Lassie

12. Golden Clouds

13. Slide

14. Prelude In A Flat To Afternoon Of A Pub

15. I'm Drowning

16. My Yada

x

Track List: Kicks

Disc 1

1. Kicks

2. Bittersweet

3. I Can't Hide

4. Money

5. Call Me Lightning

6. Shake Some Action

7. Slow Death

8. Teenage Head

9. Slow Down

10. Tallahassee Lassie

11. Way Over My Head

12. Shaking

Disc 2

1. Teacher, Teacher (Live)

2. Almost Grown (Live)

3. Golden Clouds

4. The Slide

5. Prelude In "A Flat To Afternoon Of A Pud"

6. I'm Drowning

7. Babes In The Sky

8. Love Time

9. My Yada

10. Married Woman

11. Get A Shot Of Rhythm & Blues

12. Little Queenie

13. You Tore Me Down

x

Track List: Grease

1. River Deep Mountain High

2. So Much In Love

3. And Your Bird Can Sing

4. She Don't Care About Time

5. Do I Love You

6. Sweet Little Rock 'n' Roller

7. Slow Death

8. Let Me Rock

9. Dog Meat

10. Jumping Jack Flash

11. Blues For Phylis

12. Can't Explain

13. Little Queenie

14. Feel A Whole Lot Better

15. Paint It Black

16. Shake Some Action

x

Track List: At Full Speed - The Complete Sire Recordings

Disc 1

1. Shake Some Action

2. Sometimes

3. Yes It's True

4. St. Louis Blues

5. You Tore Me Down

6. Please Please Girl

7. Let The Boy Rock & Roll

8. I'll Cry Alone

9. Misery

10. Don't You Lie To Me

11. She Said Yeah

12. I Saw Her

13. Teenage Confidential

14. I Can't Hide

15. I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better

16. Between The Lines

17. Move It

18. Take Me Back

19. Up's And Down's

20. When I Heard Your Name

21. Reminiscing

22. There's A Place

23. Yeah My Baby

24. Good Laugh Mun

Disc 2

1. All I Wanted

9. Werewolves Of London

10. It Won't Be Wrong

11. Please Please Me

14. You're My Wonderful One

15. 19th Nervous Breakdown

16. Boys

18. First Plane Home

19. Lady Friend

20. In The U.S.A.

21. Tell Me Again

22. Shake Some Action (Demo Version)

x

Track List: Slow Death

1. Sweet Little Rock And Roller

2. Slow Death

3. Let Me Rock

4. Dog Meat

5. Blues From Phyllis

6. Jumpin' Jack Flash

7. Roll Over Beethoven

8. Shake Some Action

9. When I Heard Your Name

10. Tallahassee Lassie

x

Track List: The Flamin' Groovies - Disc One

1. Shake Some Action (2009)

2. Slow Death (2009)

3. Kicks

4. Slow Down (2009)

5. Teenage Head

6. I Can't Hide (2009)

7. Shaking (2009)

8. Money

9. Milk Cow Blues

10. Call Me Lightning

11. Bittersweet (2009)

12. Way Over My Head

13. Tallahassee Lassie (2009)

14. Golden Clouds

15. The Slide

16. Prelude In A Flat To Afternoon Of A Pud

17. I'm Drowning

18. Babes In The Sky

19. Love Time

20. My Yada

x

Track List: Absolutely The Best

1. Slow Death

2. I Can't Hide

3. Money

4. Shake Some Action

5. Teenage Head

6. Slow Down

7. Tallahassee Lassie

8. My Yada

9. You Tore Me Down

10. Milk Cow Blues

11. Shakin'

12. Million Miles Away

13. Somebody's Fool

14. Bittersweet

15. In The U.S.A.

x

Track List: In Person (Live)

1. Intro: I Can't Explain

2. Sweet Little Rock'n Roller (Live)

3. Have You Seen My Baby

4. Road House

5. Doctor Boogie

6. Slow Death (Live)

7. Shakin' All Over (Live)

8. Teenage Head (Live)

9. Louie Louie

10. Walkin' The Dog

11. I'm A Man

12. Headin' For The Texas Border

x

Track List: A Bucket Of Brains

1. Shake Some Action

2. Tallahassee Lassie

3. Married Woman

4. Get A Shot Of Rhythm & Blues

5. Slow Death

6. You Tore Me Down

7. Little Queenie

8. Shake Some Action (95 Mixdown)

x

Track List: California Born And Bred

1. I Can't Explain

2. Shakin' All Over

3. Hangin' Around

4. Carol

5. Buddy Can You Spare A Dime

6. Evil Hearted Ada (Demo)

7. Have You Seen My Baby (Live)

8. Too Late For Your Lies

9. Louie Louie

10. Tiger Man

11. Somethin' Else

12. Golden Clouds

13. Supersnazz Radio Ad

14. Doctor Boogie (Live)

15. Sweet Roll Me On Down (Demo)

16. Rumble

17. Rockin' Pneumonia And The Boogie Woogie Flu

18. Headin' For The Texas Border (Demo)

19. Happy For Your Face

20. Comin' After Me (Demo)

21. Yesterday's Numbers (Demo)

22. Heartbreak Hotel (Live)

23. Keep A Knockin' (Live)

x

Track List: Step Up

1. She's Got A Hold On Me

2. Step Up

3. Way Over My Head

4. Thanks John

5. Little Girl

6. Nineteen Eighty Four

7. Searching

8. Give It Away

9. I'm Only What You Want Me To Be

10. Way Down Under

11. Land Of The Few

12. Milkcow Blues

13. Can't Stay Away From You

x

Track List: Groovies' Greatest Grooves

1. Shake Some Action

2. Teenage Head

3. Slow Death

4. Tallahassee Lassie

5. Yeah My Baby

6. Yes It's True

7. First Plane Home

8. In The USA

9. Between The Lines

10. Don't Lie To Me

11. You Tore Me Down

12. I'll Cry Alone

13. Please Please Girl

14. Down Down Down

15. Yes I Am

16. Teenage Confidential

17. I Can't Hide

18. Absolutely Sweet Marie

19. Don't Put Me On

20. I Saw Her

21. All I Wanted

22. Jumpin' In The Night

23. There's A Place

24. River Deep, Mountain High

x

Track List: One Night Stand

1. Kicks

2. Bittersweet

3. I Can't Hide

4. Money

5. Call Me Lightning

6. Shake Some Action

7. Slow Death

8. Teenage Head

9. Slow Down

10. Tallahassee Lassie

x

Track List: Jumpin' In The Night

1. Jumpin' In The Night

2. Next One Crying

3. First Plane Home

4. In The U.S.A.

5. Down Down Down

6. Yes I Am

7. Werewolves Of London

8. It Won't Be Wrong

9. Please Please Me

10. Tell Me Again

11. Absolutely Sweet Marie

12. 5D

13. Lady Friend

x

Track List: Flamin' Groovies Now

1. I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better

2. Between The Lines

3. Up's And Down's

4. Move It

5. Take Me Back

6. Reminiscing

7. Good Laugh Mun

8. Yeah My Baby

9. House Of Blue Lights

10. Blue Turns To Grey

11. Paint It Black

12. All I Wanted

13. Don't Put Me On

14. There's A Place

x

Track List: Shake Some Action

1. Shake Some Action

2. Sometimes

3. Yes It's True

4. St. Louis Blues

5. You Tore Me Down

6. Please Please Girl

7. Let The Boy Rock N' Roll

8. Don't You Lie To Me

9. She Said Yeah

10. I'll Cry Alone

11. Misery

12. I Saw Her

13. Teenage Confidential

14. I Can't Hide

x

Track List: Teenage Head

1. High Flyin' Baby

2. City Lights

3. Have You Seen My Baby?

4. Yesterday's Numbers

5. Teenage Head

6. 32-20

7. Evil Hearted Ada

8. Doctor Boogie

9. Whiskey Woman

10. Shakin' All Over

11. That'll Be The Day

12. Louie Louie

13. Walkin' The Dog

14. Scratch My Back

15. Carol

16. Going Out Theme (Version 2)

x

Track List: Flamingo

1. Gonna Rock Tonite

2. Comin' After Me

3. Headin' For The Texas Border

4. Sweet Roll Me On Down

5. Keep A Knockin'

6. Second Cousin

7. Childhood's End

8. Jailbait

9. She's Falling Apart

10. Road House

11. My Girl Josephine

12. Around And Around

13. Rockin' Pneumonia And The Boogie Woogie Flu

14. Somethin' Else

15. Rumble

16. Going Out Theme (Version 1)

x

Track List: Supersnazz

1. Love Have Mercy

2. The Girl Can't Help It

3. Laurie Did It

4. A Part From That

5. Rockin' Pneumonia And The Boogie Woogie Flu

6. The First One's Free

7. Pagan Rachel

8. Pistol Packin' Mama

9. Brushfire

10. Bam Balam

11. Around The Corner

12. Rockin' Pneumonia And The Boogie Woogie Flu (Single Mix)

13. The First One's Free (Single Mix)

14. Somethin' Else (Single Mix)

15. Laurie Did It (Single Mix)

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