The London American Label Year By Year 1967.

Label: Ace Records.

For a generation of British teenagers who embarked upon a lifelong love affair with music during the fifties and sixties, the London American Recordings will forever have a place in their heart. London American Recordings was the label that introduced a British music lovers to American pop, rock ’n’ roll and soul. It licensed and released the latest American hit singles in Britain. This had been the case since the mid-fifties. 

London American had been licensing singles by Atlantic, Chess, Dot, Imperial, Speciality and Sun Records since the fifties. By the sixties, further labels were licensing their releases to London American. This would include Big Town, Hi Records, Monument and Philles Records. For a generation of music lovers, this made anything featuring the London American label essential listening. It was part of their musical education.

Only by listening to London American’s releases, were music lovers able to keep track of the latest music trends. They usually started in America, then took Britain by storm. Time and time, this proved to be the case. That’s why, for a generation of music lovers, the London American label has a special place in their heart.

It brings back memories of when their love affair with music began. For some music lovers, that was nearly sixty years ago. This was the start of a life long love affair with music. Now it’s possible to relive these memories once again.

Since 2012, Ace Records have been releasing a series of compilations dedicated to the London American label. The first was The London American Label Year By Year 1956, which was released back in 2012. Recently, the twelfth  instalment in the series, The London American Label Year By Year 1967 has just been released.

The London American Label Year By Year 1967 is a twenty-eight track compilation. It’s an eclectic compilation full of big names. Folk, pop, R&B, rock, soul features on The London American Label 1967. There’s contributions from Charlie Rich, Roy Orbison, O.V. Wright, The Association,  Mickey Dolenz, Wilson Pickett and The Falcons, The Fallen Angels, Brenda and the Tabulations, Jack Jones and Erma Franklin. It’s a veritable feast, so sit down and enjoy the delights of  The London American Label Year By Year 1967.

The late, great Charlie Rich opens the compilation with Love Is After Me which he had released on Hi Records, and was licensed by London American. This catchy and soulful single sadly failed to find the audience it deserved. It also shows another side to the man best known for countrypolitan classics like The Most Beautiful Girl In The World and Behind Closed Doors.

When Roy Orbison released Cry Softly Lonely One as a single on MGM stateside in 1967 it staled at fifty-two. Given  the quality of this soul-baring single it’s the one that got away for The Big O.

Earl Harrison’s Humphrey Stomp was released on Garrison and failed to find an audience in America. This didn’t stop London American licensing this soulful stomper that was penned by New Orleans-based Earl Harrison.

While London was swinging, Nino Tempo and April Stevens’ My Old Flame was released by London American. This brother and sister duo had enjoyed hits earlier in the sixties, but when the single was released on the White Whale label it failed to chart.  My Old Flame is a cover of a track that was popular in the thirties  and although it brings to mind a different musical era, is a welcome addition to the compilation.

OV Wright is one of the most underrated Southern Soul singers ever. Blessed with a unique voice that could breath life, meaning and emotion into a song he should’ve enjoyed widespread critical acclaim and commercial success. Sadly, that wasn’t the case. However, Eight Men, Four Women which was penned by Deadric Malon and released  on Back Beat was his biggest hit reaching eighty in the US Billboard 100 and four in the US R&B charts. Despite that, OV Wright produced the best music of his career at Hi Records where he was at the peak of his powers.

Never My Love by The Association was released by Warner Bros and reached number two in the US Billboard 100. It’s one of The Association’s finest singles and is regarded as a classic. Despite that, it failed to chart in the UK and it was only later that many record buyers discovered Never My Love.

With The Monkees one of the most successful American groups by 1967, record companies were keen to cash-in on the group’s success. Huff Puff was released as a single by Mickey Dolenz by Challenge Records. It had been cut earlier in the sixties and despite The Monkess’ popularity Huff Puff failed to chart.

The Little Black Egg was originally released by The Nightcrawlers on the Lee label in 1967. Two years later it was licensed by Kapp and reached eighty-five in the US Billboard 100. Forty-two years later the single is regarded as a garage classic.

Sue Thompson had enjoyed a string of hits earlier in the sixties, but they had dried up by 1967 when she released the dramatic sounding The Ferris Wheel  on the Hickory label. Sadly, commercial success continued to elude her when the single failed to chart on both sides of the Atlantic.

When You’re Gone by Brenda and The Tabulations is an early slice of Philly Soul that Lenny Pakula and Palmer Rakes wrote with Bob Finiz who produced the track. When it was released on Dionn it reached fifty-eight and was one of several American  hits the group enjoyed.

You’re The Love by The Sixpence was written by Bob Ross and produced by John Rhys who owned the Impact label. It was better known for soul than this upbeat pop garage track that is another welcome addition to The London American Label Year By Year 1967.

Crooner Jack Jones was already a successful recording artist by 1967, and was signed to the Kapp label when he released I’m Indestructible. It shows the soulful side to Jack Jones and reached eighty-one in the US Billboard 100.

Three Hundred And Sixty Five Days was released on Shout by soul man Donald Height, and then licensed by London American. Sadly, this catchy soulful dancer failed to chart on both sides of the Atlantic.

Closing The London American Label Year By Year 1967 is Big Boss Man by Erma Franklin. This cover of the Jimmy Reed shows just how talented Aretha Franklin’s youngest sister is. With the help of the songwriting and production team of Jerry Rogovoy and Bert Sterns, Erma Franklin’s career was on track and she was about to fulfil her earlier potential with singles like Big Boss Man. It ensures the compilation ends on a high.

ascinating and eclectic musical document. It demonstrates the sheer variety of music being released during 1967. There’s everything from folk, garage, pop, psychedelia, R&B, rock and soul. Eclectic is the best way to describe The London American Label Year By Year 1967 where hits sit side-by-side with misses. Similarly, classics and hidden gems rub shoulders on The London American Label Year By Year 1967. Just like previous volumes, it was compiled by Tony Rounce.

Tony Rounce should be congratulated for the way he’s approached The London American Label Year By Year 1967. Rather than choose the most successful singles released by London American during 1967, Tony has dug deeper. The result is a captivating and truly eclectic selection of tracks. Forgotten favourites and familiar faces feature, during The London American Label Year By Year 1967 which is eclectic and compelling compilation that’ll bring back memories for anyone introduced to American pop, rock ’n’ roll and soul by the London American label. The London American Label Year By Year 1967 which was recently released by Ace Records, is the twelfth instalment in this long-running and much-loved series, and will allow a generation of music lovers to relive their youth once again.

The London American Label Year By Year 1967.

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