"It’s hard to believe that it was back in the nineties, when the Brit Girls genre was born, and record companies started releasing the first ever compilations. Little did anyone realise back then, that this new genre would thrive and over the next three decades countless compilations would be released. These compilations ranged from lovingly curated to mediocre and bandwagon jumping cash-ins. However, one label has consistently released some of the best Brit Girls compilations, Ace Records, who will release Live It Up! Bayswater Beat Girls 1964-1967 on the ‘30th’ August 2019.
Live It Up! Bayswater Beat Girls 1964-1967 features twenty-five tracks from the vaults of Philips, Fontana and Mercury, which are often overlooked by compilers of Brit Girls’ compilations. Philips and its sister labels Fontana and Mercury were based in Stanhope House in Stanhope Place, Bayswater, London W2. That was home to the Brit Girls including Dusty Springfield, Kiki Dee, Madeline Bell, Sharon Tandy and Clare Torry as well as groups like The Caravelles and The Kaye Sisters. They’re just some of the artists on Live It Up! Bayswater Beat Girls 1964-1967, and some of artists signed by the A&R reps working for Philips, Fontana and Mercury
A&R reps were constantly searching the length and breadth of the UK for unsigned Brit Girls. The A&R reps searched London and the South East, the North West and the Midlands up to the North East, and across the border to Scotland and into Wales. A&R reps made their way across the Irish Sea to Northern Ireland as the search for new names continued. Between 1964 and 1967, they crisscrossed the UK looking for unsigned Brit Girls who would transform the fortunes of Philips, Fontana and Mercury Records.
Some of the artists signed to Philips, Fontana and Mercury went on to enjoy successful careers and enjoyed a string of hit singles, while others failed to fulfil the potential the A&R reps saw in them. It was a case of what might have been. These hidden gems are joined by hits and unreleased tracks on Live It Up! Bayswater Beat Girls 1964-1967
Opening Live It Up! Bayswater Beat Girls 1964-1967 is Live It Up by Dusty Springfield. It’s a track from her 1964 Philips’ album Dusty. The following year, 1965, she recorded Heartbeat which thirty years later, was released on a CD entitled Dusty.
I Really Got Carried Away was by Madeline Bell, who was born in New Jersey, but during her career, became a familiar face on the UK music scene. In 1966, I Really Got Carried Away was the B-Side to the American songstress’ sophomore single. Despite her relative inexperience, Madeline Bell was already a talented vocalist with a bright future in front of her
Kiki Dee was another British singer who would go on to enjoy a long and successful career. She contributes two tracks she recorded for Fontana to Live It Up! Bayswater Beat Girls 1964-1967. This includes With A Kiss from her 1966 EP Kiki In Clover and Small Town which was released later that year. Both tracks are a tantalising of taste of what was to come from Kiki Dee, who is one of British music’s most underrated female vocalists.
London-based girl group The Caravelles feature twice on Live It Up! Bayswater Beat Girls 1964-1967. They contribute I Like A Man and How Can I Be Sure? which both featured on the B-Sides of their 1964 singes for Fontana. Despite the quality of both tracks, The Caravelles never quite fulfilled their potential and sadly, in 1965 the original lineup split-up, and it was a case of what might have been.
Jenny Wren first recorded for Fontana as a sixteen year old, and in 1966 released Chasing My Dream All Over Town as a single. Tucked away on the B-Side was The Thought Of You. These two oft-overlooked tracks were the start of Jenny Wren’s recording career, which saw her release four albums for DJM during the seventies.
Mention Clare Torry and most music lovers remember her seminal vocal on Pink Floyd’s Great Gig In The Sky, on Dark Side Of The Moon.That is just part of the story of this truly talented singer. In 1966, she released The Music Attracts Me on Fontana, which more than hints at what was to come from Clare Torry.
You Beat Me To The Punch was released by Karol Keyes on Fontana in 1964. On the B-Side was No One Can Take Your Place. Sadly, there was no followup to You Beat Me To The Punch, which was the only single Karol Keyes released.
Closing Live It Up! Bayswater Beat Girls 1964-1967 is Sharon Tandy’s 1966 cover of Love Makes the World Go Round, which was released on Mercury. It’s a joined by the B-Side By My Side, which is another reminder of Sharon Tandy’s vocal prowess. Just four years later, Sharon Tandy left Britain behind and headed home to South Africa. This was another case of what might have been had she stayed in Britain and continued her career?
Live It Up! Bayswater Beat Girls 1964-1967 finds hits and hidden gems rubbing shoulders on this lovingly compiled compilation. It features twenty-five tracks from the vaults of Philips, Fontana and Mercury, which are often overlooked by compilers of Brit Girls’ compilations. Not any more, as Ace Records dig deep into the Philips, Fontana and Mercury in search of Brit Girl gold. It can be found on Live It Up! Bayswater Beat rls 1964-1967, which is another lovingly curated companion that celebrates the golden age of the Brit Girls with a compilation that feature a plethora of hits and hidden gems from the Philips, Fontana and Mercury labels." ~ https://dereksmusicblog.com/