Thursday, July 12, 2007

Crazy Elephant LP (1969)

This LP came out at the end of the 60's, and was rare enough that many record collectors used to tell me it didn't exist, I suspect it went out of print very early on. Crazy Elephant had one big hit called "Gimme Gimme Good Lovin", and a very minor hit called, "Sunshine, Red Wine" they released some more singles that didn't do very well. The band is almost always unfairly compared to the Bubblegum music that their producers Kasenetz-Katz were widely known for. Unfair because to this day I still haven't heard a pure Bubblegum style song out of this diverse and talented group. They sounded similar to Vanilla Fudge and The Rascals but to the best of my knowledge they didn't sound Bubblegum. The LP is sometimes referred to as a collection of singles, but it stands up nicely as an album in it's own right. The strongest element running throughout the album is strong keyboard work. Much of this album was put together by Ritchie Cordell, who worked on many Super K projects. Three performers of note on this album are Robert Spencer (vocals) who had previously performed with The Cadillacs (post "Speedo"), Kenny Cohen (Flute, Sax, Vocals) who went on to perform with The Eagles, Santana, Rod Stewart and BB King, and Bob Avery (Drums) who also played with The Music Explosion ("A Little Bit Of Soul"). Larry Laufer (Keyboards, Vocals) is designated as the leader of the group on this LP. Hal King (vocals) and Ronnie Bretone (Bass) are the other performers credited on this LP. Larry Laufer was asked to put together a touring version of the group, The Music Explosion and eventually that group evolved into the Crazy Elephant band credited on this LP. Production is by Jeff Katz and Jerry Kasenetz which apparently is the main reason this group is considered by many to be Bubblegum. Very ironic considering that at least one song would sound totally in place on the original "Nuggets" box set. For some reason Buddha records declined to represent Crazy Elephant, and they instead ended up on Bell Records. Crazy Elephant was once cited as an influence on Talking Heads, I'm assuming because of the jangly rhythm guitar work and youthful lyrics. There are also a few singles here which I believe were released around the same time as the LP. The single, "There Ain't No Umbopo" was written, performed and produced by the guys who would eventually become Hotlegs and then 10cc, the song reminds me of Side 2 of Small Faces "Ogden's Nut Gone Flake" album. During this era they put out several singles for Kasenetz-Katz as well as some British bubblegum producers. I believe that Laufer, King and Bretone went on to perform on more of Kasenetz-Katz bubblegum classics. I would bet that at least one of them ended up on Captain Groovy & His Bubblegum Army, since they also issued a single called "Dark Part Of My Mind".

1. Respect
2. Pam
3. Come To The Farm
4. Somewhere
5. My Baby (Honey Pie)
6. Sunshine, Red Wine
7. Heartless (Hertie Gertie)
8. Love Strike
9. Try This When You're Ready
10. Higher & Higher
11. Gimme Gimme Good Lovin' (Stereo LP Version)
12. Gimme Gimme Good Lovin' (Mono Single Version)
13. Dark Part Of My Mind (B-Side)
14. Gimme Some More (A-Side)
15. There's A better Day A Comin' (A-Side)
16. Space Buggy (B-Side)
17. There Ain't No Umbopo (A-Side)
18. Landrover (B-Side)
19. Splif Dna Spih (B-Side)

Download Link for CRAZY ELEPHANT LP


sweetbeats™ said...

Looking forward to this I will download it the artwork on the "Gimme Good Lovin' " Single super cool cheers Jason

Anonymous said...

Hello, just wanted to say that the 19th track "Spilf Dna Spih" is the end of the first one "Gimme Gimme Good Lovin'" but played very slowly and backwards.

The title is also reversed and should be "Hips and Flips".

Cheers! :-)

Anonymous said...

thanks for putting this up, I've been looking to hear that album for a long time;

On the b-side of my "Gimme gimme good lovin'" 45 rpm single it's written "Hips and lips" instead of being written backwards and using the word "flips"...
It's the Canadian pressing, green Bell label, and I've always been fascinated by that side of the record as a child, I used to say "you're supposed to listen to it at 78 rpm"!


Steve Engler said...

Yeah that is one of the weirder B-Sides I've ever come across.

troods said...

Have the beat-up 45 amidst my soul & funk stuff. Always loved it. Thanks for reuniting us.

Unodel53 said...

Muchas Gracias por compartir este disco, que fué muy conocido por una canción, y casi inencontrable en la actualidad. Gracias, Blogs, por existir.