Psychedelic-Rock'n'roll: The Electras - The Best Of The Electras (CRUDE 60s GARAGE US 1965-1968)

7 November 2009

The Electras - The Best Of The Electras (CRUDE 60s GARAGE US 1965-1968)

electras,litter,psychedelic-rocknroll,garage,scotty,warren_kendrick,distortions,arf_arf,dirt,action_woman,twas,victors,farfisa,fuzz,FRONT"THE ELECTRAS - THE BEST OF THE ELECTRAS" (CRUDE 60s GARAGE US 1965-1968)

From Ely, Minnesota, "The Electras" "Gary Ormeza" ("Farfisa Compact Organ"), "Tim Elfving" (vocals), "Bill Bulinski" (lead guitar), "Earl Bulinski" (rhythm guitar and bass guitar), "Harvey Korkki" (guitar in early singles) and "Jerry Fink" (drums) put out about half a dozen singles from 1965-67 that were admirably ferocious slabs of 60s Garage Punk, with generous shades of both Pop and Psychedelia.
"The Electras" were heavily indebted to the British Invasion, "The Yardbirds", "The Zombies", and others, though on several of their tracks they in fact sounded like a slightly rawer version of "Paul Revere and The Raiders".
That was never more true than on their regional hit "Dirty Old Man", with its menacing unison Fuzz guitar and "Farfisa Compact Organ" lines.

electras,litter,psychedelic-rocknroll,garage,scotty,warren_kendrick,distortions,arf_arf,dirt,action_woman,twas,victors,farfisa,fuzz,sr-6621The Electras : "Courage To Cry" / "Dirt Ol' Man", Scotty Records 6619/6621, August 1966

A hit in Minneapolis, "Dirty Old Man" was, like most of "The Electras"' material, written by their producer, "Warren Kendrick".
The best of their other singles were "You Love", which had something of a 60s Garage Zombies feel, and the riff-driven "Soul Searchin'".

electras,litter,psychedelic-rocknroll,garage,scotty,warren_kendrick,distortions,arf_arf,dirt,action_woman,twas,victors,farfisa,fuzz,studioThe Electras inside Dove Recording Studio. Left to right: Gary Ormeza (seated), Tim Elfving, Bill Bulinski (hidden behind Earl), Earl Bulinski and Warren Kendrick on Rickenbacker guitar

For legal reasons, the group changed their name from "The Electras" to "'Twas Brillig" for a few singles in 1966, including one that was licensed to the Columbia Records subsidiary Date (although the A-side, "Dirty Ol' Man", had already come out under "The Electras" name for "Warren Kendrick"'s label, "Scotty Records").

Certainly a better name than "'Twas Brillig" could have been chosen; indeed, it's hard to imagine that a worse one could have been chosen.
Moreover, the confusion surrounding the name change, which saw "Dirty Ol' Man" reissued under the "'Twas Brillig" billing not once but three times, probably hurt the band in the long run.

electras,litter,psychedelic-rocknroll,garage,scotty,warren_kendrick,distortions,arf_arf,dirt,action_woman,twas,victors,farfisa,fuzz,promo_shotThere has long been some confusion as to whether "The Electras" were an early version of the Litter, or at least shared some members with "The Litter".
This probably came about because both groups were produced by "Warren Kendrick", and both issued "The Litter"'s most famous song, "Action Woman" (again written by "Warren Kendrick"), as a single in 1967; also, "The Litter" did "Soul Searchin'" on their first LP.
Furthermore, a Litter compilation on "Eva Records", "Rare Tracks", included four tracks by "The Electras", with a sleeve note that erroneously claimed that: "Warren Kendrick used The Litter musicians to record also some obscure singles under the name of 'Twas Brilling [sic], Electras... Thus 'Dirty Old Man' or 'Soul Searchin'" were played identically by Litter under several names of groups".

electras,litter,psychedelic-rocknroll,garage,scotty,warren_kendrick,distortions,arf_arf,dirt,action_woman,twas,victors,farfisa,fuzzIn fact there was no connection between "The Electras" and "The Litter", other than that they shared the same producer and record label.
The damage has already been done, however, and dozens if not hundreds of collectors are probably still under the misguided illusion that "The Electras" were the same or almost the same as "The Litter".
They never had the chance to make an album and I believe if they had the possibility it would be one of the best 60s Garage LP.
On the b-side you find "The Scotsmen" and "The Victors" which were pre-Litter bands and also produced by "Warren Kendrick".

See also "The Litter - Distortions" (Raw 60s Garage Psychedelic US 1966)


Anonymous said...

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olegelagin said...

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Good Luck

caveman78 said...

grande Ale! ora la visualizzazione sembra funnzioni a perfezione . Seguirò il tuo lavoro .1 abbraccione

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this! I heard the Electras a few years ago streaming something or other and never forgot the name. They shoot to kill !!

JMC said...

'Twas brillig was a reference to Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll. The Electras were not the only band to refer to a line from this poem in their name, Fruminous Bandersnatch from San Francisco also issued an LP in the late 60s, and of course Lewis Carroll imagery figured heavily in White Rabbit by The Jefferson Airplane.

Dan Raustadt said...

I was the lead guitarist in Dirty Old Man, replacing the Electras' lead player who'd been drafted into the Army. As a result of Dirty Old Man, the band was signed to the Date label (a subsidiary of Columbia Records). Date required a name change so as not to conflict with another band named The Electras (of which John Kerry - politician - was a member). Danny Raustadt