Sunday, 21 August 2011

The Honeycombs - That's The Way b/w Can't Get Through To You (Pye - 1965)

Inspired by a recent blog post by Anorak Thing, he made mention of his favourite Joe Meek produced songs, in the cannon of Joe Meek productions there is a wealth of amazingly weird and wonderful treats, some of these treats were found onsome of the most popular british pop singles of the day.

My own personal favourite Joe Meek production also happens to be one of Joe Meek's own songs, the ever warped and demented genius of 'Can't Get Through To You' which was recorded by The Honeycombs.

The Honeycombs were a popular beat group in the UK during 1963-66, they reached their height of popularity in 1964, The Honeycombs were somewhat popular in America during the British Invasion and had major success in the UK having sold a million or so copies of their hit single 'Have I The Right?' again produced by Meek.

The Honeycombs were -

Colin Boyd - Vocal & Guitar
Rod Butler - Lead Guitar & Vocals
Eddie Spence - Organ & Vocals
John Lantree - Bass
Honey Lantree - Drums & Vocals.

Honey Lantree was one of the first female drummers in a pop group.

The story of Joe Meek deserves a blog post of it's own as it was full of complexities, fantastic stories and a troubled life and soul of a very talented man. Meek was a unique studio producer during the early to late 60s, his records influenced generations of people in the UK and across the pond in the US and to this day are heralded as great amongst fans of music.

I wish to speak about the man's music rather than his personal life at this stage, I may write a biopic as such at a later point in time.

In regards to the killer cut I am sharing on this blog, 'I Can't Get Through To You' is one of (in my opinions) Joe Meek's top masterpieces. Meek was a homosexual man during the 50s and 60s and in the UK during this time it was highly taboo to be gay and it was even illegal and could get a man arrested at one point, Meek was already an emotionally charged guy who showed early stages of schizophrenia to those around him, he was also highly egotistical and you can hear all of this internal madness and frustration on this record in particular.

'I Can't Get Through To You' is a wild amplified Rock 'n' Roll number recorded by The Honeycombs, who gave it their fullest on this recording (probably under the strict whipping leash of Meek himself at his infamous Holloway Road studio), The cut is a worthy piece of studio experimentalism as the drum's sound kind of looped and the backing track has been sped up on the tapes, making it a great piece of early experiemental music in a pop setting. Lyrically this record is what 'frustration, confusion and angst' sound like in the mind of a madman before the onset of a moment of dementia.

I spent a good 40 minutes listening to this track on repeat driving in my car with the windows down... I was in a demented head space and this record was my remedy and saviour.

So without futher a do.... here is the killer piece of British Beat from 1965, this wipes the floor with most other recordings by other British groups of the time.

Dig it and the more chart friendly A-side below.

Can't Get Through To You

That's The Way



1 comment:

  1. At the time of this record's release the Honeycombs were, Dennis D'Ell, Alan Ward, Peter Pye,John Lantree and of course Honey Lantree.
    Colin Boyd, Rod Butler and Eddie Spence didn't join until April 1966. See
    Also worth noting that "That's The Way" was recorded in 1964 when Martin Murray was still in the band, but was not released until later.
    Can't Get Through To You is one of my favourite Honeycombs tracks as well. But then I have come to The Honeycombs after seven years as the lead singer in a Led Zeppelin tribute band.