Happy Birthday Immediate Records, A TinPot Haven For The Thin And Beautiful
ON this very day in 1965, something brilliant, eccentric and hip was born – Immediate Records.
In what has to be one of the finest record label names ever – c’mon, it’s everything a teenager wants from pop music – and purposefully moddish, Immediate was the baby of Rolling Stones’ manager Andrew Loog Oldham and his partner Tony Calder.
The launched the label with a hipster party, attended by some of pop’s great and good – Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton and Nico (not yet in the Velvet Underground) were all there, being thin and beautiful.
The label was the home of some very famous bands, such as The Small Faces, Rod Stewart and some ’60s favourites in The Nice, Amen Corner and Chris Farlowe. In their stable, they had a young guitar player and producer by the name of Jimmy Page too. Could a label be any more hip?
Obviously, being a bit tinpot, Immediate ran into financial problems and folded in 1970.
So with that, to celebrate one of the world’s most fabulous and frivolous enterprises, let us listen to some of the famous, and shouldabeenfamous, records that were found on Immediate.
Fleur De Lys ‘Circles’
Killer mod-pop from FDL, with a track that The Who wrote and intended as a single called ‘Instant Party’. While Townsend & Co. dithered, the Fleur De Lys stuck the record out. It contains one of the most mental lead guitar lines in the history of pop.
The McCoys ‘Hang On Sloopy’
Immediate’s first single and a bona fide ’60s classic. It is pure bubblegum, but that’s not a criticism at all.
Chris Farlow ‘Moanin”
While Farlow had a string of more notable hits, it is ‘Moanin” that really captures the spirit of the label. It is equal parts a soul and rock record as it is experimental and exotic. Jimmy Page produced the track and the fuzz guitar is elemental in force.
Small Faces ‘Itchycoo Park’
Seeing as someone made off with all of Immediate’s money, the Small Faces barely got a penny from them, despite cutting most of the label’s biggest hits. This is just one of them.
Barbara Lynn ‘You Can’t Buy My Love’
This record featured on a few labels, but was issued by Immediate in 1965. A lesser known song, but a peach all the same!
John Mayall & His Blues Breakers ‘I’m Your Witch Doctor’
John Mayall’s Blue Breakers have an embarrassment of riches if you look at the musicians included: Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce both played in the band before buggering off to form Cream, while Peter Green, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie all appeared before founding Fleetwood Mac. Future Rolling Stone Mick Taylor was in the group too!
Nico ‘I’m Not Sayin”
Before joining the Velvet Underground, Nico cut some folk-pop records with Immediate, who she was introduced to via Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones. Through these connections, she was swiped by Andy Warhol to become the chanteuse of Lou Reed & Co.
Billy Nichols ‘London Social Degree’
Originally hired as a staff-writer for Immediate, Billy Nicholls got the chance to have a go at making ‘the British ‘Pet Sounds’. The brilliant ‘Would You Believe?’ LP was the result, but sadly, those pesky financial difficulties saw it shelved. The promo run of 100 copies are hugely sought after.
The Poets ‘Baby Don’t Do It’
Daft, stomping R&B from Glasgow’s ‘The Poets’, who used to dress up like the people they saw in Edwardian paintings. Brilliant.
Twice As Much ‘Step Out Of Line’
Underground folk goddess Vashti Bunyan featured on this psychedelic pop outfit’s records. The Stones even wrote a couple of songs for them.
PP Arnold ‘The First Cut Is The Deepest’
Quitting Tina and Ike Turner’s band, PP Arnold moved to Britain and London claimed her as one of their own. Backed by The Small Faces and responsible for a gigantic voice, PP Arnold made some of the best records of the ’60s. ‘The First Cut Is The Deepest’ is her most well-know hit, but ‘If You Think You’re Groovy’ might just pip it in quality.
Rod Stewart ‘Little Miss Understood’
It goes without saying that Rod The Mod was around Immediate Records and he cut some records with them, like this baroque pop gem. He’d go on to be much more successful elsewhere, but the Immediate releases are worthy of remembering.
The Mockingbirds ‘You Stole My Love’
The heart of The Mockingbirds went to to become 10cc, and this particular number features a young Julie Driscoll on backing vocals, which is just fabulous.