Though initially intended only for the domestic market, thankfully, these re-releases of Danish beat legacy managed to find its way across the border too, proving that each of the bands had at least a song or two that could stand alongside your favourites of the era.
Most of what you’ll hear is cover versions in an attempt to catch up with the burgeoning UK/US scenes, with an occasional original that makes it all worthwhile.
One thing’s for sure, and it’s that THE LIONS were one of the coolest looking bunch of them all, sporting the Pretties/(Dutch)Outsiders-like outlook, and along with their choice of covers, they were probably the closest that the Danish beat had gotten to their British contemporaries, while their moody genre defining piece of freakbeat called I Want You might even be considered a general highlight of the series.
Sharing the highlight spot, at least when it comes to the haircuts (or even better hair-un-cuts), DANNY & THE ROYAL STRINGS, were delivering their own share of garagey r’n’beat through Come Right Back or Get Away, as well as some more conventional Mersey sounds, while it’s a pity that some of their promising latterdays material, such as This Exploding Love, didn’t get a proper studio treatment (here featured in the live-section).
It might not come as a particular surprise that THE VANGUARDS are supposedly Frost Records’ best selling release ever, since they released more original material on their first five singles than most of the others did during their entire careers, with the material ranging mostly from Brit-beat inspired basic r’n’b (I’ve Got Enough Of You, Let Him Go) to soulful balladery (I Only For You, Till The End Of Time).
YES INDEED started out as THE JOCKEYS with the usual Mersey flavour, before opting for a bit more adventurous choice of cover material in 1966, with an occasional big-band arrangement, and even a cool fuzzy guitar line (Walk Tall), while THE METEORS’ early direction of choice leaned more towards the festival-ish croon of their initial Scottish frontman Jimmy Scott, turning into the more classic beat sound with Curt Blisbo, resulting in a couple of outstanding moments, such as the pioneering freakbeat guitar work of Make Me Happy, the Pacemaker-powered Merseybeat of Anytime and Tobacco, or even some Hermits-like sunshiny pop of Miss Sunshine.
THE DANISH SHARKS were a Cliff & The Shadows-like instrumental combo, with an occasional vocal thrown in, with I’ll Grow Up being the Merseybeat-en highlight of the set, while it’s the name of JACKSON’S GARDEN that suggests something a bit different from the usual mid’60s fare, which it really is with an appropriate Frisco-inspired dose of soulful psych (Nobody), some late’60s Britsike vibe (Paddington Station), as well as a Creedence-ish country-psych “revival” (Tales From A Nervous Wreck) and even some melodic pop sounds (Coloured Birds), being just a “stone” throw away from the Jagger/Richards flowery ballads of the time, with all of the above being put against the more conventional white-blues jam.
All of the above come with fat, detail-laden booklets, unfortunately all written in Danish, but they’re also chockfull of cool pics which will surely make it up.
So, it seems that whatever your own cup of tee might be, Frost is ready to serve, frosty or hot!
[Released by Frost Records 2005]