The Compilation: In 1960 Jeffrey Kruger’s Ember Records joined the small number of independents trying to compete in a market dominated by the four major labels. By spotting opportunities ahead of the pack and catering for specialist audiences, Kruger was able to sustain Ember until 1979.
Done Me Wrong is the second instalment of a three-volume series devoted to mining the Ember archives for choice beat recordings from the years 1962 to1967, picking up the story from where Tell Me: Ember Beat Vol. 1 (FVCD014) left off. A third volume of Ember Beat will carry the story through to 1967, serving up collectables by The Clockwork Oranges and The Fadin’ Colours, as well as more Belfast beat, and soulful sounds courtesy of Bobby Johnson & The Atoms. The series will be complemented by further compilations, to provide a comprehensive survey of Ember’s contribution to pop, rock, soul and British modern jazz in the sixties and seventies.
The Artists: The Couriers were a London band, who toured South Africa and wound up starring in the musical comedy film Africa Shakes. Between 1963 and 1964 they recorded two albums for South African label Renown. The A-side of their one Ember single was a cover of “Take Away”, which had been the flipside of The Tams’ hit, “Hey Girl Don’t Bother Me”. For the B-side the group chose an original, “Done Me Wrong””, a popular item among collectors of the British R&B/freakbeat scene, who will pay up to £30 for the single, or £100 if the scarce picture sleeve is intact. As detailed on FVCD014, Chad and Jeremy scored just one British hit with their John Barry-produced debut single “Yesterday’s Gone”, but were immensely successful in the States, eventually relocating to California and signing to major label Columbia. Done Me Wrong cherry-picks two tracks from their first Ember LP, including the Lennon/McCartney composition “From A Window” (which had been a hit for Billy J Kramer with The Dakotas), plus the single “What Do You Want With Me?”, and two tracks from the duo’s second Ember album. Both sides of The Washington DC’s 1964 debut single were compiled on FVCD014. Here we feature “Little One” a Glyn Johns-engineered track which first surfaced on the 1965 Ember album Dave Clark Five And The Washington DC’s, plus two unreleased recordings, which may have been intended for a single.
There is also a previously unissued recording by Warwick-based The Midnights, plus both sides of their only Ember single. Grant Tracy was no stranger to Ember, having released four singles between 1961 and 1962. In 1965 he re-signed to the label for the Mark Wirtz-produced “Tell Her I Lied” c/w “Never Let It Be Said”, bringing the singer’s relationship with Ember to a close. (Our booklet includes a great shot of Wirtz in the studio with session stalwarts Reg Guest and Big Jim Sullivan.) Mel & The Brothers Grimm released one single on Decca before signing to Ember as simply The Brothers Grimm for their second and last single “A Man Needs Love”, penned by George Fischoff and Tony Powers, the writers of “98.6” and “Lazy Day” (hits for Keith and Spanky & Our Gang respectively). (Flipside “Looky Looky” can be heard on Ember soul compilation Good To The Last Drop, FVCD019.) In 1965 Ember released Liverpool Today “”Live At The Cavern””. The whole album has been reissued by Fantastic Voyage (FVCD015) but here you can sample local heroes Earl Preston’s Realms performing “Daddy Rolling Stone”. The rest of the tracks assembled here were originally issued on the Ember album Ireland’s Greatest Sounds: Five Top Groups From Belfast’s Maritime Club, which was released in1966 and presumably intended to exploit the success of Them featuring Van Morrison, who had emerged from this scene back in 1964.
There is a track apiece from The Alleykatz, The Bats, Luvin’ Kind, Just Five and The People (who evolved into rock group Eire Apparent and recorded an album with Jimi Hendrix.)
- Done Me Wrong (The Couriers)
- Take Away (The Couriers)
- The Truth Often Hurts The Heart (Chad & Jeremy)
- From A Window (Chad & Jeremy)
- Little One (The Washington DC's)
- Since I Lost You (The Midnights)
- Tell Her I Lied (Grant Tracy)
- Never Let It Be Said (Grant Tracy)
- What Do You Want With Me? (Chad & Jeremy)
- Show Me Around (The Midnights)
- Only Two Can Play (The Midnights)
- Have You Seen My Baby? [alternate version] (The Washington DC's)
- Return To Me (The Washington DC's)
- A Man Needs Love (The Brothers Grimm)
- Daddy Rolling Stone (Earl Preston's Realms)
- No Other Baby (Chad & Jeremy)
- My How The Time Goes By (Chad & Jeremy)
- The Friendly Undertaker (The Alleykatz)
- On The Waterfront (The Bats)
- Well Don't That Beat Them All (Just Five)
- Well… All Right (The People)
- It's A Cruel World (Luvin' Kind)
- Done Me Wrong [backing track] (The Couriers)
- Take Away [backing track] (The Couriers)