Collective Consciousness Society – Whole Lotta Love from the Rak Records 45
I’m hoping everyone enjoyed the Guest Mix by Devil Dick. I thought I might shake it up a bit (but not too much) and go off base for FMF with a Psych Mix. While I can enjoy the genre from guys like Andy Votel, DJ Shadow, or any of the contributing Psych heads from Soul Strut, I had to give props to the Devil Dick because his love for those records runs deep as well. On with the progam. What we have here tonight, is a record I’d heard of, as a matter of fact I’d heard of the label too. Trouble is, I never see them out in the field. Cool Hands Luke rocked a RAK record at one of the 45 Sessions, and my man DJ Save 1 out of Rhode Island hepped me to this on sale over the web. I opened up with this at the last Asbury Park 45 Sessions. Here is a great record and cover version of Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” from C.C.S. in 1970 on Rak Records.
C.C.S. were a British group formed by Bluesman Alexis Korner and vocalist Peter Thorup. The band itself also consisted of different studio cats who would be around, but also included Tony Carr (drums), Herbie Flowers (bass), Harold Beckett (trumpet), Harold McNair (woodwind), and Henry Lowther (trumpet), among others. This wasn’t all, as they were going for a unique sound to rival the top Rock acts of the day. So they would grab the creme de la creme of Jazz/ Studio musicians of the time which also included Kenny Wheeler, Les Condon and trombonist Don Lusher, mixed in with Ronnie Ross on baritone, Danny Moss on tenor, and Ray Warleigh on flute. The entire line up would always be subject to change throughout the band’s history. The band’s interpretation of time period Rock tunes was quite interesting, and Korner’s Blues influence would shine through on their records. How could this band not be good with the best studio session players in the band! A lot of their music was arranged by conductor John Cameron, who added in different timing and changes in otherwise radio specific songs. This could prove to be a bit much (and tricky) for the players on tour, and eventually the band would disband in 1973. Korner would move on to start the group Snape with King Crimson members Boz Burrell and Ian Wallace. This tune was also used as the theme song for the Brit telly show Top of the Pops (which may or may not be covered by TOTP Orchestra not CCS) and reached into the UK Singles chart in 1970. They recorded for the most part on Mickie Most’s Rak label, which I’m a fan of as well. It’s a good looking 45 label, as you can clearly see from the scan.
“Whole Lotta Love” by C.C.S. is right up there with Dennis Coffey and Ike and Tina Turner’s cover versions of the mighty Zep. I think it might even be better IMHO. The flute, which many people may be annoyed by, just furthers this band legitimacy. Their interpretation, often out of time, and a bit odd and Jazzy, is definitely a hit for me. Being from the States, you know I didn’t grow up with Top of The Pops, so forgive me my UK brethren if I’m hyped up on a TV theme you all grew up with every weekend. The odd timing-Rock-meets-Jazz-meets-Funky Big Band is why I’m loving it. I hope you do too. See you Friday with another slice of goodness. I have started gathering records for my next mix, which I can assure you you are going to dig. Keep Diggin’!
Great record. I had no idea what ‘CCS’ stood for.
yeah, i need this bad…
I listened to this, and I just about fell over. The arrangement is almost exactly the same as King Curtis’ cover, also done in 1970. I’ll post that over at AM, Then FM as soon as I can.
you’re right. i pulled out King’s version as well and thought: “Hot Damn”, the King was on to something.
you guys ever heard Reverberi do Stairway To Heaven?
Its a crazy jazzy experimental instrumental thing from 75…
I’m gonna have to post that shizzle up at the devil’s music asap.
Look out for another CCS single “Tap Turns On The Water”. In fact I must post that soon.
Thanks for a good one. Sweet stuff indeed!