THE LOLLIPOP SHOPPE - Someone I Knew / Through My Window - Shamley - 1968
I've been listening to the Lollipop Shoppe pretty consistently since I picked up a copy of the repressed 'Just Colour' LP (an original is a bit out of reach for a poor boy like me.) Then Kyle picked up the Weeds / Lollipop Shoppe collection that had the first Weeds single ('It's Your Time' / 'Little Girl,') the 'Just Colour' LP, the 2 tracks from the 'Angels From Hell' soundtrack ('Mr. Madison Avenue' / 'Who's It Gonna Be,') and the final two songs recorded by the band in the early 70's ('Stop' / 'No Good News'[credited as the Weeds.]) But curiously, this 45 is not included on that release. So when I found a copy, naturally, I had to grab it up.
I've always associated the Lollipop Shoppe rather closely with Love (though I would never call them a Love rip-off) and this single reminds me of, not-so-much Love's sound, as their trajectory. Just as Love had moved from a more-or-less basic garage sound to the orchestrated psychedelia of 'Forever Changes,' the Lollipop Shoppe seems intent on the same progression. This single is slower and more somber on both sides, even including a bit of string arrangement, and Fred sounds more desperate than angry here.
And honestly, I don't know if it really works for them.
I guess it's cool that they were trying something new and different, but I was hoping for something a little closer to their 'Just Colour' sound. And after reading an interview with Fred Cole, I'm not convinced that this is the direction he was looking to head in.
Regarding the production of 'Just Colour,' he had this to say:
"She (Danielle Hudson) was producing us and had this idea of orchestras and shit. She was a big fan of Charles Aznavour, some French singer who she used to hang with and that was her cup of tea - not ours. She was into a commercial pop sound and we just wanted to rock."
He goes on to explain why the band broke up:
"We were under a five-year contract with Lord Tim and Uni. We hated the direction they were leading us to which was a commercial bubble gum band."
So, maybe that explains why this single was left off of the Weeds collection (the only reissue Fred Cole ever authorized.) Though I don't mean to paint this as a shitty record, it just can't live up to the standard they set for themselves with 'Just Colour.' And to their credit, the shortcomings of this single can likely be traced to the notoriously bad decision making of record company executives and money-hungry management. I mean, for fuck's sake, Lord Tim Hudson, their manager, made them change their name from something pretty cool to something that's wimpy and totally unfitting, just to try to sell more records.