1. Honeybus "Story"
Year Of Release: 1970
Top Tracks: "Ceilings #2", "The Right To Choose", "She Sold Blackpool Rock", "Black Mourning Band", "He Was Columbus", "How Long?","Girl Of Independent Means", "Fresher Than The Sweetness", "She's OUt There", "Ceilings #1"
So I was looking on http://www.allmusic.com
a week or three ago and researching something about The Beatles from one of their later 60's albums. And you know how they always put the thing down at the bottom that says: "You may also be interested in..."? Well, I looked down and saw the usual: The Animals, The Rolling Stones, The Monkees, CCR, The Kinks. And then then there was an icon for Honeybus. The others I know. By heart. Since my childhood. But Honeybus? I had to look in to this, having never heard of them before. What I discovered has turned into the best album I have ever heard and one of the more amazing stories in rock and roll history that you have probably never heard.
The band started in '66 or so and released two failed singles on the Deram label in England. The one sounds extremely Hollies-ish ("Delighted To See You") and the other was covered by Joe Cocker, Dave Matthews, Rod Stewart and a host of others ("(Do I Figure) In Your Life"). Then came the third single, which was their lone British chart entry and only hit in the U.K. ("I Can't Let Maggie Go", #8, April 1968). It is after the release of this single that things get amazing. The song's writer, Pete Dello, was in the position that The Beatles and Roy Wood have faced: he was upset that the sound on the records could NOT be duplicated live. So he quit. Ray Kane took over as the lead singer/writer and they put out a couple of follow up singles ("Girl Of Independent Means", "She Sold Blackpool Rock") and neither of them charted. Well, it is now late 1968 and they got their crack at recording a full album.
"Story" was recorded at this point and then...never released. The band was dismayed. The band broke up. Time rolls on and it is now 1970 and Deram Records has new management, one of which finds the master recordings and asks, "How come THIS has never been released?" He is informed that there is technically not a Honeybus even around anymore, but he persists in his thinking that "something this great needs to be heard"! So Deram releases the "Story" album and it bombs.
All of the members aside from Colin Hare left the music business. Ray Kane will not even speak publicly about the band today. Why? "If we made the perfect record and no one listened, why go on?"
Ray calls it 'perfect'. The liner notes call it 'flawless'. The first time I heard it I called it 'immaculate'.
If you enjoy late 1960's music such as The Beatles, Status Quo, early Bee Gees, SImon & Garfunkel, and The Hollies...you MORE THAN OWE it to yourself to check out Honeybus. They recorded 22 songs over a two and a half year period and there is not a loser in the bunch.
That is why I felt I had to update this list.
Link to their hit...