Guide to British Music of the 1960s

August 2000

CD Review

The Immediate Singles Boxed Set


Making Time Guest Reviewer: John Kearney of the Immediate Records Web site:

For the first time ever the complete output of original Immediate singles has been assembled and released. Although a five CD compilation was issued in Germany several years ago many tracks were missing. Not so with this set. Furthermore, since several original singles were quickly withdrawn this will be the first occasion for many to listen to the complete output of this legendary British label. Even bona fide collectors like myself have spent years tracking down these sides. I didn't actually claim to have heard all the sides until 1998 even though I had been actively collecting the label since 1967.

The six CDs are packaged in a tear-stained box; a replica of the Blues Anytime series released in 1968. Inside, each CD is packaged in a cardboard sleeve depicting a black and white image of one of their many acts.

The history of the label is well detailed by David Wells with clear insights on how Immediate and Oldham and Calder operated. Wells should be given credit for explaining Tony Calder's role as he was equally as responsible for the label's success as his partner. 

The pictures used for the booklet include press releases, European picture sleeves, advertising material, and as well pictures from newspaper articles. 

The original singles are cued in chronological order with the A side first followed by the B side. All 83 singles are represented along with the US only Hill sides and the demo only Outer Limits singles (later released on Instant). Left out was the Small Faces' Mad John extended US/Canadian/Australian only mix which is unexplainable and inconsistent considering the context of the package and their alternate Wham Bam take called Me,You & Us Too which was issued on the demo copies. The US only edited promo of Humble Pie's Natural Born Woman, the four EPs, the four promo only singles, and the Instant sides were not included leading way to speculation that these could be issued separately at a later date. As well the two Revolution singles which were originally distributed by Immediate are not to be found. 

Disc number one literally kicks off with a bang, A Bang! Records that is, as The McCoys' Hang On Sloopy was licensed from that American label in order to kick start Immediate in the UK. A hit it was, reaching the Top Ten in the summer of 1965 although future chart action would not be immediate (pardon the pun!).

Immediate's third release I'm Not Sayin' by Nico was a Gordon Lightfoot composition; Immediate being one of the first to recognize this up and coming Canadian composer and doing justice to his art. The flip, the very disposable The Last Mile was a Jimmy Page/Andrew Oldham composition, later recycled as an Immediate instrumental, a popular money saving gimmick to ensure low costs and publishing royalties for Immediate's publishing division.

Gregory Phillips' take on Billy Joe Royal's Down In The Boondocks has a raw edginess missing on the original that's refreshing to hear and is the first of many tracks previously unissued since the original release.

Other gems on disc one are from The Poets and The Mockingbirds. 

This first disc shows the lack of direction the label was at but would soon be corrected with the arrival of Chris Farlowe whose The Fool single opens disc two. By this stage Immediate was forging a path of its own with artists like Farlowe and Les Fleurs de Lys. While no bona fide hits on this CD we are treated to Tony Rivers & The Castaways whose two sides of The Beach Boys material certainly helped Immediate Music who were publishing their music at the time. Charles Dickens covering the Stones' So Much In Love should have been a contender for the charts but failed. It's interesting to note that the flip Our Soul Brother TH credited to Dickens was actually the Cyril Davies All Stars minus Cyril. The same track would appear under a new moniker on the Blues Anytime series. Talk about recycling!

We are introduced to Immediate's two best newcomers on disc three with P.P.Arnold, late of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue, and folksy duo Twice As Much. Farlowe finally scores big with the Stones' Out of Time and later records the Mariott/Lane classic My Way of Giving while the Twice As Much version of Sittin' On A Fence was showing off the Jaggar/Richard team as strong rivals to Lennon/McCartney. 

Another Small Faces track (Tell Me) Have You Ever Seen Me is interpreted by the Apostolic Intervention, which featured future Humble Pieman Jerry Shirley. The flip, an instrumental, Madame Garcia, is a band original instrumental sometimes credited to Marriott/Lane which features Steve Marriott.

Disc four highlights the peak period of Immediate's success with such classics as P.P. Arnold's The First Cut Is The Deepest; The Small Faces Here Come The Nice and Itchycoo Park and The Nice with The Thoughts Of Emerlist Davjack. (in case you never knew Emerlist Davjack was Keith Emerson, David O'List, Brian Davidson, and Lee Jackson). The highlight of this disc is The Australian Playboys with Black Sheep, R.I.P., the rarest of the Immediate single releases. It's been long rumored that the master to this freak-beat classic was lost but comparing it to the original single Castle either obtained an original master or did an unbelievable job of transposing it from record as the quality is astonishingly brilliant, clear and vibrant.

Rod Stewart's one off single for Immediate Little Miss Understood starts off Disc 5. Two more Immediate legends are introduced in the form of Duncan Browne and Billy Nicholls. We are also treated to two hits by the Small Faces Tin Soldier, and The Universal, P.P. Arnold's Angel Of The Morning, as well as the team of Arnold/Faces on (If You Think You're) Groovy and The Nice, P.P.Arnold's former back-up band, return with their take on West Side Story's America. (The child speaking at the end of this song is none other than Pat Arnold's son, Kevin.)

The last gasp for the label is on disc six with the chart topper (If Paradise Is)Half As Nice by Amen Corner who also released Roy Wood's Hello Susie and The Beatles' Get Back. Fleetwood Mac's one release for Immediate Man Of The World paved the way for their deal with Warners. Of course, Immediate introduced the world to Humble Pie via the Chuck Berry inspired Natural Born Bugie

The Immediate Singles Collection does not include any alternate takes or unreleased material but when one considers the scarcity of the original singles there is no need for any 'rarities' on this set. The quality of the tracks is excellent overall although one can assume that actual records were used instead of masters on certain tracks. 

When listening to this collection from disc one to disc six one can hear the progression of the label and the direction is was heading in. From the poppy sounds of the mid-sixties to the heavier sounds of Humble Pie and The Nice, Immediate was set to enter the seventies when the cash ran out and the creditors started calling. Steve Marriott's song See You Later Liquidator on Humble Pie's 3rd album (recorded by and intended for Immediate but released by A&M) is a reference to these problems. 

The early seventies saw the success of many former Immediate'ites: Rod Stewart with The Faces, Humble Pie, Fleetwood Mac, Keith Emerson with ELP, Coliseum with Chris Farlowe, Gould and Goldman of the Mockingbirds now with 10CC; producer Paul Raven reinvented as Gary Glitter, Nico and the Velvet Underground, Goldie now Genya Ravan in Ten Wheel Drive; producer Jimmy Page as the leader of Led Zeppelin; Billy Nicholls achieved success as a songwriter for Leo Sayer and Roger Daltry; Andy Fairweathwer Lowe with La Booga Rooga and later as Eric Clapton's (another one-time Immediate'ite) right hand; Pink Floyd's whose first recording was released through Immediate subsidiary Instant Records...many of these artists are still around today.

Most articles, stories, or reviews make reference to Immediate's famous, but corny, slogan Happy To Be A Part of The Industry Of Human Happiness but most miss the real meaning behind it: Happy To Be Apart From The Industry.... was what they were really all about.

Released: 2000
Sequel (Castle) NXTCD 324

Essential Tracks:

  • Small Faces' Tin Soldier

  • Chris Farlowe My Way of Giving

  • Fleetwood Mac Man of the World

Track Listing:

  1. Hang On Sloopy
  2. I Can't Explain It
  3. Bells Of Rhymney
  4. Just Like Anyone Would Do
  5. I'm Not Sayin
  6. Last Mile 
  7. Down In The Boondocks
  8. That's The One
  9. She Belongs To Me
  10. Taken My Love
  11. Call Again
  12. Some Things I Can't Forget
  13. Cara Lin
  14. (Roll On) Mississippi
  15. Gotta Get Away
  16. You Don't Care
  17. In My Lonely Room
  18. Run In The Green & Tangerine Flaked Forest
  19. Monkey Time Chocolate Rolls Tea & Monopoly
  20. You Can't Buy My Love
  21. That's What A Friend Will Do
  22. I'm Your Witchdoctor
  23. Telephone Blues
  24. Mary Anne
  25. Like Grains Of Yellow Sand
  26. I'm So Confused
  27. She's My Girl
  28. You Stole My Love
  29. Skit Skat
  30. Fool
  31. Treat Her Good
  32. Down & Out
  33. Out Of Towner
  34. Someday
  35. Wastin' Time
  36. Man With All The Toys
  37. She'll Know I'm Sorry
  38. Moondreams
  39. Wait For Me
  40. Fever
  41. Sorrow
  42. You're So Good To Me
  43. Can't Go Home Anymore My Love
  44. Think
  45. Don't Just Look At Me
  46. Baby Don't You Do It
  47. I'll Come Home
  48. So Much In Love
  49. Our Soul Brother Th
  50. Going Back
  51. Headlines
  52. Girl Don't Tell Me
  53. Girl From Salt Lake City
  54. Don't Worry Mother Your Son's Heart Is Pure
  55. Ko Ko
  56. Up & Down
  57. If You Tell Alice
  58. Softly Softly
  59. Serenadio (Italian Serenade)
  60. You Baby
  61. Wanderin' Kind
  62. Circles
  63. So Come On
  64. Sittin' On A Fence
  65. Baby I Want You
  66. Runaway
  67. Come On Let's Go
  68. Out Of Time
  69. Baby Make It Soon
  70. Step Out Of Line
  71. Simplified
  72. (You Make Me Feel) So Good
  73. Every Day I Have To Cry
  74. Ride On Baby
  75. Headlines
  76. True Story
  77. You're So Good For Me
  78. Everything's Gonna Be Alright
  79. Life Is But Nothing
  80. My Way Of Giving
  81. You're So Good For Me
  82. Crystal Ball
  83. Why Can't They All Go & Leave Me Alon
  84. (Tell Me) Have You Ever Seen Me
  85. Madame Garcia
  86. Big City
  87. Everything's Gonna Be Alright
  88. Backstreet Girl
  89. Chain Reaction
  90. I Got To Go Back
  91. Dynamite
  92. First Cut Is The Deepest
  93. Speak To Me
  94. Monday Monday
  95. Little Children
  96. Yesterday's Papers
  97. Life Is But Nothing
  98. Here Come The Nice
  99. Talk To You
  100. Changing Of The Guard
  101. Reverse Thrust
  102. She Was Perfection
  103. Secondhand Monday
  104. Black Sheep R I P
  105. Sad
  106. Time Has Come
  107. If You See What I Mean
  108. Moanin
  109. What Have I Been Doing
  110. Itchycoo Park
  111. I'm Only Dreaming
  112. Sticks & Stones
  113. Angeline
  114. Thoughts Of Emerlist Davjack
  115. Azrial (Angel Of Death)
  116. Little Miss Understood
  117. So Much To Say
  118. (If You Think You're) Groovy
  119. Though It Hurts Me Badly
  120. Tin Soldier
  121. I Feel Much Better
  122. Would You Believe
  123. Daytime Girl
  124. Lazy Sunday
  125. Rollin' Over (part II Of Happiness Stan)
  126. Handbags & Gladrags
  127. Everyone Makes A Mistake
  128. Last Goodbye
  129. Paperman Fly In The Sky
  130. Angel Of The Morning
  131. Great Train Robbery
  132. Sweet Freedom
  133. America
  134. Diamond Hard Blue Apples Of The Moon
  135. Universal
  136. Donkey Rides A Penny A Glass
  137. On The Bombsite
  138. Alfred Bell
  139. Paint It Black
  140. I Just Need Your Loving
  141. Brandenburger
  142. Happy Freuds
  143. (If Paradise Is) Half As Nice
  144. Hey Hey Girl
  145. Dawn
  146. April Was The Month
  147. Gulliever Travels
  148. An Anthology Of Gulliver's Travel Part Two
  149. This Is Where We Came In
  150. Afterglow Of Your Love
  151. Wham Bam Thank You Man
  152. Man Of The World
  153. Somebody's Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonite
  154. Hello Susie
  155. Evil Man's Gonna Win
  156. Natural Born Bugie
  157. Wrist Job
  158. Get Back
  159. Farewell To The Real Magnificent Seven
  160. Sylvie
  161. Fourth Annual Convention Of The Battery Hen Farmers Association

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