Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Immediate Records-1965-1970

I've been on an Immediate Records kick. Immediate Records was the label started by the Rolling Stones manager and producer Andrew Loog Oldham, along with Tony Calder. Oldham in many respects invented the Stones- crafting their image as the flip side of the Beatles through his provocative PR stunts (would you let your daughter marry a rolling stone?) and evocative, Clockwork Orange inspired album sleeve notes, he demanded Jagger and Richards start writing original songs and oversaw the production of their records, which by late 65 and 1966 had developed a jet age sonic rush, a compellingly claustrophobic amphetamine cacophony (bend an ear to "Get Off My Cloud" "She Said Yeah" "19th Nervous Breakdown", "Mother's Little Helper" and "Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow?").  

Andrew was actually younger and hipper than the Stones so when he started an independent label in 1965 it was destined to be something special.  Immediate's output was varied but they specialized in what might be labeled as Mod psych/soul.  Some of the labels better known artists were the Small Faces, P.P. Arnold ("the First Lady of Immediate"), Chris Farlowe, The Poets, Nico (for one single), and The McCoys, but almost all the Immediate releases were solid, as attested to by the Immediate Records Singles Box Set- out of print, but worth tracking down in some form.  Many of the Immediate studio sessions utilized house musicians/writers like the Small Faces, Keith Richard, Mick Jagger, John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page, who also wrote and produced for the label. For more information the book Immediate Records by Simon Spence is recommended, it features solid text and a great layout with lots of photos and promo materials. Like the best labels Immediate featured sharp, eye catching graphics and had an effortlessly hip presentation that added to and enhanced the music.

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