Feel So Fine EP 1965

Barclay EP 70907 Medium

  • Feel So Fine
  • Take A Heart
  • Little Nightingale
  • You Don't Believe Me

In late spring of 1965, Barclay, a French label, were looking for talent and held auditions in Birmingham. The respective members of The 'N' Betweens had decided, somewhat rashly, to give up their day jobs but the Astra Agency wasn't quite ready to handle them as a professional band yet. In order to buy some time, Maurice Jones (their manager) decided to ship them off to Germany for a month, a move that had worked wonders for The Beatles a couple of years prior. Unfortunately, they had no passports and it took time to arrange work permits.

In the meantime, the group attended an audition at Le Metro Club in Birmingham, held by Bobby Graham. They played But Not For Me at the audition, which was a Sammy Davis song but, by chance, had been a French #1 hit for Johnny Halliday. Graham was impressed enough to join forces with Jones and sign them up to Barclay Records and arrange a recording session at PYE studios where he produced the four tracks which feature on this EP.

The 4 track EP was a French release on the Barclay label, No70907 featuring (I believe?) matrix numbers HBLY70907A & HBLY70907B engraved in the run out groove (but I've yet to see one in the flesh).

Feel So Fine was written by Leonard Lee and made popular in the UK by American vocalist Johnny Preston in August 1960. Take A Heart was written by Mickey Dallon and performed by UK artists, The  Sorrows. They reached #21 in the Top 40 in September 1965.

Chris Charlesworth co-incidentally claims in his 'Feel The Noize' book, that the Little Nightingale track is written by Jimmy Page (who would later join Led Zeppelin) a belief that was upheld by Don Powell and therefore perpetuated on later releases. The EP and the subsequent re-release, the Juanita Banana EP, clearly credit Williams though. John Williams was a PYE studio engineer and Jimmy Page was Graham's studio session musician.

This anomaly was explained by Chris Selby's contacts at Led Zeppelin's official site. Little Nightingale was written by John Williams, who had formed a partnership with Jimmy Page in 1965. Williams would write songs and Page would try to get them recorded by the artists that he played session with. Page convinced Bobby Graham to use 2 of their songs for The 'N Betweens session.

You Don't Believe Me was written by Merrell, Graham, May & Jimmy Page. Page talked the group into recording both the tracks after their first session when they recorded four different songs that were not used (available on the Genesis Of Slade CD). When Bobby Graham was asked if Page (who believed he was booked for the studio session) had played on the Barclay sessions, he told Chris Selby that Page had looked in but Hill was good enough.

John Ogden wrote a report about the recording session in the Express & Star on June 24th 1965. The group finally left for Dortmund, Germany at the end of October 1965. They played the 29th October 1965 at the Woolpack in Wolverhampton, it was advertised as...
"The 'N Betweens last night before they leave for Germany"
...and they left next day. The next 'N' Betweens gig appears on 5th December 1965 at Wolverhampton Civic Hall with Zero 5. The 'N' Betweens Feel So Fine EP was released in France during December 1965. It was probably available across the European Continent but not in the UK?


Artwork courtesy of John Haxby. Does anybody have good quality, cover and labels please? A copy of The 'N Betweens EP sold for £360 on Ebay in November 2009. I've yet to see one 'in the flesh', so to speak?


monsterpop said...

cheers mate!
i bet Hill was glad he was only"good enough"


John Pitt said...

In the July, 1980 issue of Record Collector Magazine (#11) information about this E.P. was only just beginning to get uncovered. The article mixed up tracks from this and their next E.P. (which was unreleased!)
They gave the Track-Listing as follows:-
Take A Heart + Can Your Monkey Do The Dog / Oop Oop I Doo + "a track by Jimmy Page, that nobody can remember the title of!"
The Track-Listing for the next (unreleased) E.P. would have been as follows:-
Can Your Monkey Do The Dog? + Respectable / I Wish You Would + Ooh Poo Pa Doo.