Ballzy (US 1969)

Fontana Records SRF 67598
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This is simply Beginnings (produced by Ambrose Slade & Roger Wake) repackaged and released in the US sometime around the end of Summer 1969. On Sunday 18th June 1969 they played the Sunday Scene at Aldridge Community Centre, "prior to their Summer Tour of the US".

It would appear that Fontana launched Beginnings by Ambrose Slade (the 'Hippy' group) on the day the UK decided that Hippy was a dirty word. Why they felt the need to replace an appropriate title is a mystery but the pointless piece of pre-school art that replaced the group picture is definitely a last minute attempt to lose the psychedelic image before the LP hit the US shelves. It failed to make a dent, it was barely noticed at all, it would be interesting to find somebody who actually bought a copy when it was released?
"I bought it for $12 at a used record store in East Lansing, Michigan in '75 when I was going to school at Michigan State University.  It was listed on an auction advertised in the Trouser Press, and I bid on it, and the guy wrote me and said "hell, if I had known someone right here in E. Lansing had any interest in this, I never would have put it up for auction..."
Scott Samuels
If Ballzy was released at the time of Beginnings, I suspect that it would have fared better in the US in its 'Hippy' guise considering that the month before Woodstock had given America "3 Days Of Peace & Music" which had "changed the world". Possibly, the world and, in particular, *the Ambrose Slade management team didn't know it yet. In less than a year, the group had gone from infamous local group with an enthusiastic following, to virtually unknown national group with a recording contract, to internationally unknown group with a global contract and representation but their popularity was about to reach an all-time low.

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Hit Parader: October 1970

By the time the U.S. release was promoted, the group had gone through extensive changes in image and representation. This American music mag article is from the skinhead launch in October 1970 and reveals the extent of this last ditch attempt to make some kind of impact. If this was when it was released in America, surely the skinhead photo would have made a better cover pic?

Either way it's an interesting item and #I am very pleased to have it.

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  • Genesis
  • Everybody's Next One
  • Knocking Nails Into My House
  • Roach Daddy
  • Ain't Got No Heart
  • Pity The Mother
  • Mad Dog Cole
  • Fly Me High
  • If This World Were Mine
  • Martha My Dear
  • Born To Be Wild
  • Journey To The Centre Of Your Mind
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*P.S. Important note, the planet was much bigger back then? The Artwork is available here filesize: 7.08 MB

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# I'm eternally grateful to Scott Samuels for supplying this copy of Ballzy. "I think it's hilarious that the copy of Ballzy I mailed to Mickey winds up pictured as part of some 'limited edition' release." God Bless you and all that hear you play. The album still fetches up to £80 on Ebay.

1 comment:

monsterpop said...

well,,remember they had to rename
"The Madness Of King George IV" over here mate,as they thought people would think it was a sequel;-) hehe