Here is a collection of 19 songs by Kim Fowley from the 1960’s. In the 1960’s Kim released 5 LPs, several singles, and produced/published/wrote too many songs to count. This selection only features songs where Kim sang lead vocal and skips over the entire “Good Clean Fun” album that came out in 1968 and much of his non-psychedelic work. Only so much garbage can fit on a single CD. Stay tuned for the best of Kim Fowley’s 1960’s productions.
2. “Strangers From The Sky”- A-side, 1967
A. This is one of the first singles Kim Fowley released under his name. Both sides are “Arranged & Conducted by Michael Lloyd.” Michael Lloyd, in his teenage youth, recorded several songs with Fowley as well as with his own stellar groups (the Smoke, October Country). Before making his million as a record label head honcho, he worked with/for Fowley. “…I did stuff for my friend, producer, Kim Fowley where he’d pay me $50, and I’d go in and record all day long. I’d make up songs right then and there, and he’d put it out as some funny, funky thing. I didn’t care. I was in the studio recording and doing something. I would have paid him.”[a]
3. “The Trip”- A-side, 1965
A. OK, “Summer times here kitties/And is time to take a trip.” The first record released by a white man on the small “Corby” record label, Kim also released one of the first psychedelic ‘45s all the while not touching the substances.
A. The opening track of Kim Fowley’s third studio release shows Fowley’s true personality defined in the opening line: “I’m a hound dog, a savage, a tiger, I’m the devil [pause for a burp], I’m vulgar, I’m a pig! Oink, oink!”
5. “Bubble Gum”- “Outrageous,” 1968
A. Covered by Sonic Youth, the original rules way scarier.
Released months before Iggy and the Stooges, the back album cover of “Outrageous” will make you weep: “Rough beasts, war is not healthy for children and other living things. Let’s be born again. Let’s go out of our minds to get back in. We have all died, haven’t we? Guess who died, the beginning of tomorrow. Guerilla warfare has begun. The street belongs to the people. We will become warriors and see if our city is still here. Let’s tune in to find out what went wrong today. So much for the problem. What’s the solution? Power, violence, noise, numbers, animalism, vulgarity, and pure madness.”
7. “Reincarnation”- “Love Is Alive and Well,” 1967
8. “Me”- “Love Is Alive and Well,” 1967
A. With a co-writing credit, one has to wonder, “does sincerity exist?” Either way it does not matter because when you tune into Kim’s music you tune into something so bizarre it goes beyond everything binary.
9. “See How the Other Half Love”- “Love Is Alive and Well,” 1967
A. For this song all you have to do is “dig the guitar.” This song encourages everyone to see how others love. It is one of the two songs produced by Michael Lloyd on the record. With a flattering picture on the back cover, Lloyd also gets a stellar shout out. “Michael Lloyd, 18 year old arranger and engineer who owns his own recording studio, plays 9 instruments and is lead singer and leader of The Laughing Wind, a Tower recording group. Michael Lloyd with Kim Fowley created this album.”
As you can see on the album cover, Kim was trying to market the flower-power movement. Literally holding a flower and staring into the soul of the faithful LP owner, Kim tries hard on this record mentioning “flower” or “love” in the title of 7 of the 10 songs on this record.
11. “Music is the Magic” – “Mondo Hollywood: Kim Fowley’s Phantom Jukebox, Vol. 1”
A. I am assuming this hard to find single was recorded in the 1960’s before it appeared on several Kim Fowley compilations. Not psychedelically tinted, it’s a simple straightforward howling rock number.
12. “The American Dream” – “Mondo Hollywood: Kim Fowley’s Phantom Jukebox, Vol. 1”
A. Before Kim’s “Is America Dead?” period, the Svengali paints an accessible picture of 1960’s ‘Merica.
13. “Something New and Different”- B-side, 1966
A. Appearing on Loma (US), Parlophone (UK), and Sunshine Records (Australia), we see Kim shifting labels and creating cool sounds. What are the instruments on this tack?
14. “Lights”- A-side, 1966
A. Writing both this track and the A-side, Kim throws us a bold take on elucidation: “Lights the blind and lame can see.”
15. “Young American Saturday Night”- B-side, 1968
A. A slightly creepy song that serves as an early hint at Kim Fowley’s ode/obsession with all things teenage woman. The A-side was allegedly covered by Jimi Hendrix, hey YOU with those Jimi tapes put them on youtube.
17. “There Coming To Take Me Away” –A-side, 1966
A. Kim’s take on the Bonaparte hit. Kim’s version was a hit in Europe, while Napoleon’s version, which came out a little earlier, took over the American charts. For the edge, you always have to choose Fowley…
18. “Underground Lady” – A-side, 1966
A. The song starts out with Kim asking a presumably teenage lady, “Why do you like Kim Fowley?” Interestingly enough the introduction appears in full on the “Love Is Alive and Well” album on the track “Super Flower.” After we learn all the reasons why we should love Kim, he dives into a rockin’ garage number. Kim gladly boasts that this song came out before Music Machine’s “Talk Talk.”
19. “War Game”- “Love Is Alive and Well,” 1967
A. Not a song, and not for weak ears. Here Kim discusses the Vietnam fear consuming the draft fearful youth. Kim spits about a young, California man who sees the envelope in the mail that seals his fate and forces him to cut off his long hair.
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By August Bernadicou