Ellie Pop “Ellie Pop”
Some rock collectors/fans consider Ellie Pop’s only album a mid 60’s classic. The sound is straight out of 1966/early 1967 (though this album was released in 1968-) with strong Beatles influenced melodies and harmonies. Other comparisons that come to mind are a guitar oriented Association (with more balls!) or the Merry-Go-Round, on their less trippy, Beatles inspired material.
There are no psychedelic freakouts, distorted vocals or backward guitar solos on this record. It’s a straight up power pop/pop record, with the occasional odd time signature and plenty of good song arrangements. The production is not as pristine as say the Left Banke’s debut, so the playing and the record itself sound rough or crude at times. The songs reward with repeated listenings though, and the Fab Four injected Whatcha Gonna Do is a personal favorite (those Yeah Yeah Yeah’s are straight out of the early Beatles songbook). Oh! My Friend has a vibe similar to Rubber Soul’s downbeat folk-rock numbers, sad and moody but a worthy song nonetheless. Can’t Be Love is also very good, with some strange twists and turns and excellent thick guitar riffs that hum like a Mustang engine.
No Thanks Mr. Mann is as psychedelic as this record gets, a classic 60’s character sketch with some superb harmonizing and frantic guitar playing toward the end. While the Beatles comparisons are inevitable, this record is still original and very solid. It’s definitely near the top of the heap of Mainstream (record label) releases.
“No Thanks Mr. Mann”