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Roburt

YOUR AUTUMN OF TOMORROW

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Posted (edited)

I know this track splits opinions on the scene ... many say it's not soul but psychedelic rock. others that the Crow was obviously a white group, etc. etc.

It is in fact by a black 'jazzy funk' New York area outfit. I'm in touch with the leader of the group and they have a very fascinating history. A long music / recording career that spans the continents and even includes some hit records. They started to record back in the 60's but made their scene anthem in 1970. They split from their then US production team shortly after the Inner Ear 45 had been released (in 1970). After relocating to a foreign country, they found a good amount of success and continued to both record and to play loads of live gigs. In 1975, when Right On released their old cuts in the UK, they were still going strong, albeit with a completely different identity.

NOW TO MY QUESTIONS ... I know they gained their UK release in August 75 via Dave Godin / Alf Billingham and NY based Bill Downs RIGHT ON Record label (these were the main 3 guys behind the labels set-up). Bill Downs was the long term manager of outfits such as the Ad Libs, Jelly Beans (who had the 2nd release on RIGHT ON), Sam Nesbitt, the Puzzles / Fantastic Puzzles and Chris Bartley. He was also a long time friend of Dave Godins and had been 'feeding' Dave with obscure US soul 45's for a good number of years. In fact, Dave had even been listed as Bill Down's UK rep in US music mags as far back as 1970. So it seems more than likely that Bill Downs got a copy of the Inner Ear 45 to Dave, he liked it and set it up for UK release .... HERE MY MEMORY GETS FUZZY OR NONE-EXISTENT .... 

........ did Dave first mention  YOUR AUTUMN OF TOMORROW in his B&S column and it was this that started it's UK life (if so, when) ?

.... was it played on the scene ahead of it's UK 45 release in August 75 ?

.... which club did it initially become a big sound at, Cleethorpes Pier, the Mecca or where ??

... was it always a 'marmite record' ??

I'd like to pass the info on the tracks UK history back to the group's leader as he / they were completely unaware it even had / has a 'British life'.

 

  

BillDownsSept70.jpg

Crow1970sMont.jpg

Edited by Roburt

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Nice bit of detective work there .... I've often wondered about them but forgot to ask Stan Vincent, who co-produced the track, when we spoke 

As you know Vincent had been involved with the Holton/Security set up and had worked with Lou Christie, 5 Stairsteps and many others

the track was certainly being played at Cleethorpes in Feb 74 as its featured on the recording I gave to Pete Smith which is available on his site

Andy

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Where any records remotely like the Crow being played on the newly named northern soul scene in 1970?

Was it more like 73 74 that the Levine influences really kicked in?

Although the first record played at Cleethorpes Pier was Your ready now FV....it is remembered more for cutting edge or ' up front ' releases like the Crow. 

Did the original release on inner ear have any us success?

For sure when anybody hears this for the first time, it tests the boundaries of what Northern Soul is. Such a great dancer, which after all still is the most important ingredient of a Northern Soul record.

Ed

 

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Thought Dave first mentioned this track when he was writing for Black Music.

As for the record a strange one some days it grates on me on hearing it other days it sounds good.

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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, tomangoes said:

 

For sure when anybody hears this for the first time, it tests the boundaries of what Northern Soul is. Such a great dancer, which after all still is the most important ingredient of a Northern Soul record.

Ed

 

Remember hearing this for the first time at Wigan and thinking 'WTF?'. Even by some of Station Rd's more bizarre plays this seemed a tad weird.

I think 'Very ahead of it's time' is a good description. Fab Shuffler though'.

Edited by Zed1

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For me personally The Crow is a good example of a bunch of great sounding musicians with some fine 'chops' from a technical standpoint but 'Your Autumn Of Tomorrow' is a very average sounding track at best in my opinion, whichever genre you want to lump it in with.

Definitely more Psyche Rock/Funk than 'Northern' Soul.

It's not one that does it for me i'm afraid.

 

8 minutes ago, shinehead said:

As for the record a strange one some days it grates on me on hearing it other days it sounds good.

 

12 minutes ago, tomangoes said:

For sure when anybody hears this for the first time, it tests the boundaries of what Northern Soul is.

 

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Informative post Roburt, thanks! I know nothing about this record, my lass adores it, at first I didn't take to it, now I love it too. We don't hear it played out much at the events we attend, I'd like to hear it out and see the dancefloor reaction. The off-kilter feel to it puts some people off, but as I say my lass adores it, She's sitting here next to me and she has impeccable taste! :wink:

Just a quick edit to say that although we agree that it perhaps doesn't fall into the 'Northern soul' bracket easily, it is a great record for today's venues of a more progressive nature, purely an opinion of course.

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Posted (edited)

So it was being played on the Inner Ear 45 at the beginning of 1974 (if not a bit sooner) .... I know it didn't really enjoy any success back in the States in 1970 (or after), though the guys in the other Inner Ear group (Free Form Experiment) knew it when I contacted them (& actually prefer the B side track). Stan Vincent was also involved with this group's first 45 release back in the 60's (which was under their 'everyday name').  I don't believe they ever played live gigs as the Crow and were heading overseas to pursue new opportunities within a few months of the release of AUTUMN. They immediately started a new collaboration and had instant success with the new line-up. They had decent success in their new overseas base & went on to do loads more recording (even enjoying a few hits).

I'd still like to pin down if Bill Down's got a copy on Inner Ear to DG and Dave then started to push it (by tipping it in his mag articles). I can't recall now when Dave switched to writing for Black Music (after a bust up with John Abbey at B&S I seem to recall). So when did Dave mention it in an article for the 1st time ? ALSO any idea who the 1st niter DJ to spin it / have success with it was ??   

BTW, I'm not holding back most of the facts just to be mysterious. As well as gathering more info to pass back to the actual guys in the group, I intend to pen an article on the outfit's full musical history to go in a soul mag in the near future.

Edited by Roburt

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Stan Vincent was also involved with this group's first 45 release back in the 60's (which was under their 'everyday name').  I don't believe they ever played live gigs as the Crow 

Just out of interest Roburt,  what was their 60's / 'everyday' name?

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I learnt something the other day whilst reading an old Pye promotional letter it said first copies were faulty and it was repressed and resent out to D.j's the copy that came with the letter was a stock copy so I am unsure if it was the demos that were faulty or very first copies I guess they meant the demos? Anyone know anything about this?

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May I use this thread for a simple question coming from a non-english speaking country? WTF are the lyrics about? I don't get it.

I think it's an excellent tune. Used to have the UK issue and played it a few times here in Munich for great success. But I never managed to understand what they were actually singing about.....

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Posted (edited)

Has always been recognised as a brilliant northern soul record in the north  of England. As for the lyrics yes a bit odd but this just adds to the record. It gets played now and again and always gets the floor full. I for one will be playing it on Sunday at the Leeds Central  Alldayer  Regards Fred.

Edited by Mr Fred

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Posted (edited)

I have the copy of Black Music with Dave Godins review. I will scan and post it on here later today. 

 

Edited by jim g

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15 hours ago, Soul-Slider said:

Stan Vincent was also involved with this group's first 45 release back in the 60's (which was under their 'everyday name').  I don't believe they ever played live gigs as the Crow 

Just out of interest Roburt,  what was their 60's / 'everyday' name?

Sorry, but while I'm still gathering info, I'll keep that from you ... it will (of course) be in my upcoming article and I'll put the info up on here as well ... my article will be in the next edition of SOUL UP NORTH.

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9 hours ago, jim g said:

I have the copy of Black Music with Dave Godins review. I will scan and post it on here later today. 

 

WOW, that would be really great ... I'd forward this on to the guys in the group (if that would be OK) ... I'll tell them the source -- both the mag, the date of the review & your part in finding it. I still have a few copies of BLACK MUSIC, but they're buried amongst my stash of old B&S's in the loft.

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15 hours ago, ric-tic said:

I learnt something the other day whilst reading an old Pye promotional letter it said first copies were faulty and it was repressed and resent out to D.j's the copy that came with the letter was a stock copy so I am unsure if it was the demos that were faulty or very first copies I guess they meant the demos? Anyone know anything about this?

The PYE press release for the 45 (a copy of it is up on 45cat) is dated 8th Aug 75 whereas it was 'announced' as a UK 45 release around 22nd Aug 75 ... so a mis-press would explain that delay.

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From Neil Rushton's sleeve notes on the "Out on The Floor Tonight" compilation LP......

"One of the freakiest sounds ever to pack the floor at Blackpool's Highland Room was The Crow's Your Autumn Of Tomorrow.  The combination of drug induced lyrics, heavy rock thump, stomping beat and a presumably 'smashed' recording engineer add up to an offering so very different from the usual Northern Soul image.  Most enthusiasts either love or hate 'Your Autumn Of Tomorrow' - personally I love it."

November 1979.

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Here are three extracts from Blues and Soul in the Summer of 1975, that add to the story.

Firstly an advert for the new Right On Label, secondly unenthusiastic reviews from editor John E Abbey and finally comments from Dave on the origins of the group, the lyrics and sales success (or otherwise). 

Dave Godin had recently rejoined Blues and Soul and was given a real rag-bag of a column to write - complete with terrible photo-booth photograph of Dave - which included Soul on (cassette) tape, Five years ago (in B&S), interviews with those involved in the Soul scene, a reviews of "Significant sides" and a final section called Run Out Groove. 

As far as I can see Dave never directly reviewed his "Right On" label singles (conflict of interest?), but quoted others, including Mary Chapman from Cleethorpes in B&S 166 "...and of course The Crow has been enormous for months" and DJ Frank also from Cleethorpes - B&S 169 "...And of course there is the case of the Crow which is everything you (Dave Godin) said it was, and is undoubtedly the number 1 Northern sound at this time..."

The record peaked at number 50 on B&S soul top 100 (B&S 169 - Sept 1975). 

I remember rushing to Contempo in Hanway Street to buy both the Crow and Jelly Beans singles and being very disappointed with both.  Forty-five years on, I can just start to see the merits of "Your Autumn Of Tomorrow" - a slow burner. 

B&S 166 - Right On advert (Aug 1975).jpg

B&S 167 - Right On Review (Aug 1975).jpg

B&S 169 - Dave Godin (Sept 1975).jpg

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18 hours ago, Benji said:

May I use this thread for a simple question coming from a non-english speaking country? WTF are the lyrics about? I don't get it.

I think it's an excellent tune. Used to have the UK issue and played it a few times here in Munich for great success. But I never managed to understand what they were actually singing about.....

He is lamenting a love that has broken up, asking who is she going to turn to, trust, and who trusted her. In lyrical terms, the 'Autumn of your tomorrow' is suggesting that a cold winter is ahead of her. Of course I've been gender specific, 'Baby' could be a male partner.

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8 hours ago, Steve S 60 said:

From Neil Rushton's sleeve notes on the "Out on The Floor Tonight" compilation LP......

"One of the freakiest sounds ever to pack the floor at Blackpool's Highland Room was The Crow's Your Autumn Of Tomorrow.  The combination of drug induced lyrics, heavy rock thump, stomping beat and a presumably 'smashed' recording engineer add up to an offering so very different from the usual Northern Soul image.  Most enthusiasts either love or hate 'Your Autumn Of Tomorrow' - personally I love it."

November 1979.

Remember well as a 14 year old reading these very same sleeve notes as i first played The Crow and putting some more wear on the already thread bare stomping corner of my bedroom carpet.BIG IMPACT record on me

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first heard it at the Casino , and loved it from the get go , left field , edgy vibe . always wondered if there was a longer version knocking about , when that sax blows up near the end - Fabulous [  great info , always wondered about the group.]

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Perhaps this conversation has run its course, but here are a couple more points to add to my earlier post.

Dave Godin's 444 label was to be launched (appropriately) in the Autumn of 1970.  Here is an advert from B&S 43 (Sept 1970).  Sadly it never came to pass.

And a link between Dave Godin and records played at Cleethorpes was "exposed" by Tony Cummings in Black Music (Nov 1975).  Ian Levine was also contributing to Black Music at this time. Read it and make your own judgements!  TC subsequently gave "Your Autumn" a negative review in BM (Dec 1975).    

PS Apologies that the scans blur at the edges; the original magazines are bound.

B&S 43 - 444 Label (Sept 1970).jpg

BM Nov 1975.jpg

BM Dec 1975.jpg

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Posted (edited)
On 14/04/2018 at 08:18, Roburt said:

I know this track splits opinions on the scene ... many say it's not soul but psychedelic rock. others that the Crow was obviously a white group, etc. etc.

 

Only if they haven't got a clue.  Both claims are pretty ridiculous. It's a heavy soul/funk record typical of that time. Why it's controversial is completly beyond me. while there may be some "rock" influence, it's not a rock record and the term "psych" is so vague that it could refer to anything  from a crum (or drum even) beat to a pixiphone.

Edited by maslar
it annoys sooty

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Great info, thanks everybody.

Had confirmation back from the group's leader ... RE: live gigs under the name THE CROW ...  The Crow was a name I picked just to do that session and was never a performing group.

Still gathering more info on the group, it's members, recordings & their long (& successful) musical history.

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On 14/04/2018 at 17:18, ric-tic said:

It was first played at Blackpool Mecca and the copy played was Dave Godin

 

Yes. I was there and remember it clearly.  Sounded amazing on that lovely sound system there.  I don’t recall that it split the crowd anything like as much as Shake and Bump or Don’t Depend On Me. 

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Dancing styles were very different in the beginning of the N.S.Scene (early to mid 70s) and this records beat caught the imagination of those that frequented the Mecca and Cleethorpes, other Clubs were no quite so Welcoming.

There were other tunes that were deemed Outside the Box so to speak, "The Gig" - and "I need you baby" by Sin Guy along with a host of others.

The arguments were just the same back then, but Music didn't split the scene,

People did. Music was evolving,

Soul music is exactly that "Soul Music" no matter what year it was recorded.

Back in the early days Soul Sam had a sticker on his record box that read "Stomp Funk To Death!  when asked about it he replied as he usually did with a hand over his mouth and with a sly grin on his face, "You don't believe That do you ? "  Yea we all knew he was buying New releases and recent obscure 70's releases but then we all knew that despite the sticker.

Shame that people couldn't see past the 60's, some still can't but hear is a question which might make a good thread.

If the Term "Northern Soul" had NOT came about, it may or may not have changed Musical History on the Soul Scene in the UK as we know it, and maybe it would have been a better place for it ........................... Just a thought.

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1 minute ago, RICK SCOTT said:

<snip>

Shame that people couldn't see past the 60's, some still can't but hear is a question which might make a good thread.

If the Term "Northern Soul" had NOT came about, it may or may not have changed Musical History on the Soul Scene in the UK as we know it, and maybe it would have been a better place for it ........................... Just a thought.

It would make a good thread for AATS Rick, why not create it?

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Yea, i think it just might ruffle a few Feathers long the way but hey, :lol: we are all grown ups :rofl: Could be quite Interesting.

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Jim, many thanks ... I'll pass Dave's review along to the guys in the group ....

BTW, still doing my research on them and their music career (which spanned from at least 1968 till the early 80's) .... so far I've identified that they had releases (under all the various names they used) in at least 14 different countries.

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