Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

Sasha Caro’s B-Side of Irony

Yesterday’s piece about London’s Chalk Farm Studios omitted the fact that this recording facility had actually begun life as Rayrik Sound – established in 1964 by BruceRayRae and CaroRickMinas.  And although Clapton and Cream’s debut album had been recorded at Rayrik two years later, the studio would close its doors in 1968, only to re-open that same year as Chalk Farm.

Rick Minas, who had begun his musical career as part of a songwriting partnership with Mike Banwell, would strike out in the mid-60s for a solo career.  Minas – using the alias, Sasha Caro – would release a pair of singles in 1967 and 1968 that found none other than Cat (“I’m Gonna Get Me a Gun“) Stevens sitting in the producer’s chair.  In a cheeky move, Caro would select (ironically perhaps) “Never Play a B-Side” for the second single’s B-Side — summon the courage to play it, if you dare:

RickSasha CaroMinas

Never Play a B-Side” (1968)

UK 45 only

1968

Written, arranged & produced by Cat Stevens

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Cream’s Inaugural Single: 

Doo-Doo

American audiences are largely unaware that Cream’s UK debut single – recorded at the Chalk Farm sessions – would be excluded from their 1st album (except in Sweden, oddly). “Wrapping Paper” would be the A-side of their first 45 released in the UK, Germany, and Australia.  Ginger Baker, in a 2007 interview, would denounce “Wrapping Paper” as “the most appalling piece of [poo] I’ve ever heard in my life!” and express more than a little frustration that the song was merely a vehicle to generate publishing royalties for the emerging songwriting “club” of Jack Bruce and Pete Brown.

Rare [mimed] Performance of “Wrapping Paper

France (1966)

Is Jack Bruce playing a 6-string bass during this televised performance?

45Cat contributor, BiffBamPow, hilariously describes “Wrapping Paper” as “the most ridiculous debut single by anybody” and point out that B-side “Cat’s Squirrel” is much more representative of the band’s sound.

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LINK to 45 sides +/- obscure tracks on Zero to 180

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