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the Speedos

Keytones (the)


The Keytones – Shake your hips

Keytones - Shake your hips

Roof Records – RR LP 103301 [1988]

Shake Your Hips – Coastin’ Along – Lonely Road -Why Do Fools Fall In Love – The Munsters – That’s When Your Heartaches Begin – Swimming In Pink Champagne – Now’s The Time – Soft Pillow – Volare – Good To Be Alive – Only For You – I Got A Woman – That’s My Desire – The Missable Kind – Young Emotions

This album released on vinyl in 1988 and later reissued on cd with four bonus tracks features mostly new recordings of songs previously released on single, ep or album.

That said it’s a very good one so there’s no reason to ignore it.

Their cover of Slim harpo’s Shake Your Hips opens the set with a powerful doublebass and a mean and hypnotic guitar. The band’s Coastin’ Along is what I’d descripe as a typical Keytones song, when doo-wop meets neo-rockabilly.

No trace of doo wop in Lonely Road, this is pure neo-rockabilly. Frankie Lymon’s Fools Fall In Love seems written for them. Next is a cover of the tv theme of the Munsters in another version than the one available on Speak After the Tone.

Elvis’ That’s When Your Heartache Begins is turned into a jivin’ doo-wop number. The new version of Pink Champagne is relatively close to the one previously issued, same goes for Only For You.

Now’s the time is a fast and short Rockabilly tune in the style of Just Because. Back to Keytones sweetness with the jivin’ Soft Pillow. I guess by the time we reach Volare we’ve lost the wild Rockabilly cats (too bad for you guys) but that’s why I like the Keytones. Good to be Alive is a rockin’ doo wop and probably one of the Keytones’ best original tune (and excellent guitar solo by the way).

Their cover of I Got A Woman owes more to Elvis than Ray Charles – which is not surprising – but they bring a good variation to make it their own. That’s My Desire is another one that seems to have been written for them.
The two remaining songs are two originals in their own doo-wop/jive style.

If you already own the singles, this album is maybe a little ess essential than Speak After the Tone but otherwise that’s a very good one.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Keytones-speak after tones-front
Keytones – speak after tones

The Keytones – Speak after the tone

Ghost Of Lonely Heart – I Guess You’ll Never Know – Swimming In Pink Champagne – Angel From Paradise – Munsters – Only For You – Tickity Tock Of The Clock – Stars In Your Eyes – Stained Glass Lies – Whats Cookin’ Tonight – Girl – My Gals Been Foolin’ Around

Released in 1987, Speak AFter The Tone is the band’s first full length. It contains twelve songs, 11 originals and one cover (“Munsters“).
There’s no big departure in their sound from their previous singles, it’s the same good mix of doo-wop (Only For you), jive and rockabilly (Angels From Paradise). Most surprising is “Stained Glass Lies” with its heavy guitar and pounding drums that seems a bit out of place in all that sweetness. The musicianship is top notch with swingin’ rhythm and jazzy licks thrown in for good measure.
Nice package too with beautiful gatefold sleeve that includes the lyrics. To my knowledge it’s never been reissued on cd.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

The Keytones – Good to be alive

Keytones good to be alive

Red Sky Records – Key 3 [1985]

Good to be Alive – Now’s the Time

Another great single by the Keytones (Jarrod Coombes, Jim Knowler and Cliff Marshall) with two originals penned by Knowler.

Good to be Alive is a doo wop/jive tune like only the Keytones can craft while Now’s the time is an uptempo Rockabilly with a powerful slap bass.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

keytones keytones keytones

The Speedos

the Speedos - It's Only Rock'n'roll
the Speedos – It’s Only Rock’n’roll

The Speedos – It’s Only Rock’n’Roll

PART 647.001 [2010]
Ghostriders ~ Believe me ~ Remember then ~ From the bottom of my heart ~ Sandy ~ You’re driving me crazy ~ Cotton fields ~ I’m not a juvenile delinquent ~ A Zippe Di Zoom ~ Fly me to the moon ~ Come go with me ~ Lovely night ~ Rag Mop ~ I just want to know ~ Sh’Boom ~ West Virginia (Country Roads) ~ The Diary

Part has the good idea to reissue the Speedos catalog. First released in 1989, It’s Only Rock’n’roll was until this reissue only available on vinyl and I suppose long out of print.
This quartet could be described as the German cousins of the British Keytones.
They play doo-wop harmonies with a bit of jive on a rockabilly background. There’s even some hillbilly with their uptempo cover of Cotton Fields.
Like numerous debut album, it’s not flawless, but the few minor imperfections are well compensated by the freshness of their approach.
The repertoire goes from Frankie Lymon (I’m Not A Juvenile Delinquent) to the Del-Vikings (Come Go With Me) or Frank Sinatra (Fly Me To The Moon) with a couple of originals too written by lead singer/guitarist Olaf Prinz. On a couple of songs the line-up (guitar / doublebass / drums / saxophone) is augmented by Götz Alsmann on piano for a fuller sound.
As an added bonus,the band’s debut ep from 1987 – featuring a self penned song (I Just Want To Know) and three covers: Sh-Boom, John Denver’s Take Me Home Country Roads and a rockabilly-doo-wop rendition of Neil Sedaka’s The Diary – is included. Recommended.


the Speedos - A Dreamin' Life
the Speedos – A Dreamin’ Life

The Speedos – A Dreamin’ Life

King Hat [1992] – reissue Part [2010]
I call it bop – Duke of earl – Jungle book – I adore you – Quiet whiskey – Believe me – A dreamin´life – Dance town – Caledonia – Blackboard jungle – Forever – Hey you

A Dreamin’ Life is the band’s second album, and to get to the point, their best. It takes more or less the same ingredients than their debut but both the sound and the band are better.
It kicks off with “I Call It Bop” that wouldn’t be out of place on the Stargazers’ debut album. Next is the accapella doo-wop “Duke Of Earl” with top vocals and harmonies. They also do great justice to Louis Prima’s Jungle Book. “I Adore You” is a sweet ballad with a bluesy edge. The pace changes with Wynonie Harris’ Quiet Whiskey, a solid jiver also treated in a Stargazers style. Believe Me features Gotz Allssman and is a re-recording of a song from their first album in a more accomplished version. The title track is a soft rockabilly. “Caldonia” is the sole weak point of the album, but it’s quickly forgotten with Blackboard Jungle a great rock’n’roll. “Forever” is another great moment in the Keytones style while Hey You concludes the album on an uptempo note.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

The Speedos – Olaf Prinz, Bernd Eltze, Volker Naves & Frank Johland