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From: Yorkshire, England

This Yorkshire band started life as an R&B act called the Shots in 1964 and issued one single under that moniker in 1965. In late 1966, they changed their name to the Smoke to get more in step with the burgeoning psychedelic scene. Members included Mick Rowley (vocals), Malcolm "Mal" Luker (lead guitar), John "Zeke" Lund (bass) and Geoff Gill (drums).

They issued their first single (the incredible 'My Friend Jack') on the Columbia label in early 1967, but because of its drug references was promptly banned from the radio by the BBC. It did however still manage to reach #45 on the U.K. pop charts despite its lack of airplay. It also did very well in Germany, hitting the #2 spot there. The spring of '67 saw the band release another excellent, more freakbeat 45 on the Island label under the pseudonym Chords Five. A second loony Smoke single ('If The Weather's Sunny') was issued in the late summer, which is also quite good. An LP titled ...It's Smoke Time was also released around the same time, but only in Germany where the group had become more popular than in their native country of England.

In late 1967, the band officially switched to Island Records and issued a third 45 ('It Could Be Wonderful' b/w 'Have Some More Tea'), but it failed to make an impact. A fourth 45 ('Utterly Simple' b/w 'Sydney Gill') was then recorded in early 1968, but as good as it is, was unfortunately never released. It should be noted that the A-side is an outstanding Traffic cover produced by Dave Mason and Jeff Beck, and is considered by many to be far superior to Traffic's original version. The group continued to play into the mid 70s, releasing five more singles on four different record labels before finally calling it quits in 1976.

Artist information sources include: The book, 'Tapestry of Delights Revisited' by Vernon Joynson.

Original LPs/EPs

...It's Smoke Time

Original LP/EP Label: Metronome MLP 15279 [German LP]

Released: 1967

Songs from this album played on TWOS:

  • If The Weather's Sunny

    (Original 45 Label: Columbia DB 8252, A - August, 1967)

  • My Friend Jack

    (Original 45 Label: Columbia DB 8115, A - February, 1967)

Artist Compilations

My Friend Jack Eats Sugar Lumps: An Anthology

Songs from this album played on TWOS:

  • My Friend Jack [Demo Version]

    (Originally Unreleased - , 1966)

  • Sydney Gill [Alternate Version]

    (Originally Unreleased - , 1968)

  • Utterly Simple

    (Original 45 Label: Island WIP 6031, A - March, 1968)

General Compilations

Acid Drops, Spacedust & Flying Saucers: Psychedelic Confectionary From The U.K. Underground 1965-1969

This compilation CD contains the following songs by this artist that are played on TWOS:
- My Friend Jack

Electric Sugarcube Flashbacks

This compilation CD contains the following songs by this artist that are played on TWOS:
- My Friend Jack [Demo Version]

Nuggets II: Original Artifacts From The British Empire and Beyond

This compilation CD contains the following songs by this artist that are played on TWOS:
- My Friend Jack

Psychedelic Pstones III: House Of Many Windows

This compilation CD contains the following songs by this artist that are played on TWOS:
- Sydney Gill [Alternate Version]
- Utterly Simple

Talking About The Good Times, Volume 1

This compilation CD contains the following songs by this artist that are played on TWOS:
- Utterly Simple

psychedelic music
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