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The Bystanders

One of the few Welsh bands to release records on a fairly regular basis in the mid to late '60s, the Bystanders are chiefly notable not for their own derivative music, but because they evolved into the Welsh progressive rock group Man. As the Bystanders, they managed to release eight singles in the U.K. between 1965 and 1968, competently plugging into Merseybeat, blue-eyed soul, and harmony pop trends without developing any clear vision of their own or landing any superb material. Slight psychedelic hues colored some of their final tracks, which pointed the way into more original and progressive directions that the group would embrace when it mutated into Man.

The Bystanders formed long before the dawn of Man in the South Wales town of Merthyr Tydfil in 1962. They made one Merseybeat-Four Seasons hybrid single for the independent Pylot label (in fact, it was the only record the company ever released) in 1965 before picking up a new manager, George Cooper, who had handled major British pre-Beatles rock singers Joe Brown and Marty Wilde. In 1966 they got a contract with Pye, who put out seven singles by the group over the next couple of years without breaking them as a significant seller.

Perhaps, surprisingly given their later excursions in Man, the Bystanders were very much a pop group, giving the impression of sailing whichever way the wind was blowing, and writing little of their own material. Their early singles showed the pronounced influence of American harmony groups with high vocal lines, such as the Four Seasons, Beach Boys, and lesser known pop acts like the Happenings. In 1967 and 1968 they moved into somewhat more sophisticated, but still poppy, material that recalled the fluff of late '60s California sunshine pop. The group, which had not recorded any of their own compositions prior to 1968 (except on their debut single), finally did write their two final B-sides, which staked out a psychedelic pop direction. With the departure of singer Vic Oakley and the addition of guitarists Deke Leonard and Martin Ace (both from the Dream) in the late '60s, the Bystanders changed their name to Man and embarked on a different course. ~ Richie Unterberger
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Hot Smoke & Sassafras: Psychedelic Pstones Vol. 1

1. Hot Smoke & Sassafras

3. Lavender Popcorn

4. Lazy Old Sun

5. Dr. Crippen's Waiting Room

6. Mr. Mind Detector

7. All Day, All Night

8. I Can See Through You

9. Cave Of Clear Light

11. I Can See The Sky

12. Stay Indoors

13. I Wonder Where My Sister's Gone

15. Pictures In The Sky

16. I Won't Hurt You

17. Where Is My Mind?

18. Biography

19. Captain Reale

21. Running Wild

22. Pink, Purple, Yellow, Red

23. Creeping Jean

24. You're Just What I Was Looking For Today

x

Track List: Joe Meek: Portrait Of A Genius - The RGM Legacy

Disc 1

2. Yellow Rose Of Texas

3. The Next Train Out Of Town

4. It Feels So Good

5. Robin Hood

6. No Other Love

7. Bad Penny Blues

8. Lullabye

9. Lay Down Your Arms

10. Jailhouse Blues

11. Green Door

12. Petite Fleur

13. Don't You Rock Me Daddy-O

14. Garden Of Eden

15. Rock And Roll King Cole

16. Putting On The Style

17. Last Train To San Fernando

18. Sizzling Hot

21. A House A Car And A Wedding Ring

23. Rock Around The Mailbag

24. Blackout

25. Sea Of Love

26. Mr. Blue

27. What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For

Disc 2

4. Just Too Late

6. Heart Of A Teenage Girl

7. Angela Jones

8. North Wind

9. My Baby Doll

10. Once Upon A Time

11. My Baby's Gone Away

14. Johnny Remember Me

15. Sweet Little Sixteen

18. The Outlaws

19. Orbit Around The Moon

20. Husky Team

21. Entry Of The Globbots

22. Tune For Short Cowboys

24. Crazy Man Crazy

26. Dance Legless Russian

Disc 3

2. Telstar

4. Telstar

11. Globetrotter

12. There's Lots More Where This Came From

16. A Fool In Love

20. Just Like Eddie

23. Big Breaker

24. Sky Men

27. Please Let It Happen To Me

Disc 4

8. Have I The Right

12. I'm In Love With You

15. Little Baby

17. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right

23. Movin' In

x

Track List: Paisley Pop

1. The Quiet Explosion

2. The Bitter Thoughts Of Little Jane

3. Too Much On My Mind

4. I Wish I Was Five

5. All The Love In The World

6. You're All Things Bright And Beautiful

7. Blessed

9. Smile A Little Smile For Me

10. Dreamtime

11. Cave Of Clear Light

12. Lavender Popcorn

13. I Wonder Where My Sister's Gone

14. Black Veils Of Melancholy

15. Dreams Secondhand

16. A Good Idea

19. Major To Minor

20. Stop Look Listen

21. Captain Reale

22. Morning Way

x

Track List: Pirate Radio: Motion Picture Soundtrack

Disc 1

1. Stay With Me Baby

3. Elenore

4. Judy In Disguise (With Glasses)

5. Dancing In The Street

6. Wouldn't It Be Nice

7. Ooo Baby Baby

8. This Guy's In Love With You

9. Hi Ho Silver Lining

10. I Can See For Miles

11. With A Girl Like You

12. I'm Alive

13. Yesterday Man

14. I've Been A Bad Bad Boy

15. Silence Is Golden

Disc 2

1. Friday On My Mind

2. My Generation

3. I Feel Free

4. The Wind Cries Mary

5. A Whiter Shade Of Pale

6. These Arms Of Mine

8. Cleo's Mood

9. She'd Rather Be With Me

10. 98.6

11. Sunny Afternoon

12. Father And Son

13. Nights In White Satin

14. You Don't Have To Say You Love Me

15. Stay With Me

17. Let's Dance

x

Track List: The Piccadilly Story

Disc 1

2. Half Of My Heart

3. There I've Said It Again

4. Honest I Do

5. Theme From Z Cars

6. Don't Come Crying To Me

7. Picture Of You

8. The River's Run Dry

9. I Knew It All The Time

10. It Might As Well Rain Until September

11. All Of Me

12. Long Gone Baby

13. Ferryboat Ride

14. Walk Right In

15. Hey Paula

18. Ain't Gonna Kiss Ya

19. He's So Near

20. Tip Of My Tongue

21. Don't Lie To Me

25. Sally Go 'round The Roses

26. Where Did Our Love Go

Disc 2

4. The Girl Who Wanted Fame

5. Baby Do It

10. Take A Heart

12. Leave It To Me

13. That's My Life

14. Why Don't I Run Away From You

17. You Don't Know Like I Know

18. Dear Mrs Applebee

19. Ain't That Peculiar

20. Que Sera Sera

21. Ain't Love Good Ain't Love Proud

23. Run To The Door

24. 98.6

25. I'll Always Love You

26. Almost But Not Quite There

x

Track List: We Can Fly Volume 2

Disc 1

1. Model Village

2. Try To Keep It A Secret

3. Pain Of My Misfortune

4. I Wonder Where My Sister's Gone

5. Mazy

6. Frederick Jordan

7. Looking Glass

8. I Lied To Auntie May

10. Mrs. Gillespie's Refrigerator

11. I Can See Her Face

12. Exploding Galaxy

13. That's What I Want

14. Supporters - Support Us

15. Trash Can

16. Real Life Permanent Dream

17. Castles

18. Garden Of My Mind

19. Running In The Water

20. We Can Fly

21. Mr. Carpenter

22. Hot Smoke And Sassafras

23. The Wall

24. Creation

25. Love, Hate, Revenge

26. The L.S. Bumble Bee

Disc 2

1. Trick Or Two

2. Amsterdam, The First Days

3. Hide If You Want To Hide

4. Love Love Love

7. Difference Of Opinion

8. Clever Little Man

9. All Day And All Night

10. Rabbits

11. Colour Sergeant Lillywhite

12. Fuzzy Patterns

15. Cave Of Clear Light

16. Conversations (In A Station Light Refreshment Bar)

17. Further Conversations

18. Original Sin

19. Colour Of The Sunset

20. Mr. Pseudonym

Disc 3

1. Painting On Wood

2. The Ballad Of The Soon Departed

3. I'm A Man

4. She Was Perfection

5. Monday Morning

6. Sospesa Ad Un Filo

7. Amelia Jane

9. She's Got The Time

10. Genuine Imitation Life

12. It

13. Wade In The Shade

14. Where Is My Mind

15. Sing Songs Of Love

17. House Of Delight

18. My Kind Of Feeling

19. Seek And Find

20. Alice Designs

21. Hey Conductor

22. Send Me A Postcard

23. Digger

Disc 5

1. Do You Dream?

2. How Do You Feel?

3. And Their Daddy Is A Millionaire

4. Teacher Of Electricity

5. The Rich Man

6. Shapes In My Mind

7. I Can See Through You

8. Second Fiddle

10. Lights

11. Radio City

12. Spare A Shilling

13. Anyone There

14. Friday I'm Free

15. Meditation

16. Follow Me

17. How Much Longer Must I Wait, Wait

18. Ballad Of Harvey Kaye

20. Salisbury Plain

21. City Life

22. I Got No Name

24. I Don't Know Why

25. Appleknockers Flophouse

26. Theodore

27. P.M.

29. Smokeless Zone

x

Track List: We Can Fly, Vol. 2

1. Trick Or Two

2. Amsterdam, The First Days

3. Hide If You Want To Hide

4. Love Love Love

8. Difference Of Opinion

9. Clever Little Man

10. All Day And All Night

11. Rabbits

12. Colour Sergeant Lillywhite

13. Fuzzy Patterns

16. Cave Of Clear Light

17. Conversations (In A Station Light Refreshment Bar)

18. Further Conversations

19. Original Sin

20. Colour Of The Sunset

21. Mr. Pseudonym

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