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The Fairies

The Fairies only recorded three singles, but on those 45s are three tunes that rate with the very wildest British R&B of the mid-'60s. These sides, and "Get Yourself Home" in particular, were very close to the frenetic, wild-eyed approach employed by the Pretty Things at the same time. The resemblance between "Get Yourself Home" and the Pretty Things is not entirely coincidental. The Pretty Things had recorded this as a possible third single, but ultimately rejected it for release, and it was picked up by the Fairies (the Pretty Things' own version was finally issued on CD in the '90s).

The Fairies were first known as Dane Stephens & the Deepbeats, Stephens being the lead singer. Songwriter Geoff Stephens (no relation to Dane) helped arrange for them to do sessions for Decca, resulting in the debut single "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright," a cover of the Bob Dylan composition. The flipside, "Anytime at All," was far closer to the Fairies' true R&B-rock personality with its harmonica, maracas, and jagged guitar. It was written by Geoff Stephens, quite an oddity considering that Stephens would find success with overtly sentimental pop material such as Dave Berry's "The Crying Game" and the New Vaudeville Band's "Winchester Cathedral."

The next single, "Get Yourself Home"/"I'll Dance," was a peak treasure of obscure British Invasion R&B, particularly the A-side, which was written by Johnny Dee (who had also written the Pretty Things' hit "Don't Bring Me Down"). With its hoarse Phil May-like vocal, "Get Yourself Home" could well be mistaken for a bona fide Pretties track. The band's momentum was derailed around this time, though, when Dane Stephens fell asleep while driving, hit a car, and deaths resulted from the accident. Stephens didn't have a driver's license and went to jail, and Nick Wymer took over on vocals.

Although the Fairies cemented the Pretty Things connection by going with the Pretties' management and agency, their third and final single, "I Don't Mind," was more muted and poppy than their earlier endeavors, sounding like the very early Moody Blues. ("Jimmie Duncan" is credited as producer; most likely that was Pretty Things co-manager Jimmy Duncan, who had co-written their debut single, "Rosalyn.") As a final gesture of the Pretty Things-Fairies reciprocation society, After stints in the In Crowd and Tomorrow, Fairies drummer John "Twink" Alder joined the Pretty Things for a spell in the late '60s during their psychedelic phase. ~ Richie Unterberger
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Maximum Freakbeat - Remastered

x

Track List: Nuggets II: Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond, 1964-1969

Disc 1

1. Making Time

3. I Can Hear The Grass Grow

4. My Friend Jack

6. I'll Keep On Holding On

8. Sorry

9. Imposters Of Life's Magazine

10. How Is The Air Up There?

11. Mud In Your Eye

13. Garden Of My Mind

14. Take A Heart

15. The Life I Live

16. Midnight To Six Man

17. I See The Rain

19. You Stole My Love

20. 1-2-5

21. My Mind's Eye

22. Going Nowhere

23. All Night Stand

24. Wars Or Hands Of Time

25. It's A Sin To Go Away

27. I Read You Like An Open Book

Disc 2

1. Children Of The Sun

2. Save My Soul

3. Desdemona

6. I Must Be Mad

7. Say Those Magic Words

8. Baby Your Phrasing Is Bad

10. Exit Stage Right

11. Gone Is The Sad Man

14. Reflections Of Charles Brown

15. Words Enough To Tell You

16. That's The Way It's Got To Be

18. Walking Through My Dreams

19. You Said

21. Shadows And Reflections

22. Friday On My Mind

25. Fire Brigade

27. Biff Bang Pow

Disc 3

3. Circles

6. Changing The Colors Of Life

8. Crawdaddy Simone

10. It's My Pride

11. Magic Potion

12. You're Driving Me Insane

13. Who Dat?

15. Listen To The Sky

17. Days Of The Broken Arrows

19. Path Through The Forest

20. Love Hate Revenge

21. Pictures Of Matchstick Men

22. The Train To Disaster

23. Sad

26. I Wish I Was Five

27. Glendora

Disc 4

1. Rosalyn

2. Come On

3. The Madman Running Through The Fields

4. How Does It Feel To Feel (US Version)

5. I'm Just A Mops

6. Why Don't You Smile Now

7. Nothin'

9. The Bitter Thoughts Of Little Jane

10. Touch

11. Vacuum Cleaner

12. My Life

13. Bad Little Woman

14. No Presents For Me

15. Bat Macumba

19. Kicks And Chicks

26. Here Comes The Nice

28. When The Alarm Clock Rings

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