Lake's high water mark?
Here's a record that almost makes me forgive whatever transgressions Greg Lake committed afterwards. I'll certainly overlook his short stint in King Crimson because even though I never find myself listening to them, I'm willing to admit they were a good band, especially on their debut album, on which he played. ELP however is another story. They were only marginally listenable even on the rare occasion when egos weren't running amok. ELP is perhaps the greatest argument against prog rock that ever was. And the arguments aren't exactly scant.
Agree or not, forget all of that for now. Let's talk about the record at hand. I didn't know what this was when I found it at a local flea market. I just knew it looked promising and that it was priced to sell. When I got the record home, I was immediately impressed. "Too Old To Go 'Way Little Girl" is remarkably a Janis Ian composition that The Shame have turned into a neat, trippy experience. The drumming is largely mod-like but the guitar playing is fairly psychedelic and some sitar is thrown into the mix for effect. All in all, it's a great song.
Some research on the web revealed this record is from 1967 and features a pre-King Crimson Greg Lake on guitar. It also appears to be The Shame's only record. Surprisingly, it got a U.S. release on the Poppy label, like Flick-Disc an odd MGM offshoot. I have one other single on Poppy by The Giant Jellybean Copout, a side project of none other than The Critters.
The flipside of The Shame's single, written by band keyboardist John Dickenson is "Dreams Don't Bother Me", another solid number. This time though, the song has a poppy (no pun intented), almost bubblegum feel to it. The drums are still out of the mod school but this tune adds a helping of tuneful organ. Just don't confuse Dickenson's relatively restrained playing with Keith Emerson's later bombast and you'll come out on top.