The Epics' music was characterised by two
main features: Stuart Tann's superb vocals and Vic Elmes'
fantastic guitar-playing (and remember, he was only a teenager
at the time). They also had the good fortune of being offered
some terrific songs written by great songwriters.
Click on The Epics for
more information on the group.
Just No Pleasing You
The first single had an A-side penned by
Jackie DeShannon, who wrote many hits for other performers
(notably the Searchers) as well as herself. The fast-paced
song is certainly very commercial and well-produced, with
superb harmonies and a standout lead vocal performance from
Stuart, including a Lennon-esque refrain.The Epics can feel
deservedly proud of their debut effort.
Little Girl (Tann/Elmes)
Stuart and Vic Elmes penned the flipside.
Although Stuart reckons it was an amateurish first-up effort,
it really isn't too bad. The lyrics may be trite, but the
song has a decent melody and rocks along nicely, embellished
by a great guitar solo by Vic, showing what a talent he was
even at so young an age.
To Show (Just How
Wrong You Can Be) (PF
The Epics' next single was just about the
perfect pop single. The A-side was this wonderfully tuneful
offering, written by the great PF Sloan, the man behind the
Grassroots and hits such as Eve of Destruction
and Danger Man.
The simple arrangement of this song, again held up by Stuart's
brilliant vocals, made it a mini-pop masterpiece. Equally
as good was the B-side ...
Turns To Grey
(K Richards/M Jagger)
The band came up with a
tremendous, melodic arrangement of this song, which far outshines
the original by The Rolling Stones, or the minor hit version
by Cliff Richard. Indeed, it was because the latter
chose to put out his version that The Epics
were prevented from releasing this song as an A-side. Had
this not occurred, The Epics may well have
had a hit with this production, which sounds like a cross
between The Searchers and Gerry and the Pacemakers.
For the group's third single, Tremeloes writers
Alan Blakley and Chip Hawkes contributed songs to both sides.
The songs showed a harder edge reminiscent of the psychedelic
sounds around at the time. Travelling
Circus was simply that - a tale about a circus, with
a little pschological insight at the end of the song. The
Tremeloes also recorded a version of this song.
The flip is a story of an absent-minded man
named Henry Long, and has a better melody line than the A-side.
As with all the Epics' efforts, there is nothing lacking in
the band's playing ability and the overall production. There
is also another of Vic's wailing guitar breaks.
Round The Maypole
Think Roy Wood, think Wizzard, think The
Move, and you have the essential mood of this song - not surprising,
since it was written, sung and produced by Roy Wood himself.
Acid Gallery was the short-lived, new name
the Epics took on, and their first and only single was this
nice, catchy piece with innocuous but at times very pretty
"Let's go dancing on the green, Fair girls
one to seventeen .. "
"Bluebells round the cherry tree, This girl
gave them all to me .."
The single did not sell because no-one knew who
Acid Gallery was .. but the song would've
been a surefire hit had Roy's own band at the time, The Move,
Toe Blues (Blakley/Jansen/Elmes/Ross)
Probably an ad hoc jam, the absolute highlight
of the piece is Vic's guitar work, which electrifies right
from the start and carries on right throughout the song.
Man (C Andrews)
The Epics backed Danish singer Johan Lind
on this Chris Andrews song, released as Denmark's first ever
stereo single. In a nice reading of the piece, the highlight
is a lovely little instrumental break performed by the Epics.
Day (B Holly)
A straightforward, uncomplicated version
of the Buddy Holly song.