Sounds Incorporated

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From Wikipedia:

Sounds Incorporated, first recorded as Sounds Inc., was a British instrumental pop/rock group which recorded extensively in the 1960s.


Sounds Incorporated formed in early 1961, in Dartford, Kent, and gained a reputation in nearby South London for the fullness of their saxophone-led instrumental sound. In August 1961, after Gene Vincent’s band, The Blue Caps, had been denied permission to work in the UK, Sounds Incorporated won the opportunity to back Vincent on his British tour and on recordings in London. This led to further opportunities to back other visiting American artists, including Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Brenda Lee and Sam Cooke.

Their only record with Parlophone, “Mogambo”, failed to achieve significant sales. The band then moved to Decca, where they released a trio of singles, the last of which was recorded with producer Joe Meek, again with little success. However, while performing in Hamburg in Germany, they met and befriended the Beatles and in 1963 signed to Brian Epstein’s management company, NEMS. In the same year, they appeared as musical guests in the film Live It Up!

The band’s first two singles on new label Columbia, “The Spartans” and “Spanish Harlem”, made the UK Singles Chart in 1964. These were the only successes that Sounds Incorporated enjoyed in their home country. That same year they became Cilla Black’s backing band, and released their first album called Sounds Incorporated. It contained many stage favourites, but not their recent chart successes. The group’s third Columbia single, a version of the “William Tell Overture”, was included and turned out to be their greatest success in Australia, where it reached number 2.

The group toured the world as the Beatles’ opening act, including the August 1965 concert at New York City’s Shea Stadium. Sounds Incorporated’s continuing popularity ensured a stream of work, including backing duties at the televised NME awards. In December 1964, NME reported that Sounds Incorporated would appear at the Hammersmith Odeon at the “Another Beatles Christmas Show”.

Unusual musical instruments were a feature. The battery-operated Clavioline keyboard (as used by the Tornados) is heard on “Keep Movin'”, but is also heard prominently on their previous disc before Meek, “Sounds Like Locomotion”. Al Holmes played the lead melody on flute throughout “The Spartans”.

1966 was the first year the group released no singles in their home country, although they recorded a second album, again simply titled Sounds Incorporated. This was released on EMI’s fledgling Studio 2 label, primarily to show off EMI’s mid-1960s advances and developments in stereo recording techniques. Any singles taken off the LP for foreign markets were in that format’s standard mono, however, making these unusual items for UK collectors of the group.

By 1967 the band’s name had been truncated to “Sounds Inc.” The Beatles invited Cameron, Holmes and West to be the saxophone section on their track “Good Morning Good Morning“, from the album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. After this guest appearance, Sounds Inc. left EMI and released a solitary single on the Polydor label. Titled “How Do You Feel”, it was their first single release to feature vocals.

The group began to disintegrate in the late 1960s. […] Sounds Inc. finally broke up in 1971.

From Sounds Incorporated, the only band that o could open for The Beatles! ( – Sounds Incorporated, the original line up: (L to R) John St. John, Wes Hunter, Tony Newman, Alan Holmes, (front), Griff West and Barrie Cameron.


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