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PRECIOUS FEW

Last updated: 04-04-2014

Precious Few were the final chapter in the family tree of one of Norwich's most popular bands, The Jetblacks. Although containing no original members the band had undergone many personal changes since forming in the early 1960s. Prior to becoming the Precious Few the band also enjoyed success as The Version who played their way to the final in a talent contest held at the London Palladium.

 

On bringing in the vocal talents of Peter Reynolds previously of Organised K-Os The band became Precious Few in mid 1967. Locally the band were and instant success mixing style and musical experience to produce a mod/soul sound.

 

In 196? they recorded a cover of Blame Me, Don't Blame My Heart at Regent Sound Studio, London. The story goes that Manager/Agent Phil Beevis of Norwich Artists took the demo all over London but without much luck. His last call of the day was to Pye Studio's in Marble Arch where he refused to leave until head of A&R at the time Cyril Stapleton listened to the track. The band signed to Pye about a week later.

 

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Distant relatives to original Norwich rock ‘n’ roll outfit Malcolm and The Jetblacks. Lead singer Malcolm Hopper left at the end of their spell as The Versions leaving no original members. After some in-depth research I can only imagine the nagging doubts some ex-members may still have about how far the group could have gone. The group were stirring up a hornets nest wherever they played in 1967 and no more so than in Norwich. Crowds of 2000 plus would pack Fischer’s Melody Rooms in Oak street to see them perform. As semi professionals musicians all four members held down steady jobs whilst travelling up to 200 miles in a night to perform gigs. A highly talented and solid unit it was after a day of rehearsing numbers that they choose the        number ‘Blame Me (Don’t Blame My Heart) to demo in London’s Denmark street studio in late 1967.

Blame Me (Don’t Blame My Heart) recorded 29th February 1968 at Pete Millers ??

 It was the job of manager the late Phil Beevis to push the record round and entice interested parties, and this he did with success in early 1968 talking band leader and Pye executive Cyril Stapleton into giving the group a  contract.

By late 1968 the group inspired the group scene articles posted on the Here & Now page. Dedicated to taking a Smash Hits style look at the popular musicians on the Norwich Scene they kicked off on 16th September with Bass player Roger who likes good food and wine and Lennon & McCartney but disliked the pop scene in general.

The group turned up at the Pye Atv studio’s in Marble Arch ‘We were played Young Girl by the Union Gap and told this is the record we want you to do’. Said Roger ‘They had booked the afternoon to record so we spent all morning working on the chords and tune’     They then asked us did we had a number for the B side we didn’t so they aid Ross Parker would write one in our lunch hour and he did    ess of their first release

On the 29th March 1968 the much awaited Young Girl by the Precious Few was released. The record jumped into the local charts  Sadly for them the American Hit version by Gary Puckett was released in the UK the very same day. The group estimated around Within a month the group had been approached by      who offered them TV work and World tours worth 10.000 pounds to the group

A live set was recorded at the Industrial Club on 13th September 1968 and broadcast on About Anglia on the 19th September. The official launch date for the groups second single was the 20th of September but didn’t make the shops until 1st November. The single crashed straight into the local chart at number 4 showing that none of there popularity had wained locally Pye release The Pleasure Of You                 Sadly by October 1968 the group were on the rocks. False rumours that Brian was to leave and be replaced by Nick McCartney of The Caste only   the group split in January 1969  

Both singles charted locally but for the few, precious opportunities had been missed and in   196? divided opinions split the group. Regardless of The groups solitary demo can  clearly justified that the Precious Few were the band that got away.

     

Supports: The Kinks / The Small Faces /Dave Dee Dozy Beeky Mick & Tich /Jimmy James & The Vagabonds / The Bakerloo Blues Line / Family / The Pentagon / The Foundations

 

Discography:

Actd: Blame Me (Don’t Blame My Heart) [ ]1968

7” Young Girl b/w Little Children Sleep Pye7N17510[ ]1968lst

7” Pleasure Of You b/w Little Children Sleep Pye7N17641[ ]1968lst

12” Ct More Stars Of ‘68 ~ Young Girl Marble Arch Mals794[  ]68 CD Ct Ripples, Volume 4 ~ Young Girl      [  ] ??

 

Mediography:

Suddenly its all happening EENH&N11/03/68[  ] (P)

Few’s Disc Out Soon EENH&N18/03/68[  ]

Vital week for Few EENH&N25/03/68[  ]

City’s Few’ all set 01/04/68[  ]

Few to sign for £10.000 EEN H&N 15/4/68[  ](P)

Few contract off at their own request EENH&N 29/4/68[  ](P)

New disc soon by city’s few EENH&N20/05/68

Disc No.2 for Few EENH&N17/06/68[  ]

Few enthusiastic after a disc session EENH&N 08/07/68[  ]

Few Injury EENH&N 15/07/68[  ]

Few things in motion EENH&N 26/8/68[  ](P)

Time Table of a 200 Mile Gig NM&J 27/9/68[  ](P)

Precious Few transmogrified EENH&N 9/6/69[  ]

Few things in Motion EENH&N 26/08/68[  ](P)

Precious Few: Rift Ahead? EENH&N2110/68[  ]

The few are feeling happy EENH&N17/11/68[  ](P)

‘Precious Few split-but name survives’ 13/01/69[  ](P)

Group Scene: ‘Focus on ‘Few’ leader’ 16/09/68[  ](P)

‘One of the Few’ 23/09/68[  ](P)

‘One of the few No’3 Chris’ EENH&N30/09/68[  ](P)

‘One of the Few No’4 Pete’ EENH&N07/10/68[  ](P)

 

RECORD REVIEWS:

The Pleasure of you EEN16/09/1968[ ](P)

Ref: RCRR Guide/TTOD/

 

TV:

About Anglia 05/04/1968[ ] Performing Young Girl on Mousehold Heath, Norwich

About Anglia 19/09/1968[ ] Performing live set recorded at Industrial Club

          

The Versions <> Curly Heinz

Releases
Cover Title Studio Label YoR
PRECIOUS FEWDON'T BLAME ME BLAME MY HEART REGENT SOUND STUDIOS 1968
PRECIOUS FEWTHE PLEASURE OF YOU PYE STUDIOS PYE RECORDS 1968
PRECIOUS FEWYOUNG GIRL PYE STUDIOS PYE RECORDS 1968
Compilations
Cover Title Label YoR
MORE STARS OF 68MORE STARS OF 68 MARBEL ARCH RECORDS 1968
PositionTrack nameStudio
A5YOUNG GIRL