Tuesday, December 3, 2019

The Sheapes - The Rhine Beat (z'Basel a mym Rhy) b/w Black Cat (7") - No. 221

The Sheapes - The Rhine Beat (z'Basel a mym Rhy) b/w Black Cat (7")

My first Sheapes 7" (I almost wrote, my first banana - but that'd be a GDR joke). Apparently three singles in the mid 60s and then radio silence. Another of these bands from the Northwestern part of Switzerland, read Basel and countryside. All 7"s by the Sheapes are very hard to find and if you hold one in your hands, expect it to be either battered to death or incomplete (by incomplete, I mean, no picture sleeve available).

Well, mine plays nice although there's some background noise, which disappears completely, once the music sets in. There are some gray stains on the vinyl surface, but I'm not sure where this is coming from. No amount of cleaning the 7" got rid of these spots. Actually, I believe this is a manufacturing error, as was the case with so many records pressed in Switzerland. Either the local (Swiss) record plants at the time were incompetent or just didn't care. My money is on both counts.

The A-side is a local ditty called "z'Basel a mym Rhy" which translates as "In Basel at my (River) Rhine", here it's called "The Rhine Beat", however. In my book, I can live to the end of my days, without hearing the traditional song one more time in my life. I'm just plain tired of this, especailly since you can't get away from it, carnival or otherwise. This is a rocking rendition of course, but really, totally redundant and, I guess, even back in the 60s nothing to write home about. The B-side is a track called "Black Cat" with credits given to P. Brugger. Whatever, but this song is not composed by P. Brugger. No way! This is a very well known track from back in the day, I just have a bottleneck in my brain and can't point out the original song (even though I should).

My copy has a generic company sleeve only and I read on the internet, that just about 50 copies were released with a picture sleeve and the rest came in a generic one (I'm picking my words carefully here, as it's not clear wether generic sleeve was actually a Columbia one or just any other old paperbag). One thing I learned only recently was the fact, that in the 60s, Columbia, Philips and other major players pressed records also on a client basis. That is to say, records bearing Columbia or Philips haven't actually been released by them, they just pressed the lot and got paid for it. So, bands like the Sheapes were never a Columbia signed artist (this is a privately released 7") and the Slaves were never attached to Philips. There's a ton of others.

I still retain a copy of this very single on my wants list, if only in the faint hope of getting a picture sleeve one day. As for the amount paid, it was more than a fair price, even considering the condition and the missing picture sleeve. Now, I'm going to check out the B-side once again, hoping to find the original track.



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