To celebrate Ace Records’ massive Seeds reissue campaign, in 2014 Norton Records released a limited edition 7″ single pairing “Night Time Girl” with “Gypsy Plays His Drums”. These are the versions from the original Raw & Alive album from 1968 but, for the first time ever on vinyl, without the overdubbed crowd noises.

The picture sleeve

The record is housed in a nice, high-quality custom picture sleeve on thick paper. The record slides in on the side (not the top) and there is no inner sleeve.

Norton-Night-Time-Girl-cover-front

The front cover

The logo used for The Seeds is the green “hilly” one from the debut album The Seeds. (I like the one used on A Web Of Sound better, but this one seems to have become standard.) It’s in green just like that album, and green is the overall color scheme of both sides of the sleeve.

The picture of the band is not a new one: all dressed up and each looking resolutely like himself and projecting the intended image, the four band members stand in a field next to a barbed wire fence: Sky looking surly, Jan showing his Native American roots with a headband of feathers, Daryl the Beethoven-esque New Romantic gazing thoughtfully off to the side, and Rick conjuring up a kind of awesome nerd-cowboy look. All have impossibly long hair; the photo is black and white but tinged ever-so-slightly green.

The design itself is very simple, like the band’s music: the logo is at the top, the rest is dominated by the photo, and the two song titles appear, separated by a slash, in white text at the bottom in all caps and a sort of Star Trek-looking typeface.

Norton-Night-Time-Girl-cover-back

The back cover

A smaller photo, of only Daryl and Sky, and more text make up the back cover which has a solid green background. The photo again is one that we’ve seen before, of Daryl and Sky holding a framed “New Artist Award”; it’s in full color. Daryl looks kind of creepily at the camera with a pink circle around one eye, and Sky holds a styrofoam cup and glares as usual. They’re in an office; a woman in the background is chatting with someone and ignoring the budding stars.

The song titles, in the same layout and font as the front cover, appear below the photo in light green and under that, the text “undubbed version from the new edition of RAW & ALIVE produced by Alec Palao and Neil Norman”. Below that is the four band members’ names and contributions, mentions of GNP Crescendo and Norton, and a small reproduction of sheet music for “Night Time Girl”. The bass guitarist is not credited at all; it was in fact played by Harvey Sharpe on the B-side and by either Harvey, John Paul Manasia, or Chuck Berghofer on “Night Time Girl”.

Nowhere on the packaging or the record is Ace (or its subsidiary Big Beat) actually mentioned, only GNP Crescendo and Norton.

The record

The record comes on black vinyl, with a bold red label and black text. It’s very simple, a nice throwback to the “merely typewritten” labels of so many 1960s music issuers. “NORTON RECORDS” is at the top, the track times and publishing info is halfway down on either side of the large center hole, and the song and writer and artist info at the bottom.

Also as a throwback, Marcus Tybalt (a.k.a. Sky Saxon) gets a producer credit on both sides of the record. Good for Marcus. On “Night Time Girl”, Rick Andridge’s name is spelled “Aldridge” on the label. Oops.

"Night Time Girl" from the record label, with Aldridge instead of Andridge. Poor Rick.
“Night Time Girl” from the record label, with Aldridge instead of Andridge. Poor Rick.

Availability

This was released in 2014 and I’m not sure how many were pressed. Probably no more than a few hundred at most. Copies are readily available in the usual online places.

Note that a single with these two songs was previously released (in the 1960s?) in Turkey; the cover art is completely different (a drawing of a woman with a huge dress) and included the crowd noises on both tracks. This is a very rare record and if you see “Night Time Girl” b/w “Gypsy Plays His Drums” for sale, it’s almost certainly this 2014 Norton one.

 

 

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