More superb Beatley-pop – Tin Tin

Long before he implored you to ‘kiss him with your mouth’ Stephen Tin Tin Duffy… Well no, Tin Tin were actually a pair of Aussies marooned in London in the late sixties who on their self-titled debut delivered one of the best Beatle-influenced albums of the era. The fact that it hasn’t yet secured a CD reissue is tragic.

Then again, Steve Kipner, the creative force behind the group, has a lot to answer for. The Aussie songwriter has been responsible for some hideous crimes against pop music, most notably Genie In A Bottle by Christine Aguilera and Physical by Olivia Neutron Bomb (hey, that still sound’s funny). But even if he composed a pop duffer every day for then next 30 years he still wouldn’t undermine the place in our hearts that he earned for the two Tin Tin albums of the late 60s.

After bashing out some superb Aussie garage with Steve and the Board, Kipner and his near namesake Stevie Groves did a Bee Gees and, fired by dreams of Carnaby Street boutiques, mini skirted dolly birds and appearances on Ready Steady Go, hopped aboard the boat bound for England

Alas they never found the streets paved with gold for even though the pair’s debut album Steve and Stevie contained a strong selection Beatle-esque tunes, especially the sublime Shine (the best 60s poppy sike song you’ve never heard), the pair’s efforts never troubled the chart compilers.

Going back to the drawing board the couple mulled over a complete change of direction, but instead opted to record more Beatley pop only this time under the cooler moniker of Tin Tin.

For fans of The Left Banke, Honeybus, The Bee Gees and late period Fabs Tin Tin’s debut album is an undeniable treat. It’s a little twee in places (what do you expect with titles like Only Ladies Play Croquet?) but nevertheless boasts some wonderful tunes, syrupy rich harmonies and classy arrangements.

It starts in explosive style with She Said Ride  a powerful rocker with some uncharacteristic blistering guitar that underlines the pair’s trademark, clever and often completely unexpected twists and turns in each song.

Almost as good is Put Your Money On My Dog, (which rivals The Who’s Dogs as the greatest song ever written about Greyhound racing) a White Album style knees up of a stomper with neat Psychedelic twists and an annoyingly memorable tune.

The album also contains Tin Tin’s best shot at fame the single Toast and Marmalade for Tea, a harmony rich ballad notable for a wonderful Honeybus style melody and its off beat, or is that off key? intro.

There’s plenty else to love on the album including Family Tree, possibly the only pop tune ever to extol the delights of Yom Kippur, and the prototype glam-rock of He Wants To Be A Star.

In spite of Toast and Marmalade gaining plenty of airplay in North America, album sales were poor and, after a second album, Astral Taxi, another Beatley gem, flopped the pair called it a day.

Tragically Tin Tin has never been released on mainstream CD (there’s a dodgy twofer with second album doing the rounds though even that is hard to track down now) but a vinyl version shouldn’t bankrupt you and if you nag I’ll email you a dodgy MP3 or two.

Tin Tin Atco (1969)


7 Responses to “More superb Beatley-pop – Tin Tin”

  1. Steve DIx Says:

    Consider yourself nagged, Mr. J.

  2. Graeme Says:

    I have serched for “Toast & Marmalade” but could never find a copy. It is an old whimsical tune, but I like it.

  3. Rob Says:

    I dragged out my box of singles tonight and the 1970 Polydor single of Toast & Marmalade is still a favorite. Its been played to death so an MP3 would be nice to hear what it originally sounded like!

  4. Lynn Says:

    Love the song and it’s odd sound. Have the 45 and consider it one of my favorites.

  5. Patrick Ryan Says:

    I have been looking for “Toast and Marmalade. .” forever. I’d love an MP3. Thank you!

  6. Martin Says:

  7. Lee Says:

    Hey, Happy Happy New Year 2007!!! I’m a Canadian transplanted Californian, and my most favorite song is Kiss Me With Your Mouth, one time I lived in Las Vegas, Nv. and drove all the way to Phoenix, AZ to get Tin Tin’s (ha ha back then, tape). That song got me through cancer and I love you Tin Tin!

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