It’s July


(It’s ok, just a quick dementia test – you knew didn’t you?)

I met Dave Mussell yesterday as we wandered through the Camber (you do, don’t you?) and he told me an intriguing story about this album:

P1000499 (Copy)

P1000483 (Copy)

Dave’s story:

“I’m wondering if any of your knowledgeable readers can explain why a 1968 album by “July” (Major-Minor MMLP29) should have become such a sought after disc, even being described as the “holy grail of psychedelia”?

I had this record in my collection until recently, discovered it might be worth a few bob so I gave it to my Son and agreed that he could keep the proceeds if he wanted to sell it.  Next time I saw him he told me that he’d sold it on eBay to a collector in Holland for £2,000 ! Not a bad return for a record that cost me 7/6d (38p) in 1969, bought from a DIY/Home-decorating shop in Arundel Street (nearly opp. Weston Hart).

One of the band members was a certain Tom Newman who later went on to open Richard Branson’s Manor Studios and then produced Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells.  I’m not aware of any other of the band members’ claims to fame.”

Thanks Dave. There was an early link with Patrick Campbell-Lyons who was in the (original) Nirvana. I’m interested because when Rosemary signed a deal with (Warner) Chappells our single was to be released on Major- Minor – but it never happened.

I’ve found a page about the July album in Record Collector’s booklet “100 Greatest Psychedelic Records”. It says they billed themselves as ‘the Eastern Hollies’ and describes how their original songs were subjected to all the latest recording tricks then possible in four-track studios, although it quotes Newman as saying “I sang like a complete prick – a quivery frightened little jerk”. Full marks for honesty then

The booklet adds that they wisely did not include a single of theirs “Hello Who’s There”, saying it was “excruciating (and) … the worst thing they – and possibly anyone else – ever recorded”.

Incidentally, that £2,000 vinyl album can be purchased on ITunes for £10.99

Anyone know anything else?


Author: pompeypop

University lecturer, longtime local musician and recently historian of popular music - especially in and around Portsmouth. My blog is entirely about that topic

3 thoughts on “It’s July

  1. This album is also available on Deezer, on offer at 99p for 3 months!

  2. Yes, the album has since been made available on CD and there are some vinyl copies of the album which were released overseas and not worth much. The valuable one seems to be the original mono UK first pressing on Major-Minor (MMLP29). Another one on eBay was sold for £2,000 just last month!

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