Tuesday, 6 August 2019

The Marvel Lucky Bag - August 1969.

August 1969 began with the Rolling Stones' Honky Tonk Women at Number One on the UK singles chart. That was soon dislodged from the top spot by the unique oddity that was In the Year 2525 by Zager and Evans, a dire prediction of what lay in store for mankind. The record itself had quite a good future, spending several weeks at Number One and holding off the challenge from Creedence Clearwater Revival's Bad Moon Rising, along the way.

Sadly, the duo's future wasn't equally good. After topping the chart in both the US and UK, they've never made the Top 100 in either country since. A feat no other act has ever replicated.

No sign of them at the summit of the British album chart either. That month started with According to My Heart by Jim Reeves at Number One, which was soon deposed by Jethro Tull's Stand Up. The Tull were then removed from the throne by From Elvis in Memphis before fighting back to reclaim their crown and finish the month at Number One again.

It is surprising to look back and see how big Jethro Tull actually were. I always think of them as a two-hit wonder novelty act. I, clearly, think wrongly.

When it came to the cinema, that month saw the release of The Learning Tree, a film I've never seen nor even heard of but I refuse to believe a learning tree can be as awesome as a Singing Ringing Tree.

That month also saw the release of Alice's Restaurant and Whatever Happened to Aunt Alice? The latter being from the same producer who gave us Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? It would appear the two Alices were not related.

Captain Marvel #15, That Zo might live

Inter-galactic dimwit Captain Marvel finally starts asking questions of the all-powerful Zo, having previously vowed to do anything he wants, without first asking just what it is he actually wants.

It turns out that what he wants is to destroy the Kree homeworld, so that's OK then.

Needless to say, it's at this point Mar-Vell starts to suspect that mindlessly obeying Zo might not be a good thing after all.

But can Marvy thwart Zo's terrible plan?

Only time - and the next issue - will tell.

Silver Surfer #7, Frankenstein

Inter-galactic dimwit the Silver Surfer allows Frankenstein's latest descendant to make an evil copy of him, so he can rule humanity.

Needless to say, this leads to a bucketful of whingeing from the Surfer, a big fight and an increase in the distrust between himself and humanity.

Sub-Mariner #16

The Sub-Mariner enters the deadly Sargasso Sea, in order to prevent Tiger-Shark doing whatever it is he's doing, and then has to deal with a bunch of hostile sailors, from various points in humanity's past, who've been rendered immortal by the sea's strange mists and now want to take over the world, with the aid of an old U-Boat packed solid with germ warfareness.

Anyone who's ever seen She knows exactly how this story's going to end.


Anonymous said...

I think Jethro Tull were even bigger in the '70s Steve, especially in America. They seemed to go for hairy Brits back then.

After the previous post, this is further evidence August '69 was not a good month for covers. Even green Mar-Vell fans (you know who you are) will be disappointed to see him in red and yellow.
Thats actually an unusual colour scheme for a cover and could have been quite striking, but its not well done.


dangermash said...

Yeah. A bad month for covers, with only The Avengers being a classic.

If the death on the front of SSM #75 had been a reasonably long standing supporting cast member (rather than Silvermane) then it might have joined The Avengers on that top shelf.

Silver Surfer #4 month (I can't remember when that was) is still way out in the lead.

dangermash said...

Ah, that was back in February. And that month was more about wha was inside the comics with Captain America, Avengers, ASM and The Surfer all being outstanding.

Steve W. said...

Of this month's covers, I would say the Avengers and Spider-Man are my favourites. The X-Men one is my least favourite.

Dougie said...

I think that Subby story owes more to Hammer's The Lost Continent than to She.

Fantastic Four follower said...

The Lost Continent immediately sprang to mind when I remembered that Submariner issue. Would guess that Roy Thomas had seen the film(1968?) and adapted it.

Killdumpster said...

Hammer's The Lost Continent rules on so many levels, even with the cheesy giant crab & scorpion.

Killdumpster said...

Steve & Sean-

At one point in time I owned every Jethro Tull l.p., all the way to the "A" album. That release got me off of the Ian Anderson kick. I'm still a big fan of their AOR hits (Too Old To R&R, Locomotive Breath, Aqualung, Bungle In The Jungle, Skating Away, etc.). Their concert album "Bursting Out Live" had some ripping versions of the best songs. Excellent rendition of "A Hunting Girl".

Steve W. said...

There certainly are similarities to The Lost Continent in that Subby tale. My comparison to She is because, at the end of the tale, once they've left behind the mystical mists, the whole lot of them age dramatically and, for the most part, drop dead.

Looking at their Wikipedia discography, Jethro Tull do seem to have been more popular in America than they were in Britain, which could explain my almost total lack of knowledge of their back catalogue. Then again, they were pretty successful in Britain too, so my ignorance is probably just down to ignorance.

I do know they were a band I never ever heard on the radio, growing up, apart from Living in the Past and that Christmas song they did. That they managed to sell healthy quantities of albums in Britain while getting no airplay was a remarkable achievement.

Killdumpster said...

While I grew up during the whole "British Invasion" era, and loved it, I still was a fan of our American stuff too.


We've had such incredible run of music, from the 50's to beyond in every genre, I myself feel truly blessed by any musical god that may exist. Always loving music since I was born, then actually getting paid to work with it from age 17 to 45. Man, I really miss the "biz". I still keep a ear out for new sounds,though. New & older stuff I may have missed.

That's one of the reasons I dig your site, Steve, oh my brother. You are all over the pop-culture board. I hope I've at least contributed at least 1 to 5% back to all my brothers from what I've learned from you folks.

Yikes. Guess the oxycotn is kicking in with the beer right now.

Killdumpster said...

Jethro Tull was probably a favorite of mine because of the humorous cynical/sarcastic lyrics and musicianship. Outside of Tull, I'd have to say I'm really not that much of a flute fan.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Charlie often heard Tull on the FM in the mid-late 70s. Strange he was more popular in the USA?

Bad Company was also more popular in the USA?

What about Deep Purple? Just saw "Once upon a Time in Hollywood" and DP's "Hush" really brought Charlie back to the mid-70s when he discovered FM radio! DP's greatest hits got worn out on Charlie's turntable, that's for sure!

Anonymous said...

Most of those 70s bands were bigger in America; Led Zeppelin were well known in the US before they really broke in the UK. Many of the biggest bands weren't on the radio much - let alone tv - which seems strange in retrospect.
I suppose their audience kept up mainly through the weekly music papers. Which doesn't make a lot of sense really - I believe it was Frank Zappa who said writing about music was as pointless as dancing about architecture.

Did you like Once Upon A Time in Hollywood Charlie? I'm looking forward to seeing it next week. Surprised its on release in August... Steve had enough good taste not to mention Sharon Tate in his post, or 50 Years Ago This Month the other day.


Anonymous said...

I only know one Jethro Tull song - RING OUT SOLSTICE BELLS which is one of my favourite Christmas songs :)