A Bit Like You And Me Radio

March 27, 2013

The Ugly's - Wake Up My Mind (1965)

Formed in the late 1950s as The Dominettes, this band was from Birmingham, England but had nearly all of their success in Australia and New Zealand. In 1960, The Dominettes’ lead singer, Colin Smith, was replaced with Steve Gibbons, who would lead the band for the remainder of their lifespan. In the beginning, Gibbons led The Dominettes through a number of local gigs, playing R&B music at seedy establishments and strip clubs. Despite their less than stellar surroundings, the band developed a bit of a following. By 1963, the band had officially changed their name to that which is seen above and secured a record deal with Pye Records. It was two years before their first single was released, heard below, but it brought the group great success in Australia and New Zealand. At this point, the band’s personnel began to shift constantly. Notable members at one point or another include: Dave Pegg (later of Fairport Convention and Jethro Tull), Richard Tandy (later played with The Move and joined ELO), and Jimmy O’Neil (later of The Mindbenders). By 1968, Steve Gibbons was the only remaining original member of “The Ugly's” portion of the band and he too soon departed to form a new group, Balls, with Denny Laine of The Moody Blues (and later Wings) and Trevor Burton from The Move.

An original composition written by band members Burnett, Holden, and Gibbons, this song was the first single released by the group. Although it failed commercially in the home country of England, it became a great success in Australia where it reached number nine in August 1965. Lyrically, it was much more politically-driven than most pop music of the time, leaning more toward the message put out by folk artists of the time. Members during the time of its release were Steve Gibbons, Bob Burnett, Jimmy Holden, and John Hustwayte.

album art

The Ugly's - Wake Up My Mind (1965)

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Lyrics:

I am a man in the prime of my life
I've got a house and a car and a beautiful wife
There's no chip on my shoulder, I've no axe to grind
And no possible reason to wake up my mind
And the days break and the nights fall and drift into time

Somewhere there's hunger, somewhere there's a war
But I can do nothing, so I'll just ignore
The cruelty around me, pretending I'm blind
In case I start thinking and wake up my mind
And the days break and the nights fall and drift into time

I read in the papers, “A Policeman Shot Down”
“Two Negroes in Cold Blood” in some racial town
And I'm having a new car, but don't know what kind
But one of these days I will wake up my mind
And the days break and the nights fall and drift into time

Yes it seems as though fortune has smiled upon me
But now it’s too late, I’m beginning to see
I spent my life searching, but no peace I find
And it's left me with no time to wake up my mind
And the days break, And the nights fall and drift into time

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