Living as a Mod in the 21st Century

Thursday, January 6, 2011

11 classic Mod tracks for 2011

I felt honored to be asked by my friend, DJ Lee Modern, to be part of the Magnificent 11 at The Mod Club Montreal on 1-1-11. The concept is pretty simple: eleven Mod DJs, each playing 11 tracks to ring in 2011.
I'm not sure that all the members of this motley crew of DJs spent as much time as I did selecting the 11 tracks that were going to be played that night, but I had a great time tlast week narrowing the choices down. I know that a few of my compatriots simply showed up with a bunch of albums and decided what they wanted to play on the spot. That approach is as valid as any other and the mark of a good DJ is to know how to read a crowd and adapt.

I approached it a bit differently. Since I knew it was going to be the day after the biggest party night of the year and that the place was going to be relatively quiet, I decided to plan every track in advance. I thought to myself: "If I was to going play 11 of my all time favorite Mod tunes, what would they be?"

Well, the task wasn't as easy as I thought. First, I wanted to touch a variety of styles: soul, garage, Mod revival and a couple of French 60s tracks. Second, 45rpm was my medium of choice. Lets do this how it was meant to be! Third, I wanted to play classics with a few elements of surprise hidden in the set.

After much deliberation, I was able to complete the assigned deed and this is what I came up with:

1) Ooh Poo Pah Do - Skip Easterling
2) The In Crowd - Dobie Gray
3) But It's Alright - J. J. Jackson
4) Give Me One More Chance - Wilmer and The Dukes
5) Soul Bossa Nova - Quincy Jones
6) It's a Mod Mod World - Squire
7) Biff Bang Pow - The Creation
8) Till the End of the Day - The Kinks
9) Ça Ne Tient Pas Debout (Whatcha Gonna Do About It) - Les Dinn's
10) Respect - Les Preachers
11) Tainted Love - Gloria Jones

As the first few DJs were doing their set before my turn behind the turntables, I hear But It's Alright being played. Well... there goes one! I had already prepared for the eventuality that it would happen so in came We Got A Thing That's In The Groove by The Capitols.

My set went smoothly and went by way to quickly. The French tracks that I had selected were my two surprises for the evening. First was Les Dinn's doing a cover of The Small Faces hit, Whatcha Gonna Do About It. My friend Michel, who knows a thing or two about French 60s groups, gave this 45 to me. (Thanks again for the gift mate!)

But for some reason, little is known about this French quartet. The copy that I have is a Canadian pressing of the French label Riviera. Aside from that, this is the only photo of the group I'm aware of.

What is interesting is that the original version by the Small Faces was never officially released in Canada as a single. What I love about spinning a song like this one is when people on the dance floor react to the first few bars of the track thinking they are hearing their favorite London group and seeing their expression on their faces when they realize women are singing in French.

Another example of this is Otis Redding's Respect, popularized in 1967 by Aretha Franklin. I found a rare version of the hit performed by Les Preachers, a sixties Quebec group. It might not compare with the original but it's a refreshing take on it.

I decided to finish with something strong and a guaranteed floor filler. Gloria Jones was the perfect choice for the changing of the guards. My friend Eric B. was a great DJ to precede. I knew before he even dropped his first track that I would have a hard time leaving the dance floor.

Here's a little taste of how the DJ switch went.

I'm already looking forward to the next opportunity to man the turntables. It was such a wonderful way to start the new year. Happy New Year to all!


  1. Mod Année! Bravo! Vu que j'étais au fin fond des Cantons de l'Est, j'ai pas pu être là, anyway, j'espère me reprendre! Bref, très bon set, "Ooh Poo Pah Do" - Skip Easterling au début, "Tainted Love" - Gloria Jones à la fin, pas mal pas pire!!!Bon mélange de grands classiques et de trucs, surtout québécois, peu connus. J'aurai peut-être pas mis les mêmes, mais, il faut quand même avoir les disques!!! Moi, j'aurais mis "the Peanut Duck", mais pour trouver le "disque", il faut se lever de très bonne heure! Et encore...
    Je pense que comme toi, j'y aurai pensé pendant un bout de temps... j'y pense encore!
    Encore une Mod et heureuse année Pat!

  2. Merci cher ami! Ce n'est que partie remise...

  3. Oh yeah! Les Preachers! Très coool! Même le B side est bon! : )
    Plus molo, mais plein de soul!

  4. Tout à fait! J'ai remarqué que tu les avais mentionnés sur Vente de Garage. Il faut croire que nous avons plusieurs goûts en commun. ;)