Sunday, September 27, 2009

New Zealand Trading Company - New Zealand Trading Company (us 1970)

New Zealand Trading Company - New Zealand Trading Company (us 1970)

* Label: Memphis Records (3)
* Catalog#: MS-1001
* Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Limited Edition
* Country: US
* Released: 01 Sep 1970
* Genre: Rock
* Style: Psychedelic Rock, Blues Rock
* Credits: Artwork By [Cover Photo] - Renee Koopman
* Engineer: Steve Stepanian
* Producer: N. Rosenburg
* Notes: Re-mixed at Universal Recoding Studio, Memphis Tennessee.

A1. Oh What A Day (2:45) Written-By - Alberto Carrion
A2. Jam And Anti-Freeze (4:11) Written-By - B. Kennedy , T. Kini
A3. Nine To Five (2:17) Written-By - B. Kennedy , M. Moore , T. Kini
A4. Hey Jude (8:18) Written-By - John Lennon , Paul McCartney
B1. Winnifred Jelicode (3:47) Written-By - B. Kennedy , M. Moore
B2. Ruo Moko (2:45) Written-By - T. Kini
B3. Could Be (3:45) Written-By - M. Moore , T. Kini
B4. The Prisoner (3:10) Written-By - B. Kennedy , T. Kini
B5. Total Stranger (4:28) Written-By - Alberto Carrion

Along with The New Mix, The Travel Agency, and The Music Asylum, the one and only NZTC album is a "never found" (as opposed to "lost") psychedelic classic. The album contains no list of personnel, no background information on the band, nothing. The record label itself is a mystery. Even Vernon Joynson's American psychedelic bible Fuzz, Acid, and Flowers overlooks the group (the review in the web-based version of that book is mine)! Not surprisingly, you can still pick this one up on the cheap.
This is psych - jazz that will appeal to-fans of Wake Up...It's Tomorrow era Strawberry Alarm Clock. The material is all original, save for an engaging cover of "Hey Jude". The writing is of consistently high quality, and the harmonies grab the listener and don't let go. Particular highlights include the fuzz guitar / vibes interplay on "Jam And Anti - Freeze", and the vivid character study "Winnifred Jellicoe". I'd not only take this one to the desert island, I'd stay with it if the rescue party didn't have room for the both of us! Indescribably essential!
~ BY Ochsfan (RYM).

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Anonymous said...

Intrigued, I decided to dig a little about the NZTC myself. The name of the band itself and the names of some of the songwriters suggested a direct NZ connection. Not much luck so far.

If it helps at all, a photo of the band turned up in the huge 'throw away' collection found recently. The photos were taken by publicity photographer James J. Kriegsmann. The link to the photo discovery story is and the photo itself is at


nelwizard said...

Thank you very much for sharing this rarity, and congratulations for you brilliant work of sharing good music.

sfdoomed said...

Your blog is very informative, and this is a perfect example of posting total obscurities that even long time collectors might not have heard. Thank you so much.

jdogg said...

The Memphis label was a venture of Jerry and Billy Butler, in conjunction with a Memphis attorney named Seymour Rosenberg. Stax and Hi Records were big at the time, the major labels were establishing outposts in Memphis, and everybody in the area seemingly caught the recording bug. The Memphis label began with great 45s by James Spencer, Ollie Nightingale, The Girls and Billy Butler and Infinity, but the New Zealand Trading Company was its only LP, and it is unclear whether the album was cut at Universal Sound Studios on Chelsea Avenue in Memphis, or in New Zealand. Either way, Memphis used to be flooded with copies of this record, which used to make me wonder if the album was responsible for the abrupt failure of the venture. Lots of money was lost in the scheme, and the studios were sold to Isaac Hayes, later abandoned, torn up by vagrants and finally demolished. The other LP intended for the Memphis label was by Ollie Nightingale, and saw release on the Pride subsidiary of MGM instead.