Pop Archives

Normie Rowe - Ooh La La (1966)

(Robin Shaw - Micky Keene [Robin Scrimshaw - Michael Wiltshire])
Australia (recorded in UK)Australia (recorded in UK) Australia (recorded in UK)
Original version
#2 Sydney #1 Melbourne #1 Brisbane #4 Adelaide #1 Perth #2 NZ

Single on Sunshine label, double-sided hit with Ain’t Nobody Home.

Recorded in London at Polydor: see also It’s Not Easy and Going Home.

Remixed for Australian release with added vocals recorded in London by The Playboys, who travelled to London with Normie but did not back him on the London sessions.

Playboys guitarist Rod Stone believes it was a condescending gesture to let us guys do the vocal harmony re-do for the Oz release, sort of to keep us happy because they never let us play on anything in UK while I was there with Norm. After Rod returned to Australia in 1967, the Playboys did record in their own right in London, but Polydor initially rejected their original material, as well as songs by the likes of The Loved Ones and the yet-to-be-famous Bee Gees, including a song called Spicks & Specks. Instead, they were told to get out around the clubs and hear what contemporary pop of the day should sound like. (Rod Stone, by email.)

The London sessions are also discussed by Alec Palao in his liner notes to Peculiar Hole In The Sky [2002] which includes Normie’s classic from London, Going Home. See Ace Records’ site for details of the CD.

Robin Shaw and Micky Keene (also spelt Mickey Keen) also co-wrote Mary Mary (with Ritchie Yorke), another product of Normie Rowe’s London sessions.

For more background on Shaw & Keene/Keen (real names Robin Scrimshaw & Michael Wiltshire) see Marty RhoneShe’s Coming Home.

Other Shaw-Keene compositions recorded by Australian artists include:
Johnny DevlinYou Gotta Tell Me (1967, recorded in London, co-written by V. McKenna);
The Ram Jam Big BandLost And Found (1969);
Marty RhoneShe’s Coming Home (1968, #33 Brisbane).

Thanks to Rod Stone.

The Faces - Ooh La La (1973)

(Ronnie Lane - Ron Wood)
Red herring

Same title but not the same song as ‘Ooh La La’ by Normie Rowe.

On the LP of the same name, the Faces’ last with Rod Stewart, lead vocals by Ron Wood. Later recorded by Ronnie Lane (1987) and by Rod Stewart (1998).

Refrence: The Originals.

Ministry Of Sound - Ooh La La (2005)

(Robin Shaw - Micky Keene [Robin Scrimshaw - Michael Wiltshire])

Recorded 1966-1968 but unreleased until 2005 on Midsummer Nights Dreaming/Men from the Ministry, a mock repackaging of two 60s albums that never existed. In reality, Ministry Of Sound only ever released one single during the 60s, White Collar Worker/Back Seat Driver (1966, both written by Robin Shaw & Micky Keene/Mickey Keen).

Ministry Of Sound was a studio project of producer-songwriter John Carter, recorded with the participation of Robin Shaw & Micky Keene.

Mary, Mary, another Shaw-Keene composition recorded in London by Normie Rowe, is on Midsummer Nights Dreaming/Men from the Ministry, as is I’m Coming Home, the original form of Marty Rhone’s She’s Coming Home.

Essential reading: Richie Unterberger’s review of Midsummer Nights Dreaming/Men from the Ministry and his biography of Ministry of Sound, both at All Music Guide.
See also Wikipedia entry on John Carter.