'ALPHABEAT' (Pop, Psych and Prog 1967 - 1970)

VINYL cat no. LP: TSLP 001; CD: TSCD 001
Running Time just over 49 minutes.
LP has 12 page full colour booklet; CD has 24 page full colour booklet
LPs have laminated 60s style wrapround sleeve and are pressed on heavy vinyl

The Barrier - Foxy Lady Graded Grains - On The Dole
Graded Grains - Gabriel Says Yes The Pathfinders - To Love Somebody
The Pathfinders - Pumpkin Lantern Graded Grains - Harry The Hermit
Breakthru - Here Comes The End Black Cat Bones - Warmth Of The Day
Graded Grains - Animal Magic Breakthru - Spoonful
Mississippi - Mr Union Railway Man The Barrier - Toad
Unknown group - First Back From Heaven  


'Compiled and realised by Nigel Lees (author of much of Record Collector magazine's long running series 'The British Psychedelic Trip'), 'Alphabeat' marks the debut release on his own label Top Sounds, a collection which brings together 13 rare slices of pop,psychedelia and progressive rock recorded during 1967 - 1970. Only 2 have appeared previously on compilations, the remainder bar the obscure 1970 45 by Mississippi have never been released and make their vinyl and CD debut on 'Alphabeat'. All tracks have been professionally restored and the release includes an informative and profusely illustrated booklet which features histories of all the artists, together with many photos which have never been published before. The release has the blessing of at least one member of each group and in some cases several, and is presented in authentic 60s fashion with a laminated sleeve.

Many of the selections on 'Alphabeat' were not even known to exist before the release of the compilation, and few connoisseurs of obscure late 60s pop, psych and prog will be disappointed with it's contents. Dubbed from a master supplied by a Belgian television company 'Foxy Lady' and 'Toad' were recorded live at a pop festival in mid 1968 and prove The Barrier to be as exciting on stage as on their best singles from the same year, whilst Mississippi impress with their heavy bluesy rock which is lifted from their lone and very rare 45 from 1970. The pigeonholeing of Breakthru as a lightweight pop act through their only single 'Ice Cream Tree' is devastatingly dismissed by the unveiling of 2 incendiary slices of psychedelically inclined rock recorded at a Birmingham studio in late 1967, and an unknown group who recorded at R.G Jones' OAK studios sound uncannily like The Game 3 years on with the slow burning 'First Back From Heaven'. The Pathfinders' 'Pumpkin Lantern' has appeared before on compilations on a number of occasions but thanks to the discovery of another acetate copy, it's presented here in premium quality together for the first time with it's previously ignored but very special rendering of the Bee Gees' 'To Love Somebody'. Graded Grains have presented psych collectors with a mystery and an enigma since their acetate of 'Animal Magic' and ' Lucifer Sam' was unearthed for 'Chocolate Soup For Diabetics' Volume 3 way back in the early 80s, and such was their dogged obscurity that some came to believe there was no such band called Graded Grains at all. Top Sounds however are able to present 4 tracks recorded on the continent in Paris in December 1969 which beautifully exhibit authentic pop psych with a marked Barrett era Pink Floyd influence, one of which is a later (and much cleaner!) take of the famed 'Animal Magic'. And last but by no means least the legendary blues band Black Cat Bones prove their versatility and deliver an uptempo psych flavoured rocker called 'The Warmth Of The Day',which aside from inclusion on a fairly recent bootleg was only previously been available on the rare 1969 promotional for the QE2 ocean liner'.

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