Clockwork orange and a
song to sing...
SFA - Sweet Floral Albion
~The Journal of UK Psychedelia
No.: 12 The Birthday Issue* Date: November 2002 *
Price: 3 buttons
Mesdames et messieurs,
Bienvenue! Wilkommen! Welcome!
Happy Birthday to us! happy Birthday to us!
Issue 12, eh? As the Illuminati of the venerable 'Societas Psychedelicae in Angliae' will know, we published the first 2 issues of SFA as a photo-copied fanzine in late-July 2001 [issue Number One was dated August-September], but cos some issues covered 2 months, it's taken us till now to reach the duodecimo end of volume one.
So, really our bon anniversaire should have been a few months back, but now it's all proper and official like! I won't detain or perturb you with any nauseating 'Oscars'-type speech, but I will say THANK YOU to all our contributors. And a most especial MERSEY BUCKET to all our dearly beloved (and ever-growing!) band of readers, without whom none of this would have been possible, nor very worthwhile.
And while I've got your ear, I'd like to thank my parents for encouraging me, and my agent for believing in me, and, of course, God for giving me this blinking enormous..." OK! That's quite enough of that!
We have the great pleasure of including an interview with The Uglys guitarist, Will Hammond. This issue has also somehow turned into a bit of a Charles Shaar Murray special - with profiles of the My Generation and Rare Tracks comps, and a reprint from the NME of one of CSM's seminal psych texts.
O- NEWS DESK
O- IL LIBRO PSICEDELICO
O- THE UGLYS- WILL HAMMOND INTERVIEWED
O- OUT IN THE COLD - STRING DRIVEN THING
O- MY GENERATION & RARE TRACKS
O- WHAT THE PAPERS SAID
O- THE THYME MACHINE- JULY 1967
O- TINTERN ABBEY: NEW INFO DISCOVERED!
O- CLASSIC PSYCH REPRINTS- PART I
O- ADVENTURES IN THE RAG TRADE
O- ALPHA -OMEGA: A LIFE'
O- FAVE THINGS
O- PREVIEWS / REVIEWS
O- PROTO-GLAM / TARDO-PSYCH
O- THE ZOMBIES
O- NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT
O- PSYCH DISCOGRAPHY
O- TILL WE MEET AGAIN...
O- Quotes, Lyrics, et cetera
'The Birthday' - IDLE RACE
She had her birthday
yesterday, she cried
Took off her glasses let her hair down, cried
She told them all at work about the day
How is it no-one came?
She sent the invitations to her friends
They were too busy doing other things
She told them all at work about the day
How is it no-one came?
She took the decorations from the wall
Was it the ladder, loose, that made her fall?
She told them all at work about the day
How is it no-one came?
She had her birthday yesterday, she cried
News from Phil Smee- "I'm readying a new Bam-Caruso release with the 'INCREDIBLE JOURNEY OF THE ORIGINAL HURDY GURDY MAN - MAC MACLEOD', a CD that contains Mac's work from 1965, through psych (The Exploding Mushroom, and the Other Side), to sitar-led folk-psych (Amber), and acid-rock (unissued Hurdy Gurdy from 1968). The comp will also include a phenomenal track entitled 'Telescope', recorded December '68 by a line-up which included Mac and Rod Argent". Due early next year.
SFA CD NOW AVAILABLE!
Hallelujah! The SFA CD has finally arrived! Many thanks to everyone for all your fantastic support! Details for ordering can be found at the "New Sweet Floral Albion CD Compilation link" on www.marmalade-skies.co.uk
UGLY THINGS #20
Out now, featuring The Misunderstood, the psychedelic-era Yardbirds. An interview with Love drummer Michael Stuart, plus stories on the Shangri-la's, Public Nuisance, Eater, The Influence, 60's garage heroes Tonto & The Renegades, The Mynah Birds, and more!
Available from all the usual suppliers, or contact them via email@example.com
TINTERN ABBEY- STANDARD EDITION
A "Standard Edition" of the "TINTERN ABBEY ACETATE" CD is now available. The two tracks- 'Do What You Must' & 'How Do I Feel Today'- recorded at Tony Pike's Studios, Putney, in early 1968, were intended as the second Tintern Abbey single, but due to the termination of the contract with Deram, these tracks were unissued and have remained lost until the recent re-discovery of the original acetate. (See SFA 11 for an interview with Paul Brett, and the full story). This CD will be available EXCLUSIVELY through SWEET FLORAL ALBION / MARMALADE SKIES. Price- £8-50 (plus £1-50 P&P) To order / reserve please email firstname.lastname@example.org
STATION TOP TEN- 'Chocolate Soup FM' http://www.live365.com/stations/295662
1 Stevie and Stevie - Shine
2 Peter Sarstedt - Frozen Orange Juice
3 Iguana - Imagine This (Peculiar hole in the sky)
4 Mike Proctor - Mr Commuter
5 Bee Gees - Mrs Gillespie's Refrigerator
6 Pleasure Garden - Permissive Paradise (Syde Tryps 1)
7 Cilla Black - Abyssinian Secret
8 Two of each - Trinity Street (Ripples 8)
9 France Gall - Chanson Indienne (1968)
10 Dennis Couldry and Smile - Tea and Toast Mr. Watson (Sweet Floral Albion)
COMING SOON ON MARMALADE SKIES...
Yesterday I got a rather lengthy article on the story of the Focal Point by guitarist Paul Tennant, a must for all Beatles fans complete with an unseen picture, it's a hell of a good read and there's a good chance it could be on-line by sometime next week!!
Also I've just made contact with Kubie from the World of Oz, I'm hoping to get something up also. I've waited years for this, turns out that the line-up details on the Tapestry of Delights are wrong, line-up two is line-up one and vice-versa ; Also coming up, a brief history of Dry Ice (complete with picture) and more on the Velvet Opera, Paul Brett has sent along some nice info.
I've also thought of getting up a year by year release article, stating what came out in what month etc, it would take ages and I would need some help, anyone think that this could be a good idea?
TERRA AUSTRALIS v01
Australia's first Space Rock/Psychedelica minifestival
November 2, 2002 at The Healer, Fortitude Valley, QLD The lineup includes: Alpha Omega (Brisbane), Alien Dream (Adelaide), circle of willis (Sydney), Drunken Gunmen (Sydney), The Space Doktors (Sunshine Coast). An evening of psychoactive sounds, groovy vibes, psychedelic lights and visionary space poetry. Tickets are $10 at the door.
For more information visit http://www.novymir.com.au/ozspace or http://www.spacedoutsounds.com
***IL LIBRO PSICEDELICO: Book Review, by Jason Scott***
Alan Clayson- Beat
Merchants: The origins, History, Impact and Rock Legacy of the
1960's British Pop Groups. Blandford: London, 1995. ISBN
0-17137-2464-1 (Hd. bk.)
Alan Clayson's book is well-written, accessible enjoyable and brimful of anecdotal titbits (for eg The Anteeeks wore one-piece zip-up stage suits!), but is in some parts rather lacking in thorough research and hence too reliant on humour and not built solidly on fact. However it is predominantly sound and as I've said, enjoyable.
From an SFA perspective there are 3 chapters of importance: Chapter 18- 'Do-Re-Mi', examines the stylistic advances and musical experiments that lead to psychedelia. Clayson casts his gaze over the introduction of flutes, mellotrons, feedback, distortion, fuzz, wah-wah and sitars into the repertoire of the beat group; Chapter 22, brilliantly entitled 'The Beat Goes "Om"', focuses on psychedelia, includes a pertinent observation by Jeff Beck - "We were on the threshold of this new thing. The Yardbirds were the first psychedelic band"; and some hilarious quotes (see below) from Reg Presley, Mirabelle magazine and the NME, together with trawls through the musical landscape of 1967, the pop-rock divide, Simon Dee banning Hippies on 'Dee Time', through to the birth of Apple. Chapter 23- 'Half As Nice', begins with the drop-dead line: "The summer of love was no more the dawning of the Age of Aquarius than the Twist had been." No prizes for guessing where Clayson stands in the straights versus freaks fight. This chapter is devoted to the post-psych final year(s) of the sixties.
The whole book is handled with a certain degree of panache and a cynical wit which gets to the nub. Even if he sometimes get his facts wrong, we can still enjoy Clayson's book.
The following quotes are particularly noteworthy-
Regarding Bamboo Butterflies - "It wasn't really us though..." said Reg Presley, "It's difficult if you weren't on drugs to write lyrics like that"
From the Melody Maker February 11, 1967:
"Let's get as much colour into our lives as possible. We see movements and roam through the temples of our minds." -Jim Capaldi. "In retrospect, the chasm between the Troggs and the Pretty Things does not seem so great but, in 1967, Reg Presley et al were regarded by International Times-type journals as perpetrators of vulgar 'pop' while the Things played 'rock' - which only the finest minds could appreciate."
"In March 1967, the Floyd had just left a British Top 20 in which the psychedelics of the Move and Jimi Hendrix sat awkwardly amid sweetcorn peddled by Englebert Humperdinck and Tom Jones, thus demonstrating that the opposite of a prevailing trend is always represented to some degree - but which was actually the prevailing trend? Paradoxically, 1967 was also a boom year for schmaltz..."
And this absolute drop dead classic from schoolgirl's fave read, Mirabelle: "Everyone from Brisbane to Bootle hates that daft song Lennon sang at the end of 'Revolver'."
***THE UGLYS- WILL HAMMOND INTERVIEWED***
Will Hammond (WH) guitarist with legendary
Midlands' outfit The Uglys during the psychedelic years, is
interviewed by Paul Cross (PC).
PC- You were in a group just prior to joining The Uglys?
WH- The Yamps. A brilliant little R&B outfit. Very popular in the midlands playing mostly material by the Downliners Sect, the Artwoods and various blues legends. We worked a lot around Wolverhampton and were the rival band to the N'Betweens (Slade). Jimmy O'Neil played with the Yamps just prior to joining the Walker Brothers. This band ceased to be a couple of years later and the core members of, myself , Malcolm Palmer (Guitar /Sax ) and Leigh Higginson (Bass) formed a ten piece band with a five piece brass section called Traction. Another good group but lacking a real sense of direction. They did however have a staunch following after my departure playing soul music.
PC- When Did You Join?
WH- I joined the Uglys in 1967. Jimmy O'Neil (who had played in bands with me since I was 14) had told me that the Uglys were keen for me to join, the word was on the street, so to speak, other musicians in Brum were asking me if I had joined the band. I had not been formally asked at that time. The band I was with at the time (Traction) were booked to play at the Carlton (soon to be called Mothers) and whist doing our set the Ugs walked in to "check me out" . I remember that our finishing number that night was a revamped version of 'Steppin Out' from the John Mayall album. Acts had become destructive in those times and I smashed a Gibson Les Paul to bits that night. Sacrilege, but hugely enjoyable at the time. It seemed to do the trick and I was duly sworn in. I was very proud that I'd been asked to join a band who had a reputation of having, arguably, the best musicians in Birmingham. I had just turned 18.
PC- Which released tracks did you play on?
WH- 'Squire Blew His Horn' / 'Real Good Girl' / 'I See The Light' / 'Mary Cilento'
PC-And which groups were you in after the Uglys?
WH- I joined up with the a band called The Wellington Kitch Jump Band to complete some previously booked gigs , funnily this band had formed from the ashes of the Band of Joy ( Robert Plant had been long gone) and had adopted that very long name, as was the fashion at the time. However as personnel left the band they shortened their name and by the time I joined they were simply called Wellington Kitch. I then helped Steve Gibbons work on his first album 'Short Stories' and recorded some guitar parts for Dave Morgan for 'Hiroshima' a song that was to be twice a hit in the German charts along with other material. Jimmy O'Neil later approached me to join up with the remaining Mindbenders following Eric Stewart's departure to 10cc via Hotlegs. Short lived.
I moved to Sardinia for some years where I enjoyed some popularity and did some radio work. I then happily raised a Family.
PC- It's been said that you were replaced by Trevor Burton. Is there any truth in this? What happened exactly?
WH- To be strictly correct I was not replaced by Trevor Burton and he was never a member of The Uglys. (This might ramble a bit and you'll have to pick the bones out of it!): The Ugs were a very popular band with other musicians and they would frequently come and see us live. It was quite common to have members of the Move in the audience or the Idle Race or people like John Bonham, Mick Kelly of Spooky Tooth, who, I feel , wanted to join the band. I recall Carl Wayne bringing Joe Cocker to see us at the Belfry (now the home of the Ryder Cup but in those days a very good gig). Anyway, Carl Wayne and Trevor Burton wanted to set up their own recording and publishing company ( I'm not sure what they were going to call it but I think it was Penny Music) and the Uglys were seen as the perfect vehicle in that:
a. The band was very tight musically and vocally (three strong voices: Gibb, Morgan and myself).
b. The band had a great reputation.
c. Dave Morgan was writing some very good material at the time.
We spent a lot of time recording in different studios with a variety of people but mainly with Trevor and Carl. Over time Steve and Trevor became close friends and both obviously felt that they wanted to work together at some point. The Move were at the height of their popularity but cracks were appearing and band infighting was increasing. At this time I think I had a talk with Steve and asked him if Trevor was being considered for the band, the answer was a resounding No! A couple of Dave's songs were used as Move B sides, Dave celebrated his financial success by not buying anyone a drink! 'Something', the B side of 'Blackberry Way' started off as an up tempo Small Faces-type of song but ended up as a bit of a ballad for Carl Wayne ( I really preferred the original version). The use of these B sides effectively moved in on Roy's (Wood) monopoly as The Move's sole writer.
Whilst all this was going on we were still on the road, playing seven nights week, 52 weeks a year and recording - now here's a correction *** 'I've Seen The Light' and 'Mary Colinto' *** The titles on the MGM label are wrong! I refer to Tony Cox's letter regarding the session saying that Trevor had already left the Move - incorrect. With respect to Tony Cox I don't think, as a group, we were too impressed by his musical credentials with the Young Idea but he seemed to be a nice guy. As he rightly said the sessions were short but we went into the studio at ten o' clock at night and went through to the end. I think we put down the backing track for 'Seen The Light' in one or two takes simply because we were well practised by performance. Generally speaking the recorded sound of the group was exactly what you got live, except much louder. There was real expectancy and excitement about the band and record. A chart entry had been assured, making the band a 'big act' commercially. However, it would appear that, unbeknown to me, Tony Secunda and Trevor had talks with the rest of the band and had promised their future, but without me in the picture! I guess it was all a matter of timing. A couple of months after that recording session and to coincide with Blackberry Way reaching the No 1 spot on the Charts, Steve Gibbons and Dave Morgan appeared at my door and said that, in basic terms they and the rest of the band were leaving! They were joining with Trevor, moving to Hampshire and calling themselves Balls. I was now, in effect, The Uglys. Oh! and would I mind finishing off some contractual gigs? Oh! And it would be announced on TV that night. I was speaking to Richard Tandy a short time ago and he was saying that he remembered the final Uglys gig very well (some University or other) I must admit that I don't remember it at all. John Singer our then manager suggested at a subsequent meeting that I recruit new members but it simply wouldn't have been the same. A great band. A great shame.
We had not signed the deal with MGM yet and they were left with an un-releasable track. The guys turned up at my house on the day they moved to Hampshire to say goodbye. I've never really been able to work out just why they did that - guilt probably. The members of Balls drifted back to Brum one by one over the next few months.
PC- There were other, unreleased tracks recorded?
WH- I'm sure there were loads but I really couldn't tell you titles. (Hazy days).
PC- What are your favourite memories of those times?
WH- Loads really but for sheer intensity in one day. In 1967 before all these goings on we had been approached by Ian McDougal ( I think he was an NME guy) who, along with Graham Nash of the Hollies wanted to manage us: I remember a fantastic day starting at Dick James studio where we bumped into Steve Marriot (an old friend of the band), we then recorded some tracks for Graham Nash which were produced by Caleb Quaye (Finlay's dad), a great guitarist. We went to Dougal's office where we heard the 'fresh out of the studio' acetate of 'Waterloo Sunset' by the Kinks then spent the afternoon at Nash's Mews House which was such a buzz. He played us the Hollies acetate of 'Carrie Anne' . We had recorded three songs that morning 'Love the Night Away', 'Suddenly I see some Roses' and one other that I don't remember. He liked the "Roses song" a lot. Now there's a rare acetate!! At that time he was in the process of jetting back and forth across the pond to the USA singing for pleasure with one David Crosby and S Stills esq. He showed us the mellotron he'd just bought. We drove back to Brum in an old Mark 9 Jaguar for a gig that night feeling very up".
They wanted to change our direction so we weren't that keen. Nevertheless a great personal meeting for me - one of my heroes.
PC- The info in 'The Tapestry of Delights'?
WH- The info in 'Tapestry of Delights' is pretty accurate. The only observation I have is that I was a member of the B and C Line ups. There is not a lot of background on the bands success having had hits in Australia and having huge popularity in Scandinavia. The band had done Ready Steady Go and Thank Your Lucky Stars and were also favourites of the Pirate radio stations given the accolade of Radio London Simon Dee's band of the year, funnily enough I saw a documentary about the pirate radio days and it showed a tiny clip of Tony Blackburn who was just announcing one of our records. I would like to add in summary that I had a wild time, during a brilliant time. Some memories are slightly impaired!!!
PC- Thanks, Will.
WH- Thanks to you guys for listening.
***From 'The Bumper Book Of Psych Quotations', by Roger St. John***
Entry no. 64: Derek
Johnson (From the NME 20/01/68)
THE LOOT - Don't Turn Around (CBS): "This claims to be positively the last song about flowers - it's about the hippies who bedecked themselves with flowers to prove that they were different, when all the time they're the ones who were conforming. The cynical lyric is effectively counter-harmonised by The LOOT, with liberal sprinklings of falsettos. Strong classical influences in the orchestration."
Interesting to note that as early as Jan '68, individuals such as this feller, were already using the past tense to refer to psych's young dream.
***OUT IN THE COLD, by Stuart Robertson***
STRING DRIVEN THING-
String Driven Thing (Concord CON1001) 1970.
This group were a three-piece, originally formed in Glasgow in '68 by husband and wife Chris and Pauline Adams, with John F. Mannion. Chris Adams wrote all the material on this lovely little beauty. It's nice, light and breezy west coast-styled sunshine/harmony pop with just a tiny glimpse of psych. The performances on the album [reissued on CD- Green Tree Records (TRC-GTR-CD-OO7)1993] were supplemented by session musicians and a few tracks were meant only as demos for publishing companies.
So here we go. It's time to jump into this ray of sunshine with the first number coincidentally titled 'July Morning', which sums this gem of a ditty to a tee and gives you a clue of what to expect from this album. This is a breezy song with a strong West Coast-feel, lovely swirling strings and nice snatches of mellotron in the upbeat chorus and harmonies that don't belong to a wet cloudy Glasgow. Then we get our sunglasses and move on to 'Say What You Like', a slow number with a slight twangy country influence, its saving grace is the catchy chorus and nice harmonies again with that West Coast-feel still dominating. This is followed by something a lot better, which to me is a gem of a popsyke tune called 'Magic Garden' which features scrummy fuzzed guitar that goes lovely with the sunshine harmonies on this commercial sounding piece of loveliness. Next up is another beauty going by the name of 'Wonderful Places' with splendid mellotron that adds to the floaty lethargic (or should that be lysergic) atmosphere which would be perfect for lazy stoned summer nights, then as you feel yourself floating away you're woken up by an upbeat chorus which is unexpected, as the chorus says "I like it, I like it, I really, really like it" you surely will, one of the more psych-influenced songs on the album. On we go to a heartfelt ballad entitled 'I Don't Want To Wake Up Without You', with melancholic strings and brass but as with the previous song it is also enlivened by an upbeat chorus. Then we're back into the swing of things as we go with 'City Man'; with more fuzzed guitar and soaring male/female harmonies, this could be an out-take from a Peanut Butter Conspiracy album - good catchy guitar in this 3 minutes of bliss. As we swelter onto the next nugget of sunshine called 'Another Night In This Old City' (which would fit easily on the Ripples series or other comps of a similar persuasion), starts and stays with sweet sounding jazzy flute with neatly understated strings and as ever those cracking harmonies - can we have some more please? Of course you can with a slight drop in standard with 'That's My Lady', with strings dominated by cello with acoustic guitar and yummy singing. Then we're off to the shade with 'Catch As Catch Can' with a slow melodramatic sounding cello with acoustics, the swirling strings rise up with electric guitar strumming away, then... Bang! we're into another upbeat chorus, and it goes back into slow territory, again with nice harmonies. 'No More You And I' is the sweetest of numbers which is shot thru with a electric sitar, and some well-arranged strings with a brass accompaniment that goes well with the strumming acoustic guitar that's down low in the mix, and the vocals finish this little beauty nicely. The next for some sunscreen is 'Lie Back And Let It Happen' which doesn't start off too clever with what you think is going to be a depressing singer/songwriter type of thing; but no, we want the sun back, so onward we go into another cheery chorus with nice harmonies and little snatches of brass, then the song winds down as it started. The sunny holiday comes to an end with 'One Of Those Lonely People' a mellow acoustic-dominated tune which reminds me of something else, can anyone guess? Cos I can't remember.
If you appreciate very commercial sunshine/harmony pop with a tiny influence of psych then you WILL enjoy this album. It has a warmth to it that makes for an enjoyable listen.
Just as footnote, the CD issue has 5 bonus tracks which were demos for their follow up (with the same title as the debut), with more folky influence which at times sounds like early Fairport. Also, Damon Lyon Shaw of 'Path Through The Forest' fame, engineered the second album, and the legendary Shel Talmy produced it.
***MY GENERATION & RARE TRACKS By Scott Charbonneau***
Given the seemingly unceasing stream of reissues and compilations available to us in 2002 it is easy to forget that we were not always so spoiled for choice. Back catalogue and "collectors consciousness" were alien concepts to a mid 70s record industry more concerned with when the new Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd albums would be hitting the shelves. While they may have been few and far between there were some record companies willing to fly in the face of such short sighted thinking; 1974 saw Decca give NME staffers Roy Carr and Charles Shaar Murray to green light to go on a fishin' mission through their vaults with the result being the much loved and highly praised Hard Up Heroes, perhaps the closest thing to a UK Nuggets. Not too long after that Polydor and EMI would engage in similar trawls, the results being the subject of this review. Rare Tracks and My Generation are extremely interesting affairs as they show how diversity can, at times, work to a compilation's advantage, offering an honest reflection of the creative forces at work during the latter half of the 60s. Beat to Psych, Pop to Prog, Blues to R&B to Light Instrumental, it can all be found side by side on these albums. The most interesting thing I find about these, however, is their release dates. Rare Tracks was issued in 1975 and while I'm sure there were a few far sighted individuals who eagerly grabbed it, for those weaned on a diet of mid 70s superstar tedium it must have sailed right over their heads. My Generation was issued in November 1976 just as the punk movement was rapidly gaining momentum. Many of the tracks on these two discs can no longer be regarded as obscure, let alone rare; conversely both have several tracks that still need to be rescued from oblivion and brought back to light. That said, both remain perfectly listenable in their own right and there can be no doubt that they provided more than a few listeners with their initial taste of Tomorrow, The Action and John's Children to name but a few.
(EMI NUT 4) 11/76
'My White Bicycle' - Tomorrow
'Baby You've Got It' - The Action
'The Hand Don't Fit The Glove' - Terry Reid
'Glendora' - Downliners Sect
'God Only Knows' - Tony Rivers
'Baby's Rich' - The Gods
'Gin House' - The Boston Crabs
'Mr. Armageddon' - Locomotive
'Happenings Ten Years Time Ago' - Yardbirds
'We Are The Moles' - The Moles
'The Long Cigarette' - The Roulettes
'Light Of The Charge Brigade' - Viv Prince
'I Could Feel The Whole World Turn Round' - Shotgun Express
'What Shall I Do' - The Artwoods
'The Stumble' - Love Sculpture 'Shake' - Rod Stewart
From the obvious source of its title to the cover art depicting two rockers treading uneasily amidst a Mod contingent, several of whom look like the Small Faces, My Generation gives the impression of being the Ultimate Mod Album. It's not. While the action are represented and Ron Stewart likes to brag about his former credibility with the scooter and parka set I highly doubt that they would have wasted their energies dancing to his feeble version of 'Shake', one of sixteen tracks originally released under various EMI imprints and collected here. Several tracks here need no further comment so, let me offer a few of my personal favorites. Terry Reid: What a voice! Projecting a natural soulfulness much like Reg King and Steve Marriott it's a mystery as to why he never attained the superstardom predicted for him by so many back in the day. The Boston Crabs do a fine job capturing the Animals' slow burning style even if the singer is no match for Eric Burdon and the Gods offer some inspired pop informed by, but not totally beholden to, psychedelia. This, rather than their so-so take on 'Hey Bulldog' should have been placed on EMI's 'Psychedelia At Abbey Road' CD. JohnTobler's liners are brief but manage to point out that a good number of musicians would go on to attain great success in the following decade with music that was a far cry, and considerably less interesting than their humble beginnings collected here.
Rare Tracks (Polydor 2482 274) 1975
'Love Makes Sweet Music' - Soft Machine
'Anyone For Tennis' - Cream
'To Fly Away' - Godley and Creme
'If I Had A Ribbon Bow' - Fairport Convention
'You Turned My Bitter Into Sweet' - Linda Lewis
'Sunshine Day' - Jethro Tull
'Mister Pleasant' - Nicky Hopkins & His Whistling Piano
'Zoot Suit' - The High Numbers
'I'm Getting Tired (Of Drinkin' & Gamblin' Etcetera)' - Jack Bruce
'Rootin' Tootin'' - Jack Bruce
'Just A Little Bit' - Stu Brown & Bluesology
'Aeroplane' - Jethro Tull
'Desdemona' - John' s Children
'Take My Advice' - Sly and The Family Stone
'Dolly Dagger' - Jimi Hendrix (Live @ Isle of Wight 1970)
'Ain't That Just Too Bad' - Alex Harvey and His Soul Band
'Reelin' Feelin' Squeelin'' - Soft Machine
Taking the same "footsteps to fame" approach as its EMI counterpart, Rare Tracks is an altogether more interesting album as its track selection does not appear so obvious in the cold light of day that is 2002. This was a popular import item upon release and was sought after for years by US Anglophiles, for this was the only way to get many of tracks collected within for a long time. Stylistically speaking this one is split fairly evenly down the middle between psychedelia and R&B/Soul, with a couple of obvious exceptions. The Soft Machine's roots in R&B and Soul are shown to great effect on 'Love Makes Sweet' Music featuring as it does a catchy tune, a strong beat for dancing and an excellent vocal refreshingly free of the sock it to me-isms that so many white soul boy wannabes still fall victim to. It's flip, 'Reelin'', Feelin, Squeelin'' approaches weirder, more sinister territory and anticipates a good deal of what was to come on their first album. Delicate and wistful, 'To Fly Away' is a thing of beauty, and the two sides of Jethro Toe's (sic) MGM 45 show the band at their most pop friendly with no trace of the elements that would later make them (in)famous. Fairport Convention's first album, with its UK take on the West Coast sound, remains a delight almost 35 years after the fact. Their first A-side was left off the album; a good idea methinks as it is simply too lightweight to hold its own in that company. Cream's 'Anyone For Tennis' remains one of their more under-appreciated tracks. Downplaying the high voltage power blues riffs the band explores shades and textures going for a gentler, almost pastoral vibe with acoustic guitars, woodwinds and strings. Foreshadowing much of their work on 'Wheels of Fire' had this been added to album it would have boosted it immeasurably. Of the R&B/Soul oriented material, standouts would have to be the tracks from Stu Brown and Bluesology and Alex Harvey as they manage to approximate some of the attitude, if not exactly the sound, of American garage bands. In closing, if both of these compilations appear to have lost a little bit of their lustre that is only understandable as they are now more than 25 years old and since that time hundreds, if not thousands, of similar collections have hit the shelves. These two were among the earliest and, for helping to lay the foundation for what was to come, are fully deserving of all possible accolades.
***WHAT THE PAPERS SAID: Selections by Jim Mac***
Been looking through 'Top
Pops' issue again (number 9, Nov. '67) and came up with these
"The Loot recommends continental trips to all British groups. Leader Chris Bates says that Sweden is a thrilling place to go "and it's true about the girls being gorgeous," despite the fact that he spent 14 days in jail there as a result of a fight the group were involved in. They toured with the top Swedish outfit, The Hounds and the groups became very friendly. The Hounds came to Britain for a short holiday at the invitation of the Loot and when they arrived they said they wanted to buy some mini-skirts for their girlfriends. So the Loot took them down Carnaby Street.....but the Hounds didn't buy any of them. "The mini-skirts in Sweden are much shorter" they said."
"The Koobas returned from Switzerland with a new kind of instrument, costing £800. The instrument was on loan to them because they were to show it to the Beatles. It is a set of five gongs, each of which takes two weeks to make by hand in a Swiss factory. They have a 4-octave rang. And although the gongs have been presented to the Beatles, making them the first group in the world to own them - at least The Koobas have the satisfaction of being the first group in the world to play them."
LETTER: "Who in the real teenage world would really fancy Engelbert Humperdinck? I mean, he's got looks, that's okay, so his voice, but what boils me up is that Engelbert sang three songs on the trot, each basically with the same development of tune and they all became hits! Why should an unknown come soaring up the charts when good looking singers like Tom Jones with a more modern sound can only get to number one once in a while. It's not right! Singing like Engelbert's should be banned from the pop charts and put into a "show songs" poll. Please Engelbert, sing a bit more in the 1967 style and not the 1930's. On a slightly different tack, where are the Sonny and Cher's fans now? Those girls who grew their hair long like Cher, and both sexes who dressed in bell-bottoms. They were a wonderful couple, the first hippies. Don't let's forget them so soon......they are part of an era which should never be forgotten."
Fran Hunt, Swansea, Glamorgan.
From the NME - Feb 24, 1968: "Graham Nash was a guest at Micky Dolenz's Laurel Canyon home the other night. One thing Graham flipped for was Micky's Colortron, a £700 machine which flashes lights in relation to sound. For example, a bass line on a record would flash red, high voices flash blue etc. As the song fades, so do the colours. Graham watched his 'Butterfly' album play and they found out that 'Butterfly' is a brighter album than 'Sgt. Pepper'!"
***THE THYME MACHINE***
AND what a bumper month for tasty sounds! The height of the "Summer of Love". In Great Britain the 'idea' of psychedelia (as opposed to the thing itself) would never again be so far-reaching, culturally-dominating or fashionable...
THE AMERICAN BREED- Step Out Of Your Mind
ART- What's That Sound/Rome Take Away Three
JEFF BECK- Tallyman/Rock My Plimsoul
THE BEE GEES- Close Another Door
THE BEE GEES- First (LP)
DAVID BOWIE- Love You Till Tuesday/Did You Ever Have A Dream
THE CREATION- If I Stay Too Long/Nightmare
DAVE DAVIES- Death Of A Clown/Love Me Till The Sun Shines
SPENCER DAVIS GROUP- Time Seller/Don't Want You No More
THE DOORS- Light My Fire/The Crystal Ship
JET HARRIS- My Lady
ALEX HARVEY- The Sunday Song/Horizon
HERMAN'S HERMITS- Museum/Moonshine Man
THE HUMAN BEANS- Morning Dew
JOHN'S CHILDREN- Come And Play With Me In The Garden/Sara Crazy Child
NIRVANA- Tiny Goddess/I Believe In Magic
EDWICK RUMBOLD- Shades Of Grey/Boggle Woggle
RUPERT'S PEOPLE- Reflections Of Charles Brown/Hold On
THE SHADOWS- Jigsaw (LP) CAT STEVENS- A Bad Night
THE STRAWBERRY CHILDREN- Love Years Coming
SHARON TANDY- Hold On
THE UNIVERSALS- Hey You
VANILLA FUDGE- You Keep Me Hanging On
KEITH WEST- "Grocer Jack"
THE WHEELS OF TIME- 1984
WINSTON'S FUMBS- Real Crazy Apartment/Snow White
***TINTERN ABBEY: NEW INFO DISCOVERED!***
A Post-Script to last
month's ground-breaking interview with Paul Brett. It can now
exclusively be revealed that Tintern Abbey did indeed last-out
the year 1968. And were still performing well into 1969. This
contradicts all previously published reports. Whilst writing the
review for next month's "Libro Psicedelico", Paul Cross
inadvertently stumbled across a listing for a gig featuring
Monday 3rd February 1969
Pussy Rhodes Centre, South Road, Bishop's Stortford, Herts
Limelight Promotions/Cancer campaign Presentations
The gig wasn't cancelled and should lead to further research. It proves (for the first time) beyond any doubt that the band survived well into 1969.
By early '69 Paul Brett was with Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera. His first single with the band was 'Mary Jane' issued in May '68, whilst he was still in Tintern Abbey, but gigging/recording with the more remunerative Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera. But by January '69, when the last Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera 45- 'Volcano'- was issued, he had become a full time member. By May '69 when 'Anna Square Dance'/'Don't You Realize' was released, "Elmer" had departed and they'd shortened their name to Velvet Opera.
Therefore this raises the possibility of a FIFTH (post-Paul Brett) line-up of Tintern Abbey, which featured a new, and as yet unknown lead guitarist!
The following lyrics are for a long lost Tintern Abbey song, which chronicled the domestic situation in their Sloane Square mews house. The Nigel of the title is of course Tintern's manager, Nigel Samuels.
Nigel' by TINTERN ABBEY
It's one o'clock in the morning and the doorbell rings
And duty calls for everyone to do their thing
Shake of Mandy wake the band
We have to play it for the man
Oh! Oh! Oh! it's Nigel Through hazy dreams of love machines
The Prisoner wakes and plays some bass
Jon D bangs and PB twangs
While Dave is eating cornflakes
Oh! Oh! Oh! it's Nigel
He's the man who pays the bills
He's the man who owns IT
He's the man who nods his head
While this band in box wakes the living dead
Oh! Oh! Oh! it's Nigel
The buzzard sits above the stairs
And Eddie's warm in pubic hairs
Nigel leaves, it's another day
We can never remember what we played
Oh! Oh! Oh! it's Nigel. (Repeat Chorus to fade)
Lyric by Paul Brett, 1968.
There has also just come to light the title of another long-lost Tintern Abbey song. Entitled 'Snowman', it is a track which the band wrote, rehearsed, performed live, and may even have recorded!
Watch this space for more info! (PC)
***CLASSIC PSYCH REPRINTS- PART I***
Here for your delectation
is a seminal text in the history of Psych collecting and
reissuing, never before republished.
From the NME, April 19, 1975:
NICE STUFF- A Psychedelic Compilation (Dealer WOT 0001)
This album doesn't exist...But don't you wish it did?
First of a spine-tingling new series - in which members of NME Wishful Thinking Inc. compile their Ideal Album of any or each particular musical genre. Or not. As the case may be.
THIS WEEK: CHARLES SHAAR MURRAY and the Golden Years of British Psychedelia.
HOW TO COMPILE AN ALBUM FOR FUN AND PROFIT
Though this album doesn't exist, we decided to compile it under the real limitations facing anyone who attempts such an endeavour. Limitation number 1: you have to rely on the material owned by one specific company or group of companies, since label managers are somewhat averse to leasing material from other companies unless it's dead cheap (budgets, y'know). Limitation number 2: there's only so much material that you can squash onto one side of an album before you start losing volume and tonal quality.
Unless you have a stone genius of a mixdown engineer and Uri Geller to master and cut the tapes onto disc, you cant get much more than twenty-two or twenty-three minutes of music onto an album. Take a look, for example, at the first Led Zeppelin album. Even though there's not much more than eighteen minutes worth of music on each side, the groove runs abnormally close to the label. This is because Jimmy Page packed as much volume and reproduction in the tapes as he could, and the more you put into it, the more disc space it takes up. By contrast Al Kooper managed to bump Side One of "Super Session" up to half an hour, though you had to crank up your machine to get optimum volume and sound quality.
The original version of "Nice Stuff" was a real utopian deal which ran for something well over an hour, included material from half a dozen different labels and featured Beatles and Stones material plus a twenty minute Soft Machine bootleg tape. As such, it was widely impractical and served no real purpose, and was ruthlessly suppressed.
The one we're dealing with here could actually exist if Polydor were prepared to issue it. The material is drawn entirely from labels which Polydor control, including Giorgio Gomelski's now defunct Marmalade label (source of the Blossom Toes, Kevin Godley and Auger-Driscoll) and Track (Arthur Brown, Marsha Hunt, John's Children and Thunderclap Newman). In an attempt to avoid material which has already been anthologised to death, no Who or Hendrix material has been included, and the Cream track chosen is one that has so far escaped the attention of the trained armadillos who slave away in Robert Stigwood's basement endlessly permutating old Eric-Jack 'n-Ginger tracks. I've attempted to balance off the familiar with the obscure - everybody knows "Fire", "Something In The Air", and "This Wheel's On Fire", but "Devil's Grip", "Accidents" (particularly the long version from Thunderclap Newman's grossly neglected "Hollywood Dream" album) and "Road To Cairo" failed to grasp public attention on anything like the same scale. The Godley track, which should come as a considerable eye-opener to present-day 10 cc. fans, only ever saw the light of day on a Marmalade sampler entitled "100 Per Cent Proof" and the Blossom Toes track known only to the people who listened to "Top Gear" in 1968 and those dedicated crazies who actually bought the blamed thing. The point is that this stuff is available to Polydor and they haven't really attempted to use it. Sure, they've packaged up endless Cream and Hendrix albums and done a "Rock Flashback" on Auger and Driscoll, but their reissue policy hasn't exactly been too adventurous. To the A&R Department at Polydor Records, then, this Phoney Compilation is affectionately dedicated.
BRITISH PSYCHEDELIA was a far more eccentric beast than its American forebear. Possibly because of a sense of distance from the authentic 'roots', British bands had generally tended to lose patience with the idea of playing twenty minutes of "Johnny B.Goode" every night and, fortified by shining examples from the West Coast and suspicious packages purchased from slicked-up West Indians, they set out into the unknown to produce music of the genre located within this well-laminated, guaranteed-not-to-split-until-you're-out-of-the-shop sleeve.
THE CRAZY WORLD OF ARTHUR BROWN: "Fire"
All Of seven years ago. The Crazy World of Arthur Brown were the heroes of those hippies who were either brave enough to confront them while wasted, or had taken too much acid to care. Operating as a trio at first (Brown, organist Vincent Crane, and drummer Drachen Theaker) they played grotesquely mutated soul music (even including "I Put A Spell On You" and James Brown's "Money") with Brown's insanely amped-up horror-movie lyrics and psychedelic punch-and-judy theatrics. "Fire" was a huge hit, got Arthur Brown in all his demented glory onto "Top Of The Pops" complete with flaming helmet, and was quite the weirdest thing to assail the nation's screens until the coming of Alice Cooper several years later.
THUNDERCLAP NEWMAN: "Something In The Air"
The omnipresent Pete Townsend had had a considerable hand in the launching of Mr. Brown, co-producing his record with Kit Lambert. Another act that he put together was Thunderclap Newman. Composed of pretty-boy whiz-kid guitarist Jimmy McCullough (who's still ver pretty and still a whiz-kid), eccentric GPO engineer and pianist Andy Newman, and manic songwriter/hooligan John (Speedy) Keen, Thunderclap Newman had been assembled out of three diverse ingredients by ol'Pete who produced their records and played bass on their album "Hollywood Dream". "Something In The Air" was a massive hit, and still survives through its recent revival by LaBelle, whose magnificent reinterpretation of the song can be found on their "Pressure Cookin'" album.
CREAM: "Anyone For Tennis"
The story of Cream is too well known to require any lengthy retelling. In addition to breaking the five-minute barrier (and the ten-minute barrier, the fifteen minute barrier and the twenty minute barrier), they also recorded various orthodox pop songs, usually composed by Jack Bruce and Pete Brown. This one was the product of Eric Clapton and his flat-mate, former OZ art director Martin Sharp. It was the theme from a totally forgettable trash movie, and also proved a less than successful single. Note especially the unutterable poignancy of the line "and the elephants are trampling on the brains of squealing mice/Anyone for tennis, wouldn't it be nice". Of such stuff is greatness born. Can you hear me, Steven Harley?
JOHN'S CHILDREN: "Desdemona"
From the dim mists of time come John's Children, the first rock band to get seriously camp. They posed naked, discreetly veiling their hairy bits with convenient hunks of shrubbery, and included in their number were a singer named Andy Ellison (currently fronting a group named Jet) and a guitarist named Marc Bolan (currently unemployed). This track was banned at the time by the BBC because of the line "Desdemona, lift up your skirt and fly". Bolan later left to pursue his own devices, and John's Children fled into no doubt well-deserved obscurity. "Desdemona" is their legacy to the youth of today.
MARSHA HUNT: "Walk On Gilded Splinters"
One of the many legendary incidents of those golden years was the occasion on which Marsha Hunt appeared on "Top Of The Pops" to perform her interpretation of Dr John's classic "Walk On Gilded Splinters" wearing a buckskin skirt and halter. Owing to the amount of effort that she put into it, the halter top gradually unlaced itself, much to the consternation of the technicians and the delight of the audience. Due to great presence of mind by all concerned, public decency was preserved. The record was great, incidentally; required listening for anybody with a collection of back numbers of "Tales Of The Zombie", and it was promoted in the underground press with ads involving photographs of Our Marsh performing yoga exercises in the nude; one of which, to Ms Hunt's entirely justified displeasure, emphasised the initial letters of the title to spell "W.O.G.S." Her next appearance on "TOTP", incidentally coincided with the release of a single entitled "Keep The Customer Satisfied".
JULIE DRISCOLL, BRIAN AUGER AND THE TRINITY: "Road To Cairo"
"Road To Cairo" was one of the Great Flop Follow-ups. It came hard on the heels of Julie Driscoll and the Brian Auger Trinity's "Wheel's On Fire", and was a solid example of More Of The Same. It was longer and slower, which counted against it, but since Julie Driscoll had become the recipient of a vast amount of colour-sup attention it was assumed that this new-found cult status would provide an automatic smash. It didn't. Funny old world, innit?
THE BLOSSOM TOES: "Peace Lovin' Man"
Described by The Observer as playing "electric guitar Asian jazz" (bully for The Observer), Blossom Toes were very heavily publicised but proved a trifle too eccentric for public acceptance on the scale of the Floyd, Arthur Brown, or even Tomorrow. Nevertheless, they reached some extraordinary heights, not the least of which was "Peace Lovin' Man", a non-mystical revolution song which makes no musical compromises whatsoever, and featured some extraordinary guitar from Brian Godding.
JULIE DRISCOLL, BRIAN AUGER AND THE TRINITY: "This Wheel's On Fire"
"This Wheel's On Fire" was the hit that set "Road To Cairo" up to flop. It brought the aforementioned Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger and The Trinity out of the clubs and into international prominence, and it was some kind of small masterpiece. It took one of Dylan's most oblique and paranoid songs and made it even more sinister and mysterious, with a chilly Mellotron in the background, an icily malevolent vocal from Julie Driscoll, and a rampaging organ solo. Ride-out, which was buried in trifle in the original mix.
KEVIN GODLEY: "To Fly Away"
Kevin Godley is now 10 cc.'s drummer, but a few years ago he and Graham Gouldman were a short-lived and righteously obscure duo planning all kinds of projects for Giorgio Gomelski's Marmalade label. "To Fly Away", a gorgeous little piece, was included on Marmalade's sampler album as a trailer for an album that never emerged due to Marmalade's premature collapse. Godley, of course, went on to Hotlegs and from thence to 10 c.c., where he is now extremely rich and famous. This is what he sounded like when he was poor, folks.
THE SOFT MACHINE: "Love Makes Sweet Music"
Ditto for The Soft Machine except that they still aren't that rich. "Love Makes Sweet Music", a merry little ditty written by Kevin Ayers, who is famous, features the original line-up of Ayers (bass), Robert Wyatt (drums), David Allen (guitar), and Mike Ratledge (keyboards), and predates the banks' first album on ABC. Mr. Wyatt indulges in a wee dram of scat-singing, and the piece is quite uncharacteristically straightforward. Needless to say, it wasn't exactly a worldwide smash, though it did make No. 28 in Radio London's Top 40.
FLEURS DE LYS: "The Dong With The Luminous Nose"
And let's hear it for genuine British psychedelic idiocy. No American band of the time could ever have made a record as triumphantly absurd as this, the first musical adaptation of Edward Lear since the days of Elton Hayes and his small guitar. The rather large guitar on this record is the work of a gentleman named Bim. Wherever you are now, Bim, your contribution to Western thought did not go unnoticed.
THE CRAZY WORLD OF ARTHUR BROWN: "Devil's Grip"
"Grip" preceded "Fire", but regrettably didn't come to as many people's attention. Even more bizarre, it showed Mr. Brown's ensemble at their most idiosyncratic with Arthur in magnificently uninhibited form and Crane really whipping out that "Phantom Of The Opera" stuff. It's B-side, "Give Him A Flower" was possibly the only recorded example of British psychedelic stand-up comedy and could well be included on a future collection.
THUNDERCLAP NEWMAN: "Accidents" Again, a follow-up that missed. Certainly a more demanding work than "Something In The Air", its theme - small children involved in lethal accidents - may well have weirded out many potential consumers. This version, extracted from Newman's "Hollywood Dream" album is a masterpiece of production, and involves the "Air" device of seeing how far you had to go to render logical Newman's magnificently irrelevant piano solos. The ending, with its repeated spoken motif, could serve as some kind of "hail and farewell" epitaph to its era. The brain damage must go on!
VOLUME II of "Nice Stuff" which draws on EMI's catalogue, will be included in our next. Incidental, you don't have to wait until Polydor come to their senses and decided to put this out. If you can hunt up the records and a cassette machine, you can do it yourself. In fact, if you've got a cassette player, you can put together any compilation you want... [Part 2 will be in the next issue of SFA]
***ADVENTURES IN THE RAG TRADE***
An extract from Chapter
Three- "Hippie Hippie Hoorah!" of Patrick Hobart's (as
yet unpublished) memoirs, 'From Rags to Bitches: Adventures in
The Rag Trade during the '60s & '70s'.
On the most fundamental level, the history of pop music in some ways, is ironically a visual one. For when one listens to a record one's minds eye automatically pictures the singers and guitarists arranged in their finery, entwined together with the nostalgia the music generates. As with all youthful fashion "movements", the Brits lead the way. The first, barely noticeable signs of the style nouvelle, appeared in 1964. Following the first modern mass importation of ethnic fabrics from Asia, some subtle floral motifs began to decorate men's shirts and some more garish paisley patterns ornamented that essential item of mod apparel, the tie. Throughout 1965 the blade of the tie grew wider, initially as a result of a desire to display a broader swathe of the patterned fabric, later as an end in itself, one of pure playfulness - the kipper. Some of the more de rigeur stalls on Portobello market began selling Indian fabrics and ethnic gew gaws to discerning customers who were not the traditional well-healed dilletante but a younger more fashionable crowd, who it seemed had grown tired of progress. And in an air of cynical mistrust had lost faith in consumerism. For the first time modernist (and mod-ism) began to falter. The sleek world of chromium and plastic had fallen from grace. As if in a spiritual cris de coeur the past and the East were both thoroughly rummaged and plundered for new ideas. Suits of fin-de-siécle Wildean velvet in shades of deep red, Buckingham green, and russet began to be worn by a handful of decadent stylists. These suits were outrageous - not so much when set against later styles, but when compared to the predominant look of 1965, a time when most Englishmen wore suits of grey, navy or black wool, or for the most discerning city gent a wool and silk mix. Brighter colours still appeared in ladies fashion - as much a direct result of pop art experimentation as new production technology - specifically dyeing - acid yellow, orange, lime green, purple. And of course hemlines began to rise and rise! At first the most daring fashions were relegated to the overlapping circles of musicians, gays and middle-upper class 'faces' on the London scene, and specifically in the groovier districts (SW3, W11, W8...) These ideas soon penetrated that important interface for spreading fashion to the masses, and worldwide, the open-minded and affluent young employees of the music, fashion, advertising and photographic industries. The first mass outing for the nouvelle vogue was the mass gathering of poets and freaks at the Albert Hall for the Wholly Communion poetry festival. On that day pretty girls handed out flowers; satin scarves and paisley shirts were juxtaposed with mohair suits. The event proved to be the largest and final blast of the Beat Generation but it was simultaneously and more importantly the triumphant birth of British psychedelia. The amorphous notions of transcendental experience, Eastern mysticism, literary/artist avant garde and a new romanticism had .... into a vibrant new cult. But, even by 1966 when images of "swinging London" were splashed across literal acres of magazine pages, it was still relatively rare to see such "beautiful people" in the flesh. Maybe only on the Kings Road or in Carnaby Street could one guarantee a sighting. And so the Americans came to gawp and rudely prod the Dandies & Dollies. For in the US - at the time a stylistically benighted land such sights were unknown. US fashions were always either behind the times, poor copies of the British/Parisian/Italian look, or were simply and hopelessly irrelevant. "Swinging London" was the most outward manifestation of an altered consciousness. Initially psychedelia was but one strand of London style. From a hotch potch, psychedelia grew into an anti-fashion, diametrically opposed to haute couture psychedelia was therefore the first "street style" that attempted not to infuse the mainstream with subtle (insidious) variance as both mods and teds had done, but to attack the mainstream and destroy it.
***ALPHA - OMEGA: A LIFE by Jason Scott***
I must confess that I was
dubious in extremis when first I heard that UK collectors were
praising this release. After all, it had so many factors not in
its favour - It was recorded at 'Studio Dubendorf' in Winkel(!),
by Swiss musicians (who in addition also penned all the tracks,
mixed and engineered the LP, and even created the Hippie mandala
sleeve art too!), and then privately issued in Switzerland in
1976. But surprisingly on the whole it sounds like a British band
recorded in '68 or '69. Weird! As if the band were stuck in an
Anglophile time warp. It's a bit like the Moody Blues attempting
an 'SF Sorrow'. Funnily enough, it is thematically identical to
the Pretties' magnum opus (and therefore unsurprising that in
many respects it is also very similar to it, musically), as the
album also tells the story of "a life" (another
everyman figure, here called 'Michael') from conception to death.
Stylistically it lies on the fertile borderland between psych and the progressive; but whilst the musicianship veers from the highly proficient to the downright virtuoso, it remains more pop- with a lighter touch, more melodic than the typical heavy-handed conceptual prog rock nightmare.
The album comprises 18(!) tracks, and features much that we at SFA demand as our daily bread - tasty wah-wah (courtesy of Werner Homburger), echo, flute, mellotron (particularly on 'One Thousand Arms' which is Floydian psych pop with some deep prog excursions), liberal sprinkling of sound effects, sitar (well, actually a de-tuned guitar), sped-up piano (achieving that Beatles/Wonderwall high-register, harpsichord sound), and angelic harmonies.
Highlights abound but 'The woman' which is trippy, with sped-up piano, a Sonja Kristina feel and features nice touches of phasing on drums and guitar; 'The Breakdown' which is blessed with much wah-wah wobbliness and the additional thrill of a phased car crash; the hippie-mellow 'Awakening'; 'The Rich Man, Yet So Poor' has Tull-like flute, heavy guitar, more tinkly, accelerated piano; and 'Guilt' which is very like (the post-Skip Bifferty) Griffin.
The only thing 'wrong' with the LP is the lack (in some parts) of clear signal differentiation, due to the absence of a professional producer.
For lovers of the 60s UK sound, on the look-out for a new thrill, this late 70s Swiss album ironically should do very nicely thank you.
Here are a few of Andy
Farrow's favourite things...
STUDIO SIX- 'Strawberry Window' An Irish seller of seafood, by the name of Molly Malone, out of her skull on nembutals, runs into a beat group desperate for a new idea. She introduces said group to "pot" and some of the fair capital's most outré and louche establishments. Inspired by their bohemian experiences they instantly churn out this track and then just as instantly de-materialise. Meanwhile Molly continues flogging her cockles...
PANDAMONIUM- 'Chocolate Buster Dan' I guess if you're not turned on, you won't be able to dig this one. Personally, I dig fatuous, I dig inane, I dig satirical and humorous, and I always like a dollop of music-hall zaniness with my popsyke. 'Chocolate Buster Dan' has all these things, together with an almost indeterminable frisson of pathos that makes it somehow greater than the sum of its individual parts.
SOFT MACHINE- 'Feelin', Reelin', Squealin'' For sheer outrageous lyrical weirdness, this is hard to beat. Very much from the "earnest"/avant garde end of the psych field. But, fear not, this is as far from "prag wonking muso bow-locks" [misprint] as Istanbul is from Teddington Lock.
Reelin', Squeelin'' by SOFT MACHINE
This is a token of words unspoken to you
Honey I'm feelin', reelin' and squeelin' for you
Why don't you tell me one way or another
That you'd rather be your father and mother?
This is a feeling from the ceiling of my dream
I get hung up tied and strung up on your scene
It doesn't matter what I say, you're safely tucked away
You've got your simple way, I'm something far away
Aren't you happy?
Aren't you happy?
I've been dreaming
You've been screaming all night
You said take me
I said wake me - it's all right
Hell is the hung-up mind Looking for things to find
You'll look but will not see
Outside your fantasy
That's all useless - ain't it honey?
HANDS, DADDY COME HOME! PART TWO. Incredible Sound Show Stories, vol. 17
(Dig The Fuzz) LP comp. 500 COPIES ONLY.
Concentrating on foreign-only pressings of British 60's groups, featuring: JOHN SMITH & THE NEW SOUND/ THE DEEJAYS/ DAVE ANTHONYS' MOODS/ SAME D./ HI-FI'S/ DON FARDON/ THE RENEGADES/ CASEY JONES & THE GOVERNORS/ LES HUMPHRIES/ THE SNAPPERS/ IAN & THE ZODIACS/ ARTHUR BROWN/ RAINY DAZE & more.
Due early November.
HERE LIES EBENEEZER GOODE 1970-1974 (Queen Victorias' Records 2004) LP comp. 400 copies only.
BRITISH NUGGETS FROM THE PSYCHEDELIC AGE 1970-1974 14 Psychedelic nuggets (& NO PROG!!) appear from: QUIET WORLD/ LEATHERHEAD/ DEAD WOOD/ CATS EYES/ TURNPIKE/ SKIN ALLEY/ HUMBUG/ PARSONS & SMITH/ CHRIS HODGE/ TITANIC/ RARE BIRD & more!
Due early November
LOVELY SUMMER DAYS: Psych Treasures From The Vaults Of MGM Records
(Arc-Zen Records A-ZCD 2001). 100 (numbered) copies only. CD comp.
1 INFANTES JUBILATE- Exploding Galaxy
2 JETHRO TOE (Tull)- Aeroplane
3 JETHRO TOE [TULL]- Sunshine day
4 SUNDRAGON- Five White Horses (LP version)
5 ONE IN A MILLION- Fredereek Hernando
6 ONE IN A MILLION- Double Sight
7 THE UGLIES- I see The Light
8 THE UGLIES- Mary Cilento
9 THE SHAME- Don't Go 'Way Little Girl
10 THE SHAME- Dreams Don't Bother Me
11 ALAN BOWN- Story Book
12 ALAN BOWN- Toyland
13 ALAN BOWN- Technicolour dream
14 SILVER EAGLE- Theodore
15 ERIC BURDON- Sky Pilot (Part 1)
16 ERIC BURDON- Sky Pilot (Part 2)
17 JADE HEXAGRAM- Worlds Apart (Prev. uniss'd inst.)
18 PAUL/BARRY RYAN-Madrigal
19 JIGSAW- Tumblin'
20 PETER & THE WOLVES- Little Girl Lost And Found
21 FACTORY- Path Through The Forest
A collection of mind-melting material! Compiled by Bob Davies. The idea of a trawl through the back catalogue of MGM has long excited fans of UK psychedelia. The title of this comp originated in an April Fool's spoof review in 'Record Collector', about 10 years ago. Soon after than, a very limited vinyl version of the comp did actually appear - life imitating art? Well, life imitating hack work. This CD is that original LP, plus 8 bonus tracks. As it is a monster comp-containing a veritable feast of classics, (most if not all of the MGM stuff you'll ever need), plus a few lesser known treats, and a couple of unreleased tit bits - we've very little else to say except grab it quick! SFA's choice for "Psych Compilation Of The Year 2002? Yes, quite probably! Due November. (DT)
Collected Works 1969-1970 (Acme Deluxe ADLP 1035) Vinyl LP Comp.
This LP collects together previously unissued recordings from 1969/70 by an Essex-based (Yes!!!) 5-piece who grew from the ashes of The Cymbaline / Cymbeline and The Flies.
Musically, their material encapsulates the wonderful "progressive pop sound"- post-Psych but pre-Prog Rock. Hammond organ, a funky rhythm section, superb guitar and beautiful Mirage-style harmony vocals. The opener, 'Venetian Glass', is an absolute treasure- floating and ethereal, yet with some real punch. Most of the tracks are self-penned but among a few covers there are sterling takes on 'Pattern People' and 'Taxman'. Other highlights include 'Space Shanty' (not the Khan song), 'Same Girl' and 'Time Keeper'.
A fascinating glimpse into the exploits of a genuinely talented underground band. An essential purchase and beautifully presented, both aurally and visually. (PC)
KEITH HOPWOOD AND FRIENDS - Vault 69 (Pluto THO30751) CD Comp
Further excursions (continuing on from 'Waterloo Road') into the sounds produced at Pluto Studios, Stockport during 1967-69, featuring ex Herman's Hermit Keith Hopwood, and some vocals by Dee Christopholous (ex Wimple Winch) - the popsyke flavoured 'Uncle Earnest', 'You're A Big Girl Now'. 'Sleepy Head' is a highlight - superb popsyke and 'The Sultan's Daughter' is a wonderful example of how the straight pop world embraced the fad for all things eastern: Egyptian rhythm & pipes - "A wise old man from Istanbul / Told me stories very strange / About the Sultan's daughter / And he could arrange / To get me to that mystic place / The land of the camel trails / For me to watch whilst she performs / The dance of the seven veils..."
Summer Deutschland evening and jumbo freaks are best described as mellow hippie flute pop, the other tracks are less convincing and some are bloody awful, but its an interesting glimpse into the archives, shame there's little in the way of sleeve notes, and 12 tracks is a bit thin. (JK)
THE NICE - BBC Sessions (Castle CMFCD 457) CD Comp.
Smashing stuff! This is a labour of love product that we totally dig. Tracks sourced from various tapes (forget the BBC archive they dumped loads of goodies!) lovingly collected over the years and here collated for your enjoyment. For those who don't know these sessions then there's some new treats in store. Highlights include the Byrds' 'Get To You' which is quite fabulous and quite a nice (no pun intended) contrast to their usual sound; a stunning version of 'Flower King of Flies', is both short and highly memorable, Zappa's 'Lumpy Gravy' is weirdness encapsulated, 'I'm, Not One Of Those People' and 'Diary Of An Empty Day' are both great, proof if it were ever needed, that even at this late day they could deliver the goods...even in the clinical environment of a BBC studio. (PC)
PECULIAR HOLE IN THE SKY - Pop-Psych From Down Under (Big Beat CDWIKD 215) CD comp.
From the outset it must be stated that this is not the best Aus psych comp ever (those accolades go to 'Gold Tops', 'Datura Dreamtime', 'Ugly Things', 'SYWBAR&R*2') but it is the best UK-produced . The vast majority of the 27 tacks herein culled from Festival and subsidiary labels, have appeared on many previous comps (issued in Australia), but for the average Brit punter these tracks will be either totally new, or never before heard on such a professional sounding CD of the seven or eight songs that will be less familiar (master tape) have been "psych comped" for the first time, sadly, very few are earthshattering which is a shame as more interesting (relevant) material is available with the exceptions of the Graham Gouldman - penned 'Going Home' by Normie Rowe, a rather poignant ditty about 'Nam dressed up in '67 finery - a shimmering, minor classic which also featured members of Blossom Toes as the backing musicians; Hugo's short 'n' sweet 'Girl In The Garden' and the blinkin' marvelous and frankly very sycamore Sid-like 'Sitting By A Tree', by The Escorts, Jon's 'Upstairs, Downstairs' (not the Gouldman track, this was written by the Bee Gees). Of the rest of these "new tracks" there's perhaps an over preponderance of US-sounding material (Alex Palao compiled this) which ain't too hot. Still, overall it's a superb compilation perfect sounding easy to purchase - every high street store should be able to order it, abounding with classics - James Taylor Move, The Bucket, Lloyd's World (see last months SFA), Cam-Pact (ditto!), Dave Miller, Wild Cherries... and The Executives. A rare example of an Aussie sheila getting freaky, well on vinyl (it might be worth adding that some of the Executives other releases are being passed off on eBay as "psych". They're not. They are west coast-style coast harmony stuff). As the sleevenotes do most honestly attest, this comp contains tracks which are "as good as anything from the UK or US". (JPH)
ODDITIES VOLUME 2 (no label, ODDS 001) Vinyl LP (compilation) plus bonus 45. 600 Copies only.
Beautiful! Beautiful! Beautiful! So nice, we had to say it thrice!
15 of the obscurest & choicest chops from the 60's deep freezer. 16 if you include the bonus facsimile of The Rolling Stones 1964 acetate, 'We Were Falling In Love'. Styles represented here include dancefloor-friendly mod goodies, psych pop, freakbeat and some bizarre creations which defy description and categorisation by even the most adept pigeon-holer, for example Heinz's 'Movin' In' - '56 style rockabilly posturings thrown violently off kilter by some massive blasts of '66-style guitar.The Glorious Revolution's (Oak acetate) mad version of 'Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood', is absolutely amazing, another of those finds which makes collectors and fans drool. (The incredible Brendan Phillips track is coincidentally in this month's "Discography", so go there for more opinionata). Rifkin on vinyl ... at last. I know there's many who'll be pleased to get their mits on this great piece (no matter that it's a mickey take).
An additional snippet of info- Group Therapy whose Vanilla Fudge-style 'Remember What You Said' is included herein, were actually a US outfit who recorded two LPs in the states for RCA and Philips, the latter of which was also issued (with a different title) in the UK.
Nice to see that a sense of cohesion has been maintained by continuing with the René Magritte cover-art. Roll on Volume 3! (PC)
SUNDIAL - Out Of Space Out Of Mind / Wild Bug (Ace Of Discs Ace.001) vinyl 45.
We don't normally do "newies". But this 7-incher out on Acme's new "Ace Of Discs" label is an exception, which contains 2 very groovy slabs of high-class psych.
As fans of Gary Ramon & company will know, Sundial are one of the modern scene's top bands, and this single maintains their reputation. These sounds will appeal to those open minded peeps who dig British psychedelia and ain't got no hang-ups about which decade it was recorded.
Buy! Buy! Buy! Let's see it in the charts where it 'kin well belongs! (PC)
JUST IN... SIR GEOFFREY SAVED THE WORLD: VOL. 4 CDR comp *Not for sale*
1 Bee Gees - Mrs. Gillespie's Refrigerator (Version #2)
2 Mike Proctor - Mr. Commuter
3 Piccadilly Line - Yellow Rainbow
4 October Country - Cowboys And Indians
5 Peter Starstedt - Sons Of Cain Are Able
6 Boomerangs - Dreamworld
7 Young Idea - Colours Of Darkness
8 Del Shannon - Gemini
9 Richard and Thomas Frost - New Place To Live
10 Francoise Hardy - Tiny Goddess
11 Cilla black - AbysinNian Secret
12 France Gall - Chanson Indienne
13 Picadilly Line - At The Third Stroke
14 Bee Gees - And The Children
15 Two and a half - I Don't Need
16 Status Quo -Auntie Nellie
17 State of Mickey and Tommy - Sunday
18 Peter Starstedt - Frozen Orange Juice
19 Barry Ryan - I'm Sorry Susan
20 Claudine Longet - Hello, Hello
21 France Gall - Teenie Weenie Bopper
22 Herman's Hermits - London Look
23 Freeborne - Yellow Sky
24 Chad and Jerermy- Sunstroke
25 Poppy Family - Beyond The Clouds
26 Paul and Barry Ryan - Pictures
An eclectic CDR comp of sounds as played on Chocolate Soup FM. NOT FOR SALE- available for trades only, exclusively from email@example.com
'No Presents for me' by Pandamonium
Standing on the platform
waiting for my train
Hoping I'll be better off when I'm back again
Leaving here this morning in search of better things
Want the luxuries of life having money brings
There's one thing that I learned about life
You'll never get more than you give
You go to work for the things that you want
It's in your hands the life you live
I can see there's no presents for me
Fame and fortune will never be free
Had my share of good times and bad times in this town
Lately these surroundings seem to bring me down
Money goes to money this I know is true
I can see there's no presents for me
There'll be none for you
There's one thing that I learned about life
You'll never get more than you give
You go to work for the things that you want
It's in your hands the life you live
I can see there's no presents for me
Fame and fortune will never be free
***PROTO-GLAM / TARDO-PSYCH*** by Johnny Hortus
During the years 1968 to
1971 a new style began to develop on obscure releases. It is only
now with musicological hindsight, that we can see what this
monstrous birth would bring forth. this new style was post-psych,
bubblegum-influenced, triumphant, hard, catchy pop with a
confident swagger, an exhibitionist streak, tough guitars, hand
claps and bovver boy terrace-style chants. It lay the foundations
for a thunderous rhythms sound which seemed to emerge fully
formed as if overnight, in the pop charts of 1972. These early
protagonists may have been arranged in multi-hued satin finery,
but there were as yet no feather cuts, no platforms, or silver
stars in sight... thankfully!
NING- Machines/More Ning (Decca F23114) 1971.
THE LOOT- She's A Winner (Page One POF 095) 1968. A whiney, testosterone-fuelled football chant.
THE BABY- Heartbreaker (Spark) 06/69 A new generation ditch all the namby pamby hovis hippie hogwash and go-for it on the full-on fuzz fumper.
RAY OWEN'S MOON- Hey Sweety (Polydor 2058 095) 1971.
CAT'S EYES- The Wizzard (MCA MK 5056) 1970. This is Tardo-psych / proto-glam par excellence! It's got the classic glam deadened drum sound, and lyrics and guitar motifs which are clearly in the psych camp.
EGGY- You're Still Mine (Spark SRL 1024) 1969. With some explosive guitar parts and a swaggering, jolting rhythm, it's another classic example of that of which I write.
PHILWIT & PEGASUS-Pseudo Phoney Mixed Up Croney (Chapter One CH137) 1970. (Also see last month's Mark Wirtz review)
YELLOW PAGES- Here Comes Jane (Page One POF 090) 1968. Actually The Mirage under an assumed identity! YELLOW TAXI- Anna Laura Lee (President) 1970.
The BEATLES- Everyone's Got Something To Hide...
Pre-dates the Slade-end of the glam spectrum, by a couple a years. Far more glam/camp than rock/serious. Don't believe me? Play the third Slade LP, then coppaloada this.
ZOMBIES by Amanda Cohen***
'INDICATION' AND THE RE-EMERGENCE OF THE CULT OF ORIENTALISM
In Britain, an
understanding of "otherness" was often imbued with
elements of the exotic and oriental. This objectification was
heavily tempered by experiences of empire and colonialism. For
Europeans in general, the orient had always offered an
alternative, an escape, an outré and wholly different schema
from the western Christian tradition. In literature the most
interesting manifestations of the cross-pollination of
Orientalism into the creative intellectual repertoire are to be
found in 'Vathek', Flaubert's 'Salammbô', 'Le Jardin des
supplices' by Octave Mirbeau, in the opium smoking in 'Dorian
Gray' and on a lower level the novels of Hector France, and Sax
Rohmer's Fu Manchu stories. All these novels grew from the
Romantic tradition, but had an emphasis on the decadent, the
foetid and the risqué. To the poet the East was a source of
sexual license, corruption and moral decay, synonymous with
strange drugs and strange passions. In music the oriental theme
was adopted for its motifs of "otherness". Aida, Madama
Butterfly and the soundtracks to a multitude of Hollywood costume
dramas all invoked (parodied?) oriental motifs to create
insoluble clichés, signifiers of cultural difference, attraction
and perversity. The resurrection of interest in the fin de
siécle, Orientalism and mystic-religious exploration were
directly descended from the last, unlikely re-emergence of
Romanticism in the 1960s. These non-linear, instinctive,
anti-rational modes were attractive to those creative person of
an unorthodox persuasion who began to seriously doubt the
positive benefits of modernism and scientific
'Indication' by The Zombies perfectly captures the moment when the "early 60s" became the "late 60s"; when technicoloured anti-rationalism elbowed soggy monochrome off centre stage. This transition is reinforced by the very song structure itself. The first section of the song (up to 1min 44 seconds), epitomises the early 60s, barring some jazz-influenced keyboard motifs it is an unoriginal composition straight out of the Merseybeat song book, its close harmonies, "la la las", multiple tempo changes, advertising-derived repetition, and a rhythm track subordinated to the lyrics would not be out of place at the London Palladium.
The second section (1:45 - 2:56) however, is very different indeed. This is prototype psychedelia - a melange of atonal guitar, Arabic scales (derived via John Coltrane), distortion, bombastic drumming and arcane, funereal wailing, which veers towards freakout, psych avant la lettre. Whereas the Kinks ('See My Friends'), Yardbirds ('Heart Full of Soul'), the Rolling Stones ('Paint It Black') and the Beatles ('Norwegian Wood') all utilised Orientalist motifs principally as window dressing, the Zombies created probably the earliest most fully-formed product of a marriage of manic Eastern sounds and experimental British pop. Eight months later the band returned to the Eastern feel (and a guitar intro which closely prefigures Mighty Baby's Cosmic psych masterpiece 'Same Way From The Sun'. Although in sales terms this remarkable ground breaking performance failed to register with Joe Public, it was deemed remarkable by some music commentators, as the following contemporary [June 1966] quotes testify:
"The Zombies (Indication) - Starts like early Beatles, ends like the Whirling Dervishes. Could make it for this successful but somewhat hit-less group."
"Indication (Decca) -People I know are saying they're very pleased with this because it sounds so modern. People like me don't like it - and I hate saying that because I love the Zombies dearly and think that they are clever and talented people. It's rather tuneless this, something I never thought I'd accuse them of. And somehow rather meandering. The end half where they go madly Arabic and completely potty is most interesting"
"The Zombies - one the country's top five groups - have a smash. It is 'Indication'. First half is above-average Zombies (which is very good); second half is a new, wild, exciting rhythmic pattern which sends you high on first listening" - Jonathan King.
THE ZOMBIES & BEAT: EFFETE = CHART FAILURE.
The effete has always aroused curiosity and suspicion. The British, by temperament and natural inclination veer towards stolidity, strength of character, purposefulness, self-reliance and level headedness. So-called "manly virtues" have traditionally held sway. And yet there has always been a strong parallel tradition, an under-current of the precious and the lustrous. Marlowe, Shakespeare's sonnets, Keats, Wilde, Dowson, the neo-romanticism of John Piper all attest to this, as surely as Kipling and Churchill personify the bulldog spirit. The alternative tradition has often been a bi-product, most evident of particular socio-political eras - liberal regimes, times of relative prosperity and peace or rich patronage.
When the Zombies first issued a single ('She's Not There'), their brand of wistful minor-chord pop was initially embraced or its novelty as much as its breathy, catchy charm, but were soon treated with suspicion. Bespectacled, sighing and middle class; their inept, rather limp-wristed attempts at macho R&B bravado were perceived as artificial and perverse. In an era where popstars were the testosterone-charged and amphetamine-fuelled idols of besotted teenage screamers, a band who made fragile music full of lassitude and the aura of neurasthenia and the upper sixth common room, were seen as heretics: morally-dubious deviants who were shunned, excluded from the market place. Many artists who are ahead of their time, are later fêted when the climate changes. The Van Gogh, despised during his lifetime becomes post mortem a genius, a creative giant. With The Zombies this wasn't to happen, despite the hectic pace of cultural change during the latter part of their career (1966-69), which saw the public (albeit a small public and for a short period) embrace the elements that the band so abundantly possessed - wistful introversion, preciousness, a relative degree of effeminacy, a florid artfully crafted product.
But by the time that the times had changed, it was too late. At a time when image was everything, if you were deemed unsuccessful even relatively so, then there was little or no change of rehabilitation.
***NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT***
No. 1 (First in an
occasional series):- THE GODS
(A) The song entitled 'Looking Glass' on The Gods' debut LP 'Genesis Of...', (side one, track 4) is actually a dramatically rearranged but lyrically identical version of 'There's Not One Thing' by The Just Four Men (i.e. proto-Wimple Winch). How they ever heard it remains a mystery, for it was obscure when first released in 1965.
(B) Mono and Stereo versions of the above LP differ from each other, not just in the very minor mixes of the songs, but in one startling respect- the former dispenses entirely with the inter-track silliness (For more on THE GODS, see 'Out In The Cold', last issue)
***CATALOGI PSYCHEDELICUM PHONOGRAPHICORUM- Capitulum DCLXVI***
'Accidents' / 'I See It All' (Track 2094 001) 1970.
The far less successful follow up to 'Something In The Air'. 'Accidents' is fabulous, and the LP version is a major opus. 'I See It All' is beautiful- a blissful, period pop B side, very much to the SFA taste.
GRAPEFRUIT- 'Down To The Station' (RCA Victor RCA 1855) 1969. Heavy freakbeat / rock, featuring the magnificent vocal prowess of Bobby Ware. This is a total departure from their earlier Apple work, which like the rest of heir RCA stuff has received short shrift in some quarters, which is unfair.
THE FOUNDATIONS- 'New Direction' (Pye 7N 17636) 1968. Dragnet goes psych. Eerie and menacing. ART NOUVEAUX- 'Extraterrestrial Visitations' (Fontana TF 843) 1967. Pretty & melodic folky pop, with strange sci fi sound effects.
FLUFF- 'Love Machine' (DJM DJS.215) 1970. Fab UK popsike version of Pastoral Symphony's Aussie smash hit 45. Very rare, particularly stock copies.
HUMBUG- 'Marianna' (CBS S 4811) 1970. Bubblegum pop with a dollop of The Who sound. A fab production by Bernard Cochran no less! It is also worth noting that this was engineered by mike Fitzhanry. He who was immortalised by Andwella in the title of the B side to 'Every Little Minute'.
CHRIS McCLURE- 'Meditation' (Polydor 56259) 04/68. Best of his releases...by far! Strange, soft popsyke. This really is very wonderful! Luscious and uncomped.
BRENDAN PHILLIPS- 'Something's Happening Outside' (Mercury MF 931) 1966 This is completely amazing! For 2 reasons - the first is that it is such a phenomenal record - spooky & haunting it's one of UK psych's classiest recordings, flutey popsyke with markedly strange lyrics, totally neglected except by the cognoscenti (until now! It's on 'Oddities Vol. 2' - see "Review" above); and the second, is that it is so ahead of it's time. It really is hard to believe that it was recorded and released in the summer of '66!!! A bizarre example of psych time travel, perhaps? Maybe not, but it's most certainly a case of inspired musical brilliance. Now you'll be able to hear its fabulous, beautiful weirdness. And as it says in Oddities Vol. 2 - "this 45 will be changing hands for obscene amounts in the coming years!" 'Pack Your Bags' is nice, jaunty '66 style pop but not in the same league.
'Something's Happening Outside' by BRENDAN PHILLIPS
Turn your face back to the
Something's happening outside
Something you don't understand at all
Something's happening outside
All you wanted was sympathy from the boy
Wouldn't accept you were just his toy
Now you're lying in a padded cell
Friends sayin' you're away, unwell
All your cuts have been in vain
All you've done is damage your brain
[?] 'They're gonna exhaust you, come and cause you pain[?]
You're flying high it's just a mental gain
Turn your face back to the wall
Something's happening outside
Something you don't understand at all
Something's happening outside
Lying in your white back-laced shirt
There's stains upon it, but they're not of dirt
Hear the doctor's been in the hall
All your screaming won't help you at all
Rainbow of light you see his face
Him whose feelings put you in this place
But in innocence you're restored rest
Keep up the feeling or see your mess
Turn your face back to the wall
Something's happening outside
Something you don't understand at all
Something's happening outside Something's happening outside.
***TILL WE MEET AGAIN...***
Next issue, we'll have Cliff Ward, Majority One, our Cilla (!), Deram Nova, Jackie Lomax, Brian Carroll, more from Charles Shaar Murray the Discography, lyrics, quotes and ow't else we can cobble together. In the meantime- Ta Ta! Dave & the gang xxx
Sweet FA- the world's only
periodical devoted to UK PSYCHEDELIA, is published monthly.
Editor - Dave Thubron Deputy Editor - The Rt. Hon. Paul St. James Cross
Contributors- Jon Kerr, Stuart Robertson, Jim McAlwane, John-Paul Hortus, Scott Charbonneau, Amanda Cohen, Jason Scott.
All contents copyright (c).
Extracts from Roger St. John, 'The Bumper Book of Psych Quotations' by kind permission of Tangerine Books, London. Copyright (c) 2000.
Extracts from Patrick Hobart, 'From Rags to Bitches' by kind permission of the author. Copyright (c) 2002.
Charles Shaar Murray's text from the NME, Copyright (c) 1975.
All other contents Copyright (c) SFA, October 2002.
SFA is a non-profit making & non-capital generating publication. No part of the contents may be reproduced for gain. It's for "educational purposes" only.
Mess with us and we'll come round in the middle of the night and stuff a bat right up yer nightdress.
Printed for the members of the Grumbly & District Choral Society.