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** We will happily publish more than one review of each album.....don’t let that stop you **

Caedmon - S/T
1978
Kissing Spell KSCD9540-f

Track List:
Ten Maidens Fair, Maker Man, Death Of A Fox, Sea Song, Aslan, Beyond The Second Mile, Living In The Sunshine, Storm, Columbas' Song, Smile On Your Face, Caedmon's Hymn, Give Me...

****Submit a review?****
 
 

Can - Soundtracks

1970

Liberty LBS 83437

Track List:

Deadlock, Tango Whiskyman, Deadlock, Don’t Turn The Light On leave Me Alone, Soul Desert, Mother Sky, She Brings The Rain.

****Submit a review?****

Soundtracks

 

Can - Ege Bamyasi

1972

United Artists UAS 29424

Track List:

Pinch, Sing Swan Song, One More Night, Vitamin C, Soup, I’m So Green, Spoon.

****Submit a review?****

Ege Bamyasi

 

Captain Beyond - Captain Beyond

1972

Capricorn CP0105

Track List:

Dancing Madly Backwards (On a Sea of Air), Armworth, Myopic Void, Mesmerization Eclipse, Raging River of Fear, Thousand Days of Yesterdays (Intro), Frozen Over, Thousand Days of Yesterdays (Time Since Come and Gone), I Can't Feel Nothin' (Part 1), As the Moon Speaks (To the Waves of the Sea), Astral Lady, As the Moon Speaks (Return), I Can't Feel Nothin' (Part 2).

Review:

This is without a doubt the most incredible ass-kickin-mellow-dreamfloating-exciting tour-de-force ever released on vinyl (and obvously CD).
I heard Bobby Caldwell's opening drum chop on Dancing Madly Backwards for the first time in 1974 and, in December 2002, it still gives me the goosies.
Although not strictly a concept album, the tracks flow easily into one another - sometimes they sneak up on you, sometimes they hit you right between the eyes so sudden (check out Raging River of Fear) that you drop whatever you're holding and burn the carpet.
By the time you've reached As The Moon Speaks (Return) - a mellow interlude with good vocal harmonies - they go and do it again: I Can't Feel Nothin' (Part 2) smacks you into another dimension with its brilliant percussion opening and then the guitar intro to end all guitar intros kills whatever sanity you have managed to hold onto. The guitar work from Rhino, the gravelly
vocals from Rod Evans plus the amazing multi-instrumentalist-extraordinaire Mr Caldwell - well, friends, - this is psychrock at its best.
Although Captain Beyond have realeased two more great albums (Sufficiently Breathless and Dawn Explosion), nothing touches the genius of the Captain Beyond release.


Submitted by Horst - January 2002

Captain Beyond

 

Caleb - Baby Your Phrasing Is Bad

1967

Phillips 1588

Track List:

Baby Your Phrasing Is Bad, Woman Of Distinction

Review:

The A side of this single is an awesome psych track full of fuzz guitar and phased vocals, it is included on the 2nd Bam Caruso psych compilation 49 Minute Technicolour Dream. Woman Of Distinction is included on the 1st Bam Caruso comp, The Psychedelic Snarl and although not as strong as the A side, is still a nice slice of Brit Psych/Pop.
pOoTer.

 

Castaways, The - Liar Liar (7”)

1965

London

Track List :

Liar Liar, Sam.

Review:

Thank god for Lenny Kaye for including this gem on the original (and best?) Psych/Garage compliation LP Nuggets, some call it pop (it did reach No.12 in US charts) and I suppose it was, but it was also a superb organ driven 60’s punk classic. Trainspotters will also remember its inclusion in ‘Good Morning Vietnam’
pOoTer.

 

C.A Quintet - Trip Thru Hell

1968

Sundazed Records

Track List :

(Original LP): Trip Thru Hell (Pt. 1), Colorado Mourning, Cold Spider, Underground Music, Sleepy Hollow Lane,
Smooth As Silk, Trip Thru Hell (Pt. 2)

BONUS TRACKS: Dr Of Philosophy, Blow To My Soul, Ain't No Doubt About It, Mickey's Monkey, I Put A Spell On You,
I Shot The King, Fortune Teller's Lie, Sadie Lavone, Bury Me In A Marijuana Field, Colorado Mourning, Underground Music,
Smooth As Silk

Review:

Whilst in my opinion, “Trip Thru Hell” is a decent album I don’t find it wholly successful in its attempts to create a spooky, hallucinogenic atmosphere. Perhaps its over ambitious concept is its main flaw, and its possible downfall?
How many studio albums can you think of where 3 minutes into the first track you are presented with a drum solo?
This is a record about mood and sound textures. It weaves and meanders all over the place yet sometimes it is completely aimless in its direction. Throughout much of the album Ken Erwin’s trumpet playing just DOES NOT work. It comes across as contrived and pre-conceived and does not emphasise anything worth accentuating. That said the band could sometimes hit the mark perfectly. This only happens however when the instruments are allowed to carve through the thick space, which they have created (e.g. the whistly organ throughout the record and the explorative guitar passages on “Cold Spider” & “Underground Music” are brilliant).

“Trip Thru Hell” is a record that is adored and worshipped by psych fans the world over. Yes, it is a psychedelic album, and yes, in places it is very trippy indeed however, does that make it a good record? Well no, not really. It’s not a bad album, but it’s not a particularly over whelming or remarkable one either.
AFTERNOTE: The Sundazed Re-issue is the only official re-issue of the C.A. Quintet LP. It comes complete with twelve added songs (singles, demos, unreleased tracks etc.). Whilst some are noteworthy (e.g. "Dr of Philosophy" and "I Shot The King") The other songs are for the most part second rate material. The above review and its rating is based on the album's offical seven tracks alone.

Reviewed by BlueMagoo - November 2002

Trip Thru Hell

 

 

Census Of Hallucinations - Census Of Hallucinations

2000

Stone Premonitions SPCD 019

Track List:

Spiritual Sensitivity, New Age Travellers, Integration, The Moon, Lizard Man, Charlatan Express, Flying Humanoids, Dear Prudence, Holographic Theory, Gaia Hypothesis, Majestic 12, Devils Answer, The Big Pink Jam Sandwich, Planet Alignment, Orion, Window Of Opportunity.

Review:

This is the first album by Census Of Hallucinations (I believe there are three more) who comprise of musicians from the Stone Premonitions collective, namely Tim Jones and Terri-B. The label itself is testament to the very much active underground music scene in the Uk and the output from this label is prolific to say the least, with many of their releases being received enthusiastically around the world.
They pride themselves on quality and good songwriting and this is very much evident on this album and the fact that they have their own label goes a long way to help their cause as they have total control throughout the recording process.
The lyrics here cover many serious topics and they are not afraid to tackle political and environmental issues as well as having a good time and crafting some very fine songs. The album has a strong 'festival' vibe to it with many rich and varied tracks including some nice long spacey instrumental tracks such as 'Integration' and some really tripped out moments of madness, the excellent 'Lizard Man' and more 'acoustic' edged tracks such as 'The Moon' (time to leave the planet?) which amounts to an eclectic but very interesting album that gets better every time you listen to it.
The band makes interesting use of a variety of instruments including Tabla, Acoustic and Electric guitar, Saxophone, Flute, Keyboards and some cool sampling.
Excellent and original British underground material in the space rock & 'festie' vein.....feed you head.

Please contact Tim and Terri at Stone Premonitions for more information on Census Of Hallucinations info@archhouse9.fsnet.co.uk or visit their website: www.stonepremonitions.co.uk

Reviewed by pOoTer.

Census Of Hallucinations

 

Census Of Hallucinations - The 3rd Eye

2001

Stone Premonitions SPCD-025

Track List:

The Piped Piper Of Hell, Lie Again, Big Brown Pyramid, The Selfishness Of The Thatcher Yeras, The Sea Of Green, Life Is Never Easy, Have Him Stripped And Washed And Sent To My Tent, Buttercup Biscuits, Out Of Body Experience, Pillow Full Of Dreams, Think, Stragon Cluin The Dragon, 55,000 Airmen.

Review:

Imagine that your body, at this moment, is changing into a glass container.....With me so far?..."No?"...oh good, then read on!!!
The third release from Census Of Hallucinations sees the band settling down into some solid songwriting on this album. By settling down I do not mean calming down, as this album is as full of as much hallucinatory craziness and scathing political angst as any of their earlier recordings, full to overflowing with some very well written songs backed up with the usual high standard of lyrical content.
As usual, nobody is safe from their savage (and often tongue in cheek) wit as political topics are dragged through the mire along with aliens and a whole truckload of other strangeness and digital FX that makes this band so unique.
Hang on tight for an album full or surprises that takes in space rock, whacked out Ska beats, tripped out pop, a slice of Teutonic Kraut inspired chaos and even a few steps close to dance music with bubbling synth loops....."I say, Old Boy!!"

Lie back, light a fat one and kill the lights and prepare to journey through The 3rd Eye
Buttercup Biscuits indeed...!!

Please check out the rest of the Stone Premonitions label, their site is www.stoneprem.co.uk, email info@archhouse9.fsnet.co.uk

Reviewed by pOoTer - April 2002

 

Charlatans - Same

1969

Phillips SBL 7903

Track List :

High Coin, Easy When I’m Dead, Aint Got The Time, Folsom Prison Blues, The Blues Aint Nothin, Time To Get Straight, When I Go Sailing By, Doubtful Waltz, Wabash Cannonball, Alabama Bound, When The Movies Are Over.

****Submit a review?****

 
 
Chimera - S/T

10th Planet LP TP054

Track List:
Side 1: 1.Come Into The Garden / (Interlude 1) / 2.The Grail / (Interlude 2 wind chimes) / 3. Sad Song For Winter / (Interlude 3 wind chimes) / 4.Mary's Mystery / 5. Lady With The Bullits In Her Hair.
Side 2: 1. Black Hat Babe / 2.Song In E / 3. Episode At Telegraph Hill / 4. Morning Sounds / 5.Peru. Recorded 1969-70

Review:
Chimera were basically two young girls Francesca Garnett and Lisa Bankoff accompanied by an ever changing line up of musicians (all of them good). The album presented here is mastered from a cassette tape (though you'd never know it to hear it) which was all that was left of these sessions. A projected then abandoned album, the recordings ended up as a miscellaneous collection of sessions partly due to their label, Morgan Bluetown's, dithering which led to people leaving the group or becoming disinterested. Pink Floyd's Nick Mason produced all of these sessions and Rick Wright plays harpsichord on 'Lady With The Bullets In Her Hair', the whole (and sometimes harrowing) story of which can be found in the liner notes and in more depth and context in Francesca and Lisa's self-published book 'Making It: Famous Names And Silly Girls' (2002, see their website on www.chimeramakingit.com).

What we have as the musical legacy is a game of two halves. Half, or perhaps slightly more, of the songs are real vehicles for the girls voices (all the songs are originals). These are acid-folk of the very first order and any Mellow Candle fans for instance will want this album and many of the numbers would have fitted deftly in to 'The Wicker Man' film soundtrack. Francesca and Lisa's voices on album opener, 'Come Into The Garden' suddenly emerge out of a swirling introduction and proceed to take off like two uncaged birds soaring towards the sun. Backed by busy drums, this mid paced number (as most of these numbers are and thus allowing both singers and musicians to stretch out) is a jaw dropper for anyone attuned to an acid-folk vibe. It should be said that none of the songs on this album have a predictable or conventional pattern to them. They are beautifully syncopated affairs with interesting vocal patterns lilting bass lines etc., in fact 'progressive' in the very best sense of that often abused word, with rhythms rising seemingly from nowhere and winding back down again.

'The Grail' is brooding, full of foreboding and warning with great keyboards in an almost improvised rhythm, whilst 'Sad Song For Winter' is a beautiful solo vocal from Lisa accompanied by acoustic guitar and harpsichord which produces a surprisingly full sound for such spartan instrumentation. 'Lady With The Bullets In Her Hair' features Rick Wright on harpsichord (or Spinet or some such) and is a beautiful pastoral and orchestrated number (Cellos, wood wind and a touch of brass) with acoustic guitar. Similarly 'Morning Sounds' takes us in the same direction. 'Song In E' is also a beautiful light number featuring acoustic guitar and tablas with a dual female vocal, soft and flowing, a nice tune with good changes.

The other dimension of the album are those songs which feature the band more strongly. Most famously, or at least the track most widely heard by anyone that is part of this aspect is 'Peru' with its swooping, loping bass line and compulsively addictive rhythm. In similar style is 'Mary's Mystery' which has a phased guitar part and a long instrumental passage which rises to a crescendo. The band dominated numbers can best be described as Fairport Convention meets Little Feet as they have a blend of blues-funk and folk rock in them. Both 'Black Hat Babe' and 'Episode At Telegraph Hill' (which also includes some John Mayall-like guitar work lacing its way throughout the number) are other examples of this style.

All songs on this album are instrumentally very strong and seem to go out of their way to find counter rhythms rather than plump for the obvious, both instrumentally and vocally. The whole project was far more worthy than the way it got treated, and it is a pleasure to have it here now. I could listen to this all day and still want more. It is slated for release on CD by Sanctuary who own the Morgan Bluetown catalogue as well, and if there is even just one extra track not on the LP, I'll be bagging that as well! Acid-folkers, dreamers and seekers after musical cerebral accompaniment should all tap into Chimera, this albeit posthumous release deserves a much wider audience.

Reviewed by Paul Martin - June 2003

 

Chocolate Watchband - No Way Out

1967

Tower 5096

Track List :

Lets talk about girls, In The Midnight Hour, Come on, Dark Side of the Mushroom, Hot Dusty Road, Are You Gonna Be There (at the love in), Gone and Passes By, No Way Out, Expo 2000, Gossamer Wings.

Review:

This album starts out as supreme rock, cock strut, R&B raunch with 'Let's Talk About Girls' (lots of nice reverb guitars here, though)  and goes on to further excesses with 'The Midnight Hour' and 'Come On' almost exactly as per the Rolling Stones, note for note, but then goes a little bit haywire with 'Dark Side Of The Mushroom' You think maybe they have made it to the fields of psychedelia, and then they hit you with the rubbishy 'Hot Dusty Road' But then they rebound  with  'Are  You Gonna Be There (At The Love In)' which is a garage rock classic. Strong striding fuzz guitars and mean vocals. It's not only about love and gurls, ''Are you gonna be there with a broken heart, Are you gonna be there when I make I make my mark," It's about love, drugs, sex and rock 'n roll. Brilliant stuff. Then we have 'Gone And Passes By' which has a very pronounced Bo Diddley beat and the emergence of the sitar.
This is one of the things which really identify this band and make this a superb track. Then it all goes madly cosmically psychedelic again as 'No Way Out' kicks in. Lovely sustained, eastern guitar and Jaggeresque vocals. Then the Eastern backwards guitars take over.
Followed by 'Expo 2000' this is awesome garage psych. Loads of fuzz, reverb, echo, the whole enchilada. This really blows your mind, baby! But if that wasn't enough, the totally tripped out 'Gossamer Wings' is the final track. Slowed down vocals, violins, lyrics that will totally blow your head off, this track has it all...

They started out as a garage band and could have been the greatest psych band of them all if only they could hold it all together, but sadly they couldn't.

See the 'Inner Mystique' review for more about this seminal band.

Reviewed by DoctorDark - March 2002

No Way Out

 

Chocolate Watchband - Inner Mystique

1968

Tower 5106

Track List:

Voyage of the Trieste, In the Past, Inner Mystique, I'm Not Like Everybody Else, Medication, Let's Go, Let's Go, Let's Go,    It's All over Now, Baby Blue, I Ain't No Miracle Worker, She Weaves a Tender Trap, Misty Lane, Baby Blue, Sweet Young Thing.

Review:

This album kicks off where the last album trailed out...
"Voyage of The Trieste" is saxophone, sitar, tambourine, flute, and vocal 'oohs' and 'aaahs' You might almost think that the Chocolate Watchband had left their garage past behind them until you hear the superb "In The Past" - the sitars and flutes are still there, but this is a song that was also done by "We The People" - both versions are beautiful. A fantastic song.
More deep psychedelic gongs, gentle acoustic guitar and flutes on the title track, 'The Inner Mystique' This album used to fetch 100s of £££ on the collectors' circuit many years ago, and it's not hard to see why. Former garage band turns massively psychedelic, keeps raw edge but manages to turn in some awesome psychedelic wanderings. This is the stuff that dreams are made on.
The next track, "I'm Not Like Everybody Else," an old Kinks song, sees them back to their garage best. Love it. The rumours abound that hardly anyone from the actual band performed on some of these sessions, but I think it was their main vocalist on this one. "Medication" features Don Bennett and various session musicians - see the sleeve notes of the CD.  "Let's Go Let's Go Let's Go" is also not quite the real article, though it is quite good rhythm and blues. But then we get back to the "real" band with a superb version of "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" - this song seems to be blessed, in that I've never heard a bad version of it, from the Elevators on down..... And this is another great one..
"I Ain't No Miracle Worker" is more great garage stroke psychedelic rock 'n roll ballad. A few eastern touches and a gentle fade out.

Whatever happened to this great psychedelic band? They released another album, "One Step Beyond" which has its great moments, and apparently they have a web site, so all is not lost.

Reviewed by DoctorDark - March 2002

Note from pOoTer:
The Original Chocolate Watch Band have recorded a new LP and are back on the road.
The Official web site is HERE.....check it out.

Inner Mystique

 

Chocolate Watchband - One Step Beyond

1969

Tower 5153

Track List:

Uncle Morris, How Ya Been, Devil's Motorcycle, I Don't Need No Doctor, Flowers, Fireface, And She's Lonely, Don't Need Your Lovin', Sitting There Standing, Blues Theme, Loose Lip Sync Ship.

****Submit a review?****

One Step Beyond

 

Chocolate Watchband - 44

1984

Big Beat

Track List:

Don't Need Your Lovin', No Way Out, It's All over Now, Baby Blue, I'm Not Like Everybody Else, Misty Lane, Loose Lip Sync Ship, Are You Gonna Be There (At the Love-In), Gone and Passes By, Sitting There Standing, She Weaves a Tender Trap, Sweet Young Thing, I Ain't No Miracle Worker, Blues Theme.

****Submit a review?****

44

 

Circle - Andexelt

1999

Meta 025

Track List:

Andexelt, Odultept, 20milate, Usaapui, Humusaar, Paljasta, Vereftoi, Kidulgos.

****Submit a review?****

 

Circle - Taantumus

2001

Bad

Track List:

Kultaa, Kekkone, Valtaisa Hahmo, Traktors, Suopea, Rautasilta, Lyhytaallosta, Ranta, Morn, Siivet, Taantumus, Pelqton.

****Submit a review?****



Circus Maximus - Neverland Revisited
1968
Vanguard VSD 79274

Review:
Circus Maximus is another one of those half forgotten mid-level pop/psych bands from the late 60’s, that, I feel is due for a little more examination. Originally hailing from Texas, they had less in common with other Texas bands, such as the Elevators, Golden Dawn, etc., and more in common with groups like Spirit and Eden’s Children , who had a strong, jazzy side.

Circus Maximus had folk, jazz and R&B roots that gelled with psychedelic flourishes under the song writing of Bob Bruno and Jerry Jeff Walker. Like Spirit, it was a succesful synthesis of these styles, due to the writing talents of Bruno and Walker, along with the generally high, but understated musicianship. Walker went on to have an accomplished solo career in the 70’s and beyond.

Side one kicks off with ‘Hello Baby’, a jazzy folk rock excursion with snakey guitar lines and nice chorus harmonies, which are prominent in other songs. The song seamlessly segues into track two, ‘How’s Your Sky, Straight Guy Spy’, which has to be one of the more curious titles of that era. Here, the vocals become more urgent, bordering on an excessive mannerism. The organ becomes a major force here, creating a borderline manic freakout.

‘Come Outside, Believe In It’, brings a more flower power vibe to the proceedings, with another chorus that sticks on the side of the brain, and begs for repeating – over and over. A tinkling organ wafts its way through the song, adding that ‘magic carpet’ ride to the experience.

Track four: ‘Parallel’ offers up one of the era’s mantras – city life/country life, your ideals/my ideals, etc, etc., and with more subtle hooks through and through. My one reservation ( a minor one), which I alluded to before – Bruno’s vocals lean toward’s excessive. Fortunately, he pulls back at the last second – otherwise, he could go over the top more than I would like.

Track five: a rap song…well, if only more rap songs sounded like this. I love songs that begin with the chorus – and this does. ‘Trying To Live Right’ …..Walker lights into a rap over a funky backbeat, loping bass and funky jazz organ, that sounds like it’s trying so hard to break into psychedelic mayhem. Piano chops add to the texture, but it’s the infectious chorus that does it to me every time. As in

‘Lonely Man’ is a psych soul number that wouldn’t be out of place on a Young Rascals album.

Side two jumps off with another up tempo folk psych tune by Walker, called ‘Mixtures.’ Great hooks, and excellent background harmonies from the band. Their first album had plenty of hooks as well – ‘Lost Sea Shanty’, ‘You Know I’ve Got The Rest Of My Life To Go’, ‘Bright Light Lover’, ‘People’s Game’, ‘Time Waits.’

‘Negative Dreamer Girl’ brings back the snakey guitar lines that wrap around the locomotion of the verses and choruses. Probably the most intense song on the album.

Track three, ‘Neverland’ : a one minute intro of spacey organ washes and tasty backwards guitar open this four and a half minute gem. I’d say the most abstract track on the album, although it has another killer chorus in it that reverberates in the mind for a long time. It segues into ‘Neverland Revisited’, which is a jazzy, pscyhedelic extension of the previous song, with glittery organ and piano, backwards guitar, and jazzy drumming.

The final track, ‘Hansel and Gretel’ is a six minute mid tempo, dreamy psychedelic nursery tale. It has strange, almost out of tune harmonies that are very mantra like. A perfect way to end this underrated album.

If you like your folk psych with a tablespoon of jazz and a dash of r&b, this is it. Along with Spirit, Circus Maximus synthesized several elements, without losing sight of the whole. Many bands attempted this, but, very few were succesful.

I’ve had this album for many years, and can’t understand why I didn’t listen to it more often from beginning to end. The more I listen to it now, the more it impresses me.

Review submitted by Sunpirate - March 2004

 
Clear Light - S/T
1967
Elektra EKS 74011

Track List:
Black Roses, Sand, A child's smile, Street singer, The ballad of Freddie and Larry, With all in mind, She's ready to be free (bonus track on re-issue), Mr. Blue, Think again, They who have nothing, How many days have passed, Night sounds loud.
Review:
The self-titled 1967 album from Clear Light was sadly the bands only offering. It's another one of those late 60's psych albums you listen to and think, why didn't this band go onto bigger things? After all this album was brought to us by the production team of Rothchild, Botnick and Holzman whose collective CV features such iconic heavyweights as The Doors, Forever Changes, and The Stooges. Add to a whole album-worth of beautifully crafted songs, illustrious label-mates, a bass player that also played for The Doors, the theatrics of the budding actor turned rock singer on vocals, not to mention the gimmick of being the first band to sport two drummers and I suspect great things would have been expected from this band when Clear Light was first released.

My only thoughts on its lack of mainstream or cult success when listening to this superb collection of psychedelia is that, unlike the Fuzz, Acid and Flowers assessment of the band "whose songs often lacked distinctive melodies" which I wholeheartedly disagree with, I feel the band lacked a distinct trademark sound. It is impossible to listen to this album and not compare each track to major league psych stalwarts such as The Doors,
Jefferson Airplane, Love and The Byrds.
The high quality of the 11 original tracks (and added bonus track on the CD reissue) doesn't falter for the whole album. However as this is a text book example of the sound of '67 it remains firmly rooted in that year, hence lacks the decade transcending timelessness that made the music of The Doors and Love the stuff of legend. On the plus side though it is exactly this feature of the album that makes it an utterly essential snapshot of the sounds of the era.

Standout tracks, and there are many, include the heavenly baroquishness of A child's smile, The ballad of Freddie and Larry with its unforgettable organ hook-line and unexpected changes in tempo that lurch Doors-like into a jazzy swinging chorus, Think again with its highly trippy vibrato guitar, and again Doorsian swing coupled with highly psychedelic soloing. Think again, however, like so many of the tracks on Clear Light is painfully short, just when they present a really interesting idea or sound its snatched away, maybe this is a clever trick though, as I find myself hitting the repeat button on this album more than most I own! Then there's They who have nothing with its wonderful swirling harmonies sounding like McGuinn, Crosby and Co at their finest, and there's How many days have passed with its beautiful folk balladeering that wouldn't have been out of place on Surrealistic Pillow. Then finally the album's climactic masterpiece of psychedelic high drama, and possibly the bands finest moment, Night sounds loud with its spine-tingling organ motif and achingly good psych guitar meltdown.

After this album, several of the band members careers eventually took off, with Seal joining the Peanut Butter Conspiracy, Taylor drumming for CSN&Y and De Young pursuing, to this day, a successful acting career in TV and film. However it is the album Clear Light that for me still remains their finest artistic achievement, and one that no self-respecting collector of psychedelia should be without. Hats off too to Collectors Choice Music for the superb job they have done with the CD reissue of this album, whose clarity and sound quality is second to none and allowing us, as the back cover sleeve notes dictate,

"To fully appreciate the spectacular sound of double drumming in CLEAR LIGHT play this record at high volume".
Absolutely!


Reviewed by Simon Allen - March 2003

 
 

Clearlight - Clearlight Symphony

1975

Virgin

Track List:

Clearlight Symphony Part I, Clearlight Symphony Part II

****Submit a review?****

 
Cold Sun - Dark Shadows
1968
Rockadelic RRLP 25

Track list:
Ra-Ma, Here in the year, See what you cause, Twisted flower, South Texas, For ever, Fall.
Review:
Psychedelic music of the late 60's and early 70's in all its many guises and sub-genres was undoubtedly one of the most fertile movements for innovation in musical experimentation and recording techniques. So when I was given this album by a member of the Pooterland crew, who recommended it highly on the basis that it contained some of 'the most psychedelic music' ever recorded, part of me expected a piece of work laden with studio trickery.
To my delight however this album, at least on a personal level, does live up to such a bold description. Though not through a barrage of sound effects, druggy lyrics and alien soundscapes, but rather through the understated warmth, richness and liquidity of the sound that pours effortlessly from the lo-fi arsenal of bass, drums and most notably the mesmerizing interplay between electric guitar and electric autoharp.
It is impossible to select stand-out tracks from 'Dark Shadows' as only one track ('See what you cause' - bouncing RnB with fuzzed up soloing) deviates from the blue-print of exquisitely sustained, often Eastern-tinged, fuzz guitar weaving around the ethereal and sometimes deliberately off-key tones of the electric auto-harp.

The Fuzz, Acid and Flowers entry for the album is critical of the quality of the lead vocals, however the vocals, that in places resemble a Roky Erickson/Neil Young hybrid telling mystical tales of ancient Egyptian and Amazonian civilizations are an essential component of the psychedelic experience conveyed by this music. For many years now I have searched for a whole album-worth of sounds like those created by my heroes Ray Manzarek and Robbie Krieger in full psychedelic flight on 'Light my fire', and they are
here on this outstanding example of 60's psychedelia at its best.

Hence the description 'the most psychedelic music' for me becomes the 'the most perfect psychedelic music' without a shadow of a doubt.


Reviewed by Simon Allen - March 2003
 
 

The Cosmic Jokers: The Cosmic Jokers

1974

Kosmische Musik KM 58008

Track List:

Galactic Joke, Cosmic Joy

****Submit a review?****

The Cosmic Jokers

Count Five - Dynamite Incidents

1984

Outline (re-issue)

Track List :

****Submit a review?****

 

Count Five - Psychotic Reaction (7”)

1966

Double Shot 104

Track List :

Psychotic Reaction, They’re Gonna Get You.

Review:

Archetypal US 60’s punk from one of the best bands of the mid sixties, San Jose’s Count Five, who allegedly turn down a major record deal and certain fame and riches to stay at school!!!...........duh. That aside, this is an absolute classic garage track that spawned many imitations (though none that bettered this). Garage roots at its best?
p.s. check out the Cramps live version of this..........
Reviewed by pOoTer.

 

Crawling Walls - Inner Limits

1985

Lolita

Track List :

Review:

Over produced (way too squeaky clean) 80’s retro garage band who if they had heard The Fuzztones, The Morlocks or Plan 9 before going into the studio they would have realised they were in the wrong job. Sorry guys, this needs more balls, more power and more chemicals...............
Reviewed by pOoTer.

 

Cream - Strange Brew

1983

Polydor

Track List :

Badge, Sunshine Of Your Love, Crossroads, White Room, Born Under A Bad Sign, Swlabr, Strange Brew, Anyone For Tennis, I Feel Free, Tales Of Brave Ulysses, Politician, Spoonful.

****Submit a review?****

 

Cream - Disraeli Gears

1967

Reaction 593/4 003

Track List :

Strange Brew. Sunshine Of Your Love. World Of Pain. Dance The Night Away. Blue Condition. Tales Of brave Ulysses. Swlabr. We`re Going Wrong. Outside Woman Blues. Take It Back. Mothers Lament.

Review:

One of the essential psychedelic albums of 1967 (Sgt.Pepper, The Doors first album, Hendrix's Are You Experienced?) Disreali Gears put the band in the place of "supergroup" , here the trio plays excellent blues and rock mixing them with the trippy sounds of the moment, the band was in good form and the album has great moments as in Tales Of Brave Ulysses , Sunshine Of Your Love (covered later by Hendrix), Strange Brew
They had only four albums and I recommended all of them.

Reviewed by Alejandro Casado - July 2002
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Disraeli Gears

 

Cream - Fresh Cream

1966

Reaction 593/4 001

Track List :

N.S.U, Sleepy Time Time, Dreaming, Sweet Wine, Spoonful, Cats Squirrel, Four Until Late, Rollin and Tumblin, I’m So Glad, Toad.

Review:

While Disraeli Gears first brought them major attention, and Wheels of Fire was their piece de resistance, Fresh Cream, their debut album, actually contains some of the best work by the group that would become one of the most influential forces on the rock music scene, probably only outshined by the Beatles and Led Zeppelin.  Tracks like "N.S.U." and "Sweet Wine" show off Clapton's guitar mastery, as well as the distinctive vocal harmonies effectuated by Clapton and Bruce.  These two cuts formed the springboard for their live improvisations, as best captured in the posthumous release, Live Cream. Ginger Baker's "Toad" set the standard for all drum solos to follow thereafter, and for my money nobody has ever come close since.  Jack Bruce's harp work is well-exemplified on "Rolling and Tumbling" and "Four Until Late", and "I Feel Free", the opening track, may be the best cut the group ever did in the studio, bar none.  If you don't have this album you are a Lawrence Welk fan.

Submitted by Lawrence A. Strid www.bsdlegal.com

 

Cream - Wheels On Fire - In The Studio

1968

Polydor

Track List:

White room, Sitting on top of the world, Passing the time, As you said, Pressed rat and warthog, Politician, Those were the days, Born under a bad sign, Deserted cities of the heart.

****Submit a review?****

 

The Creation - We Are Paintermen

1967

Hit-ton 340037

Track List :

****Submit a review?****

We Are Paintermen

 

The Creation - How Does It Feel To Feel

1982

Edsel ED 106

Track List :

How Does It Feel, Life Is Just Beginning, Making Time, Painter Man, For All That I Am, Through My Eyes, Try And Stop Me, Biff Bang Pow, Nightmares, Midway Down, I Am The Walker, The Girls Are Naked,Tom Tom, Can I Join Your Band, Ostrich Man.

Review:

This is the LP that started it all for me, not an original release by the band, but instead a superbly put together compilation LP of The Creation’s best material. Before I go any further, if you do not own this record then go out and buy it now and come back and read this later!!!. How Does It Feel to Feel, released in 1967 as the band 5th single opens this awesome LP with a driving hypnotic force. This is classic British Psychedelia all the way. Best tracks include How Does It Feel to Feel, Life Is Just Beginning, For All That I Am (THE best??), Midway Down and Can I Join Your Band.
I cannot say enough about this LP (its a nostalgia thing...). For anyone new to this sort of music START HERE!
Reviewed by pOoTer.

How Does It Feel To Feel

 

 

The Creation - Making Time (7”)

1966

Planet PLF 116

Track List :

Making Time, Try And Stop Me

****Submit a review?****

 

Crystalized Movements - Mind Disaster

1984

Psycho 28

Track List :

Overture, Stone Cathedral, Communal Storybook, Sandy Roy, The Hymn, Orange Acid Orange, Close Your Eyes, Psychotical Delusions.

****Submit a review?****

 

Caravan - Caravan

1968

Verve 6011

Track List:

A Place of My Own, Ride, Policeman, Love Song With Flute, Cecil Runs, Magic Man, Granma’s Lawn, where But For Caravan Would I Be.

Review:

The first Caravan LP, recorded in 1968, is one of their lesser-known works; this is a shame because it has a lot more charm than many of their later, somewhat over-produced efforts. The feel is laid-back, there are less instrumental pyrotechnics, but the songs are much stronger. Probably one of Richard Sinclair’s earliest vocals, ‘Mr. Policeman’ is worthy of Syd Barrett at his very best for whimsical imagery that hides a sinister, paranoid theme. The timpani that start booming towards the end of the track add to that menacing edge.

On ‘ Love Song With Flute’ we have a superbly lyrical, wistful flute solo from the band’s ever present companion, Jimmy Hastings, and then the freakish ‘Cecil Runs’ with more undertones reminiscent of a slightly unbalanced Syd, one discordant chord throbbing away deep in the mix throughout most of the song. What this is about, I can’t imagine, but I like it! ‘Magic Man’ sounds like a nice lazy ballad, but has the slightly distorted organ chords more reminiscent of Dave Stewart in his Arzachel daze, and I think I even catch a mention of Soft Machine at one point in the lyrics! ‘Grandma’s Lawn’ is one of those leftovers from the freakbeat era (a la Tomorrow) with lots of clever lyrics about the plastic fantastic throwaway society. It doesn’t irritate but then it doesn’t particularly inspire either. The final track ‘Where But for Caravan Would I be’ is the ambitious (for the time) 9-minute finale. Smooth-flowing verses are interspersed with David Sinclair’s first real opportunity to show off the Canterbury keyboard sound that enthralled so many throughout the heyday of the late psych/early progressive era. Hey! This is a pleasant, gentle album to listen to.
Pass the After Eight mints, the Armagnac and put on the first Caravan album!

Reviewed by DoctorDark

 

Caravan - If I Could Do It Again, I Would Do It All Over You

1970

Decca SKL 5052

Track List:

If I Could Do It Again, I Would Do It All Over You, And I Wish I Were Stoned, Don’t Worry, As I Feel I Die, With An Ear To The Ground I Can Make It: Martinian-Only Cox-Reprise, Hello Hello, Asforteri, Can’t Be Long Now-Francoise-For Richard-Warlock, Limits.

****Submit a review?****

 

Caravan - In The Land Of Grey And Pink

1971

Deram SLDR 1

Track List :

Golf Girl, Winter wine, Love to love you, In The Land Of Grey And Pink, Nine feet underground: nigel blows a tune-loves a friend-make it '76-dance of the seven paper hankies-hold grandad by the nose-honest i do-disassociation-100% proof.

Review:

The Land of Grey and Pink lies somewhere between the heights of Psychedelia and the Progressive wilderness. The cover art depicts a place not unlike Middle Earth. Strident guitars are nowhere to be found in this land and studio effects are used with restraint. There is a
childish innocence here that is alien to the pompous excesses of early-seventies prog rock and more akin to Syd Barrett before he got lost in the woods.

Caravan were exponents of the Canterbury sound along with Soft Machine, with whom some members had played in a previous group, The Wilde Flowers. The trademarks were the prominence of keyboards, virtual absence of lead guitar, gently sung vocals, and lyrics of a fairly offbeat nature, all wrapped up in a style that was a fusion of jazz and lyrical pop.

In the opening song, ‘Golf Girl’, Richard Sinclair tells of how he was on a golf course dressed in PVC, a golf girl was selling cups of tea, then it starts raining golf balls so they shelter under a tree, which is nice because by now he has started to fancy the girl. All very quaint, with the trombone introduction giving the slight hint of vulgarity that crops up often in Caravan’s work. (The previous album was titled ‘If I Could Do It All Over Again, I’d Do It All Over You,’ and a later opus was called ‘Cunning Stunts.’) The next song ‘Winter Wine’ is a dreamy minor-key ballad, full of warm fuzzy images, a few naked young girls and some homespun philoshophy. It has the first real keyboard excursion from David Sinclair, featuring the overdriven, trebly sound characteristic of all the Canterbury groups.
The next two songs are lightweight singalong efforts with only the ‘underwater’ vocals and a few lyrics about smoking dope on the title track to relieve the slight musical anticlimax after
‘Winter Wine.’ It’s all good fun, though.

‘Nine Feet Underground,’ however, is a twenty-two minute concerto with plenty of changes of mood and tempo, loads more lead keyboard work from David Sinclair, strategically placed sound effects, and a rousing finale. It’s a fine piece of work, which never flags. A sort of
Canterbury Dark Star!

There were plenty more albums from Caravan, but personnel changes meant that the magic was lost. Richard Sinclair joined Dave Stewart, formerly of Egg and Arzachel, Pip Pyle and Phil Miller in Hatfield and the North to produce (IMHO) the very best album of all in the Canterbury style.
Take a trip up the A1 in a beaten-up old Transit to find the real
musical goods.

Reviewed by DoctorDark

 

Caravan - Waterloo Lily

1972

Deram SDL 8

Track List:

Waterloo Lily, Nothing At All-Its Coming Soon, Songs And Signs, Aristocracy, The Love In Your Eye, To Catch Me A Brother, Subsultus-Debouchement-Tilbury Kecks, The World Is Yours.

****Submit a review?****

 

Country Joe and the Fish - Electric Music For The Mind & Body

1967

Vanguard

Track List:

Flying High, Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine, Death Sound Blues, Happiness is a Porpoise Mouth, Section 43, Superbird, Sad & Lonely Times, Love, Bass Strings, The Masked Marauder, Grace.

Review:

Is this it?  Could this quite possibly be the ultimate psychedelic album ever recorded?  Many would argue for it or against it, however, there is no doubting that it is quite possibly, the most psychedelic and trippy album to come out of the Bay Area in the 1960's. "Electric Music For The Mind & Body" was CJ & The Fish's first album and many consider it their best (although, their 2nd album is mighty fine too!).
This LP was first released in the summer of 1967 and is a true relic of its time.  From the handwritten lettering and live photos of the band on the cover (immersed in a liquid light show), to the music inside its sleeve, this album could only have been made during that all too brief period of time in musical history.   It was written by Country Joe and the boys as the "ultimate companion to tripping".  There are numerous little details throughout this album that help make it just that. From the drug induced lyrics of "Flying High", "Happiness is a Porpoise Mouth", and "Bass Strings", to the echoey guitar plucking, swirling keyboards and rattlesnake sounding tambourines that inhabit the songs, it is full of colourful characters which dance and sing about love, sex, happiness, peace, war, LSD, and just hanging out getting high in a flat on Ashbury St. What a life 'eh?  
Although, to todays standards, the recording is marred somewhat by inferior equipment, and bad mixing, a sad product of its time. However, considering that this album is now 35 years old, one can overlook its minor faults. 
Forget about the Dead, or even Moby Grape. If 60's West Coast Hippie-Psychedelia is what you are after, this is the album for you.

Reviewed by Flaming Groovy - January 2002

 

Country Joe and the Fish - I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ to Die

1967

Vanguard VSD 79266

Track List :

The Fish Cheer & i Feel Like Im Fixin To Die. Who Am I. Pats Song. Rock Coast Blues. Magoo. Janis. Thought Dream. Thursday. Eastern Jam. Colours For Susan.

Review:

This album has comedy and satire as well as loads of tripped out psychedelia, one of the best of 1968. It opens with the Fish Cheer and then straight into the title track, which has calliope, kazoo and each member of the band (minus Hirsh) taking a verse.
Performed live, the “Gimme an F, gimme an I, gimme an S, gimme an H” of the cheer was substituted with F, U, C and K. Naughty boys! It all sounds very jolly, as they sarcastically point out the tragedy and stupidity of the Vietnam war. (“Be the first one on your block to have your boy come home in a box”). “Who Am I” is a poignant ballad about a man looking back at his
life “What a nothing I’ve made of life, the empty words, the coward’s flight,” he laments. He has “Nowhere left to run to,” and now he faces a turning point in his destiny. Will he emerge victorious? Listen to the song.
“Pat’s Song” is another balllad, about a lady, who knows who? With somewhat fanciful lyrics, it’s the first chance for the Fish to do his stuff. He puts together some achingly beautiful, compact guitar solos, David Cohen adds a reedy organ solo and there’s middle section that
sounds like eastern European folk-dancing, before we’re back to the whimsical verses. “Rock Coast Blues” is a bit of a throwaway, though it adds a kick after the stoned feel of the previous song. “Magoo” is massively psychedelic, with swishing cymbals, rolling thunder, waves
crashing, echoey vocals, acoustic and electric guitars tinkling throughout, tempo changes and false endings. While there are five separate tracks listed on side 2 of the album, it flows together into one superb trippy voyage. It opens with “Janis.”Janis Joplin and Joe McDonald were lovers for a while and this song is a lament for that lost love. Superb lyrics over a gentle three-four rhythm chronicle their time together. They could never find the kind of love
they wanted together, but Joe looks back on the good times they had and finds himself missing “you and I.” There follows Barry’s irreverent “Bomb Song,” where he asks the Lord not to drop the H-bomb on him – “Go drop it on yourself.”
“Thought Dream” has more of Barry’s intricately woven guitar wizardry backing Joe’s psychedelic poetry, as in Pat’s song. “The Acid Commercial” is a short advert for LSD - with a sting in the tail. Beware, folks!. “Thursday” is another love song, this time about lovers who were destined to be together. A happy ending at last! “Eastern Jam” follows, and is an oriental-flavoured guitar workout. There’s a delicate opening break from David Cohen, then Barry takes over with a heavier, distorted, more menacing solo. “Colors For Susan,” continuing the oriental feel, closes the album. This is a tone poem of single chords and arpeggios
strummed on acoustic guitar, with occasional cymbals and bells and sparse bass lines, giving a very lazy, stoned feel.
David Cohen (guitar & kbds) had a hit with “Amazing Grace” under the name The Great Awakening. Bruce Barthol (bass) came to the UK and formed Formerly Fat Harry who made one (to my knowledge) LP on Harvest, and appeared at the Bath Festival in 1970. Country Joe continues his solo career and has an excellent website at www.countryjoe.com Barry Melton
is now a highly reputable attorney in California, though he still occasionally perfoms and records. Check out his website at
www.counterculture.net/thefish/

Reviewed by DoctorDark

I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ to Die

 
 
Creation Of Sunlight
1968
Mystic-7

Track List:
David, Rush Hour Blues, Light Without Heat, In The Middle Of Happy, Hammonds Eggs, Sometimes A Woman, Second Thoughts, Seven Times Infinity, Colors Of Love, The Fun Machine.

****Submit a review?****
 

Cynics - Blue Train Station

1986

Skyclad Get Hip GH1000

Track List :

Blue Train Station, On The Run, Waste Of Time, No Friend Of Mine, Get Away Girl, Lying All The Time, No Way, Love Me Then Go Away, Blues In D, Dancing On The Wall, Hold Me Right, Soul Searchin', Why You Left Me, I Got Nightmares, I Can't Get Away From You, I Want Love, Roadblock.

Review:

Snarling, shit kickin’ visceral fuzzed up retro 60’s punk from Philadelphias finest is in abundance here on this throbbing piece of vinyl. A 50/50 mix of original material and classic covers The Cynics take no prisoners on a frenetic paced journey through the heart of fuzz and out the other side, with rich layers of farfisa laden stomp as a side order. Possibly the worlds best version of No Friend Of Mine (possibly equalled by the Fuzztones, Leave Your Mind At Home version?) comes at you with slashing claws and razor sharp teeth in a fury of fuzz guitar and farfisa. For those who like their Rock ‘n’ Roll with bite......................Catch the train.
Reviewed by pOoTer.

 

 
 
 

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