Saturday, 30 April 2011

***The Baroques -Purple Day (1967-1968 us rare psychedelic garage)***

If Leonard Cohen barged into an Electric Prunes recording after obliterating his mind in an all-night glue-sniffing binge it might have sounded something like this. With song titles as preposterous as “A Musical Tribute to the Oscar Meyer Weiner Wagon,” who knows what the famed RnB label Chess Records was thinkingwhen they decided to sign Milwaukee’s The Baroques in 1967. They did manage to stir up a little controversy with their anti-drug(so they claimed) song, “Mary Jane,” but besides that it looks likeChesswas stuck with a very strange, unmarketable record. And don’t expect an onslaught of spacey sound effects and weird noises a la the early Pink Floyd, this is a less overt type of psychosis that slowly but surely embeds itself under your skin. The Baroques had a fuzz-guitar/ keyboard-damaged sound that retained much of the garageintensity of ’66 while plunging into the experimentation that marked the latter part of the decade.

Sure, there are traces of the Byrds and the Zombies, but by the time the Baroques have had their way with a pop song, it’s like the deformed bastard child of those bands hobbling around on one leg. As on “Rose Colored Glasses,” whereay Berkenhagen’s odd, deep vocals bouncealongwith awkward (yet insanely catchy) riffs until settling into a gorgeous, harmony-laden chorus. “NothingTo Do But Cry” is an exceptional folk-rocker that’s dirtied up with some nice distorted jangling and raw power-chording. At times they veer into chaotic fits of noise that wouldn’t sound too out of place on a Scientists album (“Iowa, A Girl’s Name” “Musical Tribute…”). But what really sets them apart from other similarly-minded bands is the excessively glum atmosphere which pervades most of the album. The sludge-folk of “Purple Day” and “Seasons” may come off too monotonous for some, but there is something absolutely hypnotizing lurking in the uncommonly dark textures of these songs (review by Stranger from the risingstorm).


01.Iowa, A Girl's Name (2:45)
02.Seasons (3:00)
03.Mary Jane (2:45)
04.Rose Colored Glasses (2:40)
05.Musical Tribute To The Oscar Meyer Weiner Wagon (3:35)
06.There's Nothing Left To Do But Cry (2:55)
07.Bicycle (2:25)
08.Purple Day (2:45)
09.Love In A Circle (2:30)
10.Commercials (0:59)
11.Iowa #2 (2:33)
12.Oscar Meyer #2 (4:23)
13.Baroques Theme (3:33)
14.Sunflowers (2:23)
15.At The Garden Gate(2:31)
16.Death Of An Onion (2:06)
17.Flying Machine (2:22)
18.Beckwith (4:06)
19.Hand (3:55)
20.Tangerine Sunset (11:48)
21.I Will Not Touch You (2:34)
22.Remember (3:34)

Songs #1-9 recorded 3/67 at Ter Mar Studios Chivago Songs #11-13 recorded 1/67 at Zeb Billings Studios, Milwaukee Songs #14-20 1968 Songs #21-22 4/68

The Baroques:
Jay Borkenhagen: Vocals, Guitar
Rick Bieniewski: Bass
Dean Nimmer: Drums
Jacques Hutchinson: Guitar

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*Bread Love And Dreams -The Strange Tale Of Captain Shannon &The Hunchback From Gigha (1970 uk, dreamy folk, with baroque and sunshine pop trickles) *

The mouthful named Bread Love and Dreams was a relatively short-lived two woman/one man folk trio hailing from the fair township of Edinburgh, Scotland. The self-titled debut in 1969 failed to ruffle any feathers. Their producer, Ray Horricks (Davy Graham, The Human Beast), had taken the original four-track recordings made by David McNiven, Angie Ray, and Carolyn Davis without their knowledge, threw them on an eight-track, and tacked on a bunch of strings. Horrick’s idea was to turn it into a concept album, but sales figures indicate that no one got it. Davis walked half way out the door after that, to unsuccessfully embark on a solo career. Somehow, by an act of uncertain mercy, McNiven and Ray were granted an extension to their Decca contract and headed back into the studio with Mr. Horricks. The Strange Tale Of… and Amaryllis were recorded simultaneously, with the idea of releasing them together as a double LP. Horricks invested more of himself and his contacts into these sessions. As such, he pulled in the rhythm section from Pentangle and select session musicians to fill out the compositions. This time around, McNiven worked closely with an orchestra conductor, giving the new works a more natural feel over the debut. However, Decca was in the business of making money at whatever cost, just like most RIAA labels, so they split up the albums. Captain Shannon saw release in November of 1970 and Amaryllis mid-way through ‘71. The former was drenched in personal experience and the latter focused on more mystical songs, but neither was seriously promoted. After a brief supporting tour, Bread Love and Dreams was no more. Though they were intended as two sides of a coin, I prefer the straightforward, semiautobiographical nature of Captain Shannon, and believe it to be their most essential work. Amaryllis was weighed down by its 21-minute long opening title track, which was really several songs mashed together, while its partner had a much more even tracklisting. Shannon opens on the lovely Dylan-esque “Hymn To Sylvia.” Written about a female biker in a rough London roadhouse, a flowing church organ and touches of harmonica rounds out a warm, traveling bassline and twin acoustic guitars. It’s the kind of tune to make you fall in love with strangers, and sets the tone of the record. There are characters everywhere you look. Ignoring the slightly sloppy bongo, “Masquerade” predates Trooper with a ballad about a homicidal car thief. Ray’s voice is sampled, looped, and altered in a fashion ahead of its time, while an electric guitar rocks out as seriously as anything the band ever did. The saxophone there adds a nice punch to accent the chorus. The lone Carolyn Davis contribution, “Purple Hazy Melancholy”, takes things down a notch with sorrowful, otherworldly female vocals and a contemplative acoustic intro. Complimentary strings and horns eventually join in, making the track a wonderfully understated epic. It draws you in and makes you stay. They don’t make albums much like this anymore. Sure, neither Captain Shannon nor Amaryllis did very well commercially, but McNiven himself notes they were probably released as part of a Decca tax scam, noting that they were promoted about as much as Andrew “Dice” Clay’s recent comeback tour. Sunbeam’s reissues (Amaryllis popping up late in 2007) were made with complete cooperation with the band, who provide a forward and lengthy, worthwhile explanations of each song. The few random photos are nice too. That makes this pressing of the lost Scottish acid-folk classic the most definitive yet. by Alan Ranta (PopMatters Contributing Editor)
Tracks 01. Hymn for Sylvia -5:43
02. Masquerade -4:52
03. Sucking on a Cigarette -3:30
04. Ho Who Knows All -4:50
05. The Lobster Quadrille -2:42
06. Butterfly Land -5:06
07. Purple Haze Helancholy -3:48
08. Sing Me a Song -2:12
09. The Strange Tale of Captain Shannon and the Hunchback from Gigha -6:56

Bread Love And Dreams

*David McNiven -Guitars, Keyboards, Vocals
*Angie Rew -Vocals , Flute
*Carolyn Davis -Vocals Guest Musicians
*Terry Cox -Drums
*Allan Trajan -Keyboards
*Danny Thompson -Bass


Friday, 29 April 2011

*** The Picadilly Line -(UK 1967) -The Huge World of Emily Small -Fading Yellow Artist -First Rate melodic Pop-Psych, don't miss!! ***

This British group may be more famed for evolving into Edwards Hand, who had a couple albums produced by George Martin. Before that, however, Picadilly Line put out this obscure album on CBS,
The Huge World of Emily Small is one of those albums that just seems to have slipped under the radar of most UK pop psych collectors. As such it has never been reissued in any form until now! The band (a duo lead by Rod Edwards and Roger Hand, who would later record as Edwards Hand) flourished briefly in the late 60's releasing this one album. With them is the cream of UK session men including Danny Thompson (bass), Alan Hawkshaw (keys), Herbie Flowers (bass) and Harold McNair (flute). The Picadilly Line even managed an appearance at The Middle Earth club in London, the then hallowed centre of the UK psychedelic scene. The album is breezy post Sergeant Pepper psychedelic pop with plenty of swinging London vibes, orchestration and evocative whimsical lyrics. Reference points are a psychedelic Hollies, Chad and Jeremy (circa Of Cabbages and Kings) Nirvana, Kaleidoscope (UK), World Of Oz, Donovan and The Bee Gees. Filled with beautiful dreamy vocal harmonies and elaborate electric and acoustic arrangements this is a real trip back to the height of UK Flower Power. All material is original except for a great version of Dylan's "Visions of Johanna" and The Everly Brothers "Gone, Gone Gone". This exact limited edition reissue is housed in a reproduction of the original sleeve. Features ten unreleased bonus tracks, including their non-album singles "Yellow Rainbow / Evenings With Corrina" and "Evenings With Corrina / My Best Friend", both from 1968.

01 Emily Small The Huge World Thereof
02 -Silver Paper Dress
03 -At The Third Stroke
04 -Can You See Me
05 -Your Dog Won't Bark
06 -How Could You Say Your Leaving Me
07 -Gone Gone Gone
08 -Twiggs
09 -Tumble Down World
10 -Visions Of Johanna
11 -Come And Sing A Song
12 -Her Name Is Easy
13 -Rosemary's Bluebell Day
14 -Gunny Sunside
15 -Country Girl
16 -No One Else Can See
17 -Yellow Rainbow
18 -I Know, She Believes
19 -Evenings With Corrina
20 -My Best Friend
21 -Memories Fade
22 -I Can Tell You Everything


Saturday, 23 April 2011

Art - (Pre-Spooky Tooth) -Supernatural Fairy Tales (UK 1967)

Classic but little-known British psych from the band that would later evolve into the much more famous progressive act, Spooky Tooth. Great use of effects, this is vamped in echoes, phasing, and vocoded vocals, and combines strong vocal melodies with distorted rock riffing, psychedelic guitar solos, pounding bass, and sweeping mellotron all to great effect.

Luther Grosvenor –guitars Mike Harrison –vocals, keyboards
Mike Kellie –drums, percussion
Greg Ridley –bass, guitar


01. I Think I'm Going Weird
02. What's that Sound
03. African Thing
04. Room With a View
05. Flying Anchors
06. Supernatural Fairy Tale
07. Love Is Real
08. Come on Up
09. Brothers, Dads and Mothers
10. Talkin' to Myself
11. Alive Not Dead
12. Rome Take Away Three

Blonde on Blonde - Contrasts (Uk 1969)

Blond on Blone's 1969 album is from the period when progressive rock, or more so pop, was new and fresh. Years before the likes of Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Yes, and Genesis made the genre a dirty word and punk evolved in order to destroy it, Blonde on Blonde were taking their pop and psychedelic roots that little bit further.

Progressive, in the sense that the term was originally conceived: a new catchall name to describe the emerging form of music that arose from Sgt. Pepper, filled the Middle Earth Club, and by 1969, was increasingly getting more diverse than the quaint psychedelic form from which it was spurned. Blonde on Blonde had the then contemporary match of folky vocals (which could easily turn it up a gear into rock territory), fuzz guitar leads galore, and some interesting material, which veered from an almost cinematic version of “Eleanor Rigby” to the post-mod (think U.S. garage meets the Small Faces) snotty strut of “Conversationally Making the Grade,” the archetypal heavy rock jam “Ride With Captain Max,” and the slightly old-styled ballad “Goodbye.” Of course, more dynamic musical interplay crept into the fold: classical-intoned aspirations, acoustic folk, ornate pop, and full-on rock. Contrasts is indeed an album that is characteristic of the music that was being bandied around the music press in 1969 as progressive, not the preposterous entity that it became. (By John 'Mojo' Mills)


01. Ride With Captain Max (Denyer/ Hicks/Hopkins/Johnson) 5.23
02. Spinning Wheel (Johnson) 2.48
03. No Sleep Blues (Williamson) 3.23
04. Goodbye (Godfrey/Murray) 2.13
05. I Need My Friend (Denyer) 3.14
06. Mother Earth (Johnson) 5.04
07. Eleanor Rigby (Lennon/McCartney) 3.19
08. Conversationally Making the Grade (Denyer) 4.15
09. Regency (Hopkins/Johnson) 1.58
10. Island On An Island (Johnson) 3.03
11. Don´t Be Too Long (Denyer) 2.38
12. Jeanette Isabella (Denyer) 3.56
13. All Day, All Night (Lawrence) 3.36
14. Country Life (Godfrey/Murray) 3.37