”Live At The Greatwood Cafe” 1980 (Gildersleeve) [insert]

Vermont show from 1978. Garage punkish trio with Scott Gildersleeve (pre-Queers) and Marc Weinstein (pre-MX-80 Sound). The LP has been offered as ”rare garage psych” by record dealers since the mid-1980s, but not many collectors seem to like it, although it’s become somewhat popular among punk fans.

OCTOPUS 4 (France) 

"Confluents" 1968 (RCA Victor 740035, Canada)
"Confluents" 199  (Mystic, Europe) 
[300p; slightly altered sleeve]

Oddball tongue-in-cheek organ/guitar "psych" with Beatles/Procol Harum/Stones covers, weird spoken bits with a French accent, rave-ups, bad jokes, and more. Not quite up my alley except for the oddness that hits you on the first play, although others seem to like it. Killer psych sleeve. [PL]
This was a French group; the info is retained here as there's been some confusion about their origins. The original French release is rarer than the Canadian pressing. 

ALAN O’DAY (Los Angeles, CA)

”Songs By” 1973 (Edwin WH Morris AO-100)

Demo-only album from singer-songwriter who later would achieve fame & fortune both as an artist and composer. It’s soft rock with a full band setting. As few as 100 copies may have been pressed.


"Finally" 1978 (Ralph)

Odd mix of elements from this combo, whose basic style is mainstream '70s melodic rock with Southern moves. The generic music combines with some truly remarkable guitarplaying in a showoffy yet agreeable style. The vocals are gruff and often weird, going all the way into Louis Armstrong scat on one track. With better songs and a less demo-like production, this could have been an odd fringe winner. Hardcore guitar specialists who are into Eric Johnson or Steve Morse may want to check this album out. "Come On Back" is the best track.


”Kevin Odegard” 1974 (Wooff W4ST)

Unexceptional album with a westcoasty folk-rock sound, one long Neil Young:ish track being the highlight. The cover shows a drawing of the guy. The album was recently reissued on CD in South Korea. Odegard had at least one more LP, ”Silver lining”, but is more famous for playing on Dylan’s classic ”Blood On The Tracks” LP, about which sessions he’s also written a book.

OGANOOKIE (Santa Cruz, CA)

“Oganookie” 1973 (Oganookie dsw-4154) [lyric inner]

Live recording of communal band playing modern bluegrass & rock with George Stavis, who had a solo LP on Vanguard and was in Federal Duck. Oganookie existed for years and its members collaborated with many name musicians, such as Jerry Miller of Moby Grape and Charlie Prichard of Conqueroo.



"Carl Oglesby" 1969 (Vanguard 6527)

Oglesby’s first album presents him as an intellectual singer/songwriter type, somewhere between Dylan’s folk-rock and country-rock phases. The lyrics are never less than fascinating, and he has an appealing gruff voice. Oglesby was the president of “Students for a Democratic Society” a few years before his recordings, and while his politics aren’t as blatant (or as mythical in nature) as, say, Phil Ochs, this does feel like the work of a statesman. A very interesting person, and a very interesting record. Not exactly melodically enthralling, but certainly recommended. [AM]

"Going to Damascus" 1971 (Vanguard)

Oglesby’s second album is more of the same, with the nice bonus of a cool psychedelic album cover. Critics at the time disliked these records quite a bit. Time has been kind to them. [AM]


"Flower Power" 1968 (Flower Power)

"Groovy Hits For Dancing" 1968 (Arc 738)

Hippie exploitation with covers of mostly British 1967 Summer Of Love anthems.


"Oklahoma Thunder" 1980 (Flying High)  [at least 1000p]

Dallas, Texas label. Southern rock comparable to Marshall Tucker Band.
Here's some more on the band from vocalist Larry Megill: "The album was recorded in Dallas after the band had toured regionally behind the release of two singles on Antique Records. The first single, "Freight Train" b/w "Country Melody" charted regionally in Billboard and was still getting airplay in the southeastern US five years after the band dissolved. We toured fairly extensively thru Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, and northern Texas. The band was a good one, but the vagaries of music biz life took it down. I left the group about a year before it completely broke up so I don't know how many additional pressings were done beyond the first thousand."

OLD SALT (Rochester, NY)

”Old Salt” 1976 (PTO 101) [1000p]

Upstate New York rural rock album that’s more country and less inspired than, say, Cambridge. Typical lyrics include “women and whiskey, which one will be the death of me.” Catchy but in an annoying way. Pretty weak, really. The long jammy last track is probably the best thing here. Not an expensive LP. [AM]


"Lord We're Singin'" 197  (United Audio 10323)

"Reachin' Out" 197  (United Audio 7070)

First LP is X-ian teen folkrock fun with three acoustic guitars and bongos. 


"Olomana" 1976 (Seabird Sound 1001)

Hippie folk. The band had more releases, including some in Japan.


”Western Winds” 1973 (Joplin Records 3266)
”Western Winds” 1980 (Marshall Records 10320) [reissue]

”Blonde Sun Album” 1978 (Blond Sun Records 1002)

Electric and acoustic blues on the debut, live-recorded loner folk/blues on the follow-up from this long-running performer, who has continued to record and release music and played with some success in both the US and Europe.


"A Celebration" 1978 (Cloudburst CR 78028)

Interesting pastoral Americana album that may appeal to genre fans. About half is instrumental, with acoustic guitar interplay, lots of flute, some harmonica and percussion. Good playing with jazzy undertones. I found the 'manly' Johnny Cash-style vocals off-putting, but others may not mind. Group originals all through, with some of the best tracks opening side 2. Sometimes listed only as 'Loose Brothers'. [PL]

OMEGA SONSHIP (Austintown, OH)

”Earth Rider” 1980 (Jeree)

Christian AOR with hints of sci-fi prog drama and mixed vocals, on a regional Northeast label with several releases. A couple of powerful tracks, including the excellent title track which compares Christ's return to an alien abduction and gets into heavy, syncopated real people moods. Worth checking out if found cheap. The band cut three more albums in the 1980s.[PL]


OMNIBUS (Boston, MA)

"Omnibus" 1970 (United Artists uas-6743)  [gatefold]
"Omnibus" 2005 (CD Synton, Austria)

Westcoast style moody organ and fuzz psych.

ONE ( )

”Live At Joe’s Fishmarket and Saloon” 1975 (Back Door Sound)

Open mike quality melodic rock with comic interludes. The kind of group that plays for beer and gets kicked off the stage before their set is over. Covers of Beatles, Beach Boys, Righteous Bros. Highlight: a basement fuzzed ”Mr Soul”


"Number One" 1970 (Mercury SR-61248)
-- two cover variations exist (details below)

Geez, this is a weird one. As the apparent brain trust behind 1970's "Number One" about the only thing I know about Alan Bernstein and Victor Millrose is that they enjoyed isolated mid-1960s successes as songwriters, placing a number of hits with artists such as Neil Diamond ('Girl You're a Woman Now'). Clearly a concept set intended as social and political commentary, the album melds together a weird blend of original song fragments, with news clips (I recognized Martin Luther King, LBJ, Robert Kennedy, Nixon, Reagan, ), brief narrative sections and assorted sound effects. The activist agenda addressed the usual array of topics, including nuclear war, poverty, race relations, war, gun control, etc. I can't say this has aged very well, though those same problems persist three decades later. As for the original songs, they're okay, if somewhat anonymous. Recalling something out of James Brown's catalog, the song fragment embedded in 'Burn the Night' is probably the best of the lot. Overall it reminds me a little of an album by the UK band Warm Dust ("Peace for Our Time"), though the results aren't quite as abrasive. In many ways the cover art is actually more interesting than the music. Mercury originally released the set with a cover photo showing a pair of naked young children holding hands. Needless to say, the resulting uproar saw Mercury hastily repackage the set with a bland picture of a tree. [SB]


”Nataraja Da Nada” 1989 (Paradise Lost)

Freaky basement acid guitar excursions with flipped out biker redneck vocals. Side 1 is a bit disappointing, while side 2 is intensely psychedelic in a Yahowha 13/Strange-”Ruler of the universe” direction. This has been listed as a reissue, but is a 1985 re-recording of material originally laid down in 1976, which has led to some confusion. Later recordings in a similar style have been released on CD as by Skuldedog. A must for fans of fried basement cosmic drug guitar sounds, but not exactly for everyone. [PL]


“Orange Colored Sky” 1969 (Uni 73031)

Pop psych floater, good one for genre fans. The band was originally from PA and were called the Fabulous Epics, then moved to LA in 1968. They’re one of several bands who claim being the model for Tom Hanks' fun ‘60s retro movie ”That Thing You Do”.


"Crystal Blue Persuasion and Other Sounds of Today" 1969 (Somerset sf-34000)

Released by the L.A. based Somerset label which was apparently part of Alshire Records, 1969's "Crystal Blue Persuasion and Other Sounds of Today" is actually a little different from other exploito albums in that nine of the ten tracks are uncredited originals. Like other exploito offerings, the set is anonymous - generic packaging with no performance or writing credits. It was clearly conceived as a throwaway product aimed at wringing disposable income out of unknowing consumers. That said, the title track is a rote cover of the Tommy James hit, while the nine originals all exhibit a goofy, low-tech charm. Exemplified by material like 'Down Home Baby', 'Sockerina' and 'Poppy's To Be Picked' about half of the tracks are throwaway, keyboard propelled instrumentals. Far more interesting are psych-ish numbers like 'Can't You See I'm Right', the fuzz guitar propelled 'Troubled People' and 'Street King' (the latter sounding like The Chipmunks on a bad acid trip). Love to know what 'Land of Fusan' is about ... swamp-rock meets Korea? [SB]


"Orang-Utan" 1971 (Bell 6054)  [1]

British group LP only released in the US. Dual lead heavy fuzz rock.


"Out Of The Egg" (Mercury sr-61282)

This is good but unexceptional late popsike with flutes, fuzz guitars, trippy lyrics, a mix of soft and loud. The songwriting is reasonably creative but they don't create much of an identity here. Creepy album cover to be filed with After All. This is one of those albums that dealers always seem to hype as unknown and underrated, maybe because it's still cheap. [AM]
A record either loved or hated, I fall into the former category and think this is the best obscure album Mercury released along with Wizards From Kansas. If you look at the insert before playing this you will know that this is an early melding of arty psych and electronic instruments and effects. While most of these early experiments delve into noise and abrasive pretentiousness the Organ Grinders are very trippy and very melodic. The vocals are a strong point, nicely harmonized and very psychedelic. The instrumentation is clever and well executed, while the songs are downright brilliant. "8th Day In Heaven" is one of many standouts with jaw dropping time changes and this could easily be filed under "progressive psych." A bit of a Left Banke/Federal Duck vibe is very evident, making for a melodic psych treat. Every track is a winner and this is, if truth be told, one of my favourite American albums with a strong Anglophile vibe too. Some do not like this, but I do and say that it is a very underrated one. -- Ben Blake Mitchner

ORGANIZATION (Dartmouth, Canada)

”Organization” 1970 (Music Stop 100)

Obscure soft-rock and lyte psych private press in primitive cover.

ORION EXPRESS (Sacramento, CA)

”Orion Express” 1975 (Round Mound Of Sound 1001)
”Orion Express” 2005 (CD Radioactive 132, UK)

If you listened to the prevailing hype on this LP you’d see nonsense like ‘Killer rural hard rockpsych rocker with acid guitar jamming!’ or ‘Backwoods guitar rock with wailing leads’. The only thing psychedelic here must be the stuff people were ingesting when they listened to the album, or wrote such nonsense. ”The Orion Express” offers up a decent set of original material and covers. There’s some nice guitar on tracks like “Gotta get the first plane home” and a cover of Steve Miller’s “Mercury blues”. The general feeling is of a competent (and occasionally quite talented) bar band who have a penchant for bluesy material such as ”Down the rail” and ”Hard goin’ down”. The vocalist has a decent voice and he injects more enthusiasm into the material than most similar acts. The same is true for the rest of the band -- they were probably a pretty good live act. Still, don’t be fooled by the marketing hype! [SB]

ORPHEUS (Boston, MA)

"Orpheus" 1968 (MGM se-4524)

Orchestrated Bosstown Sound artefact, released in January 1968.

"Ascending" 1968 (MGM)  [mono; ylp]
"Ascending" 1968 (MGM se-4569)

Second LP has more of a live sound.

"Joyful" 1969 (MGM)

A more balanced approach between the rock sound and the orchestrations.

"Orpheus" 1971 (Bell 6061)

Pop with studio psych moves. Bruce Arnold was the only original member remaining by the time of the Bell recording and he left the band prior to the album's release. One Steve Martin (not the Left Banke guy) was the main force in this new Orpheus. [RM]


"Osmosis" 1970 (RCA)
"Osmosis" 2004 (CD Synton, Austria)

Heavy fuzz rock and funk.

OTHER HALF (Columbus, OH)

"Smut" 1979 (Moseka) 

Garagy rock with Zappaesque humor. Recorded at Moseka Studios in Fostoria, Ohio.


OTTER CREEK (Long Island, NY)

”Otter Creek” 1977 (Bolt b-3234) [500p]

Long Island band with a New Riders type rural & country-rock sound, they played live frequently in the late 1970s with a local following.


"Bullets To Bite On" 1980 (no label)

This album is kind of a new-wave version of the albums by Armpit: a bunch of short “comedic” songs with no attempt at production or even quality. There are acoustic folk and blues, minimalist loud electric songs, the majority played with just a guitar and voice, poorly recorded and sloppily edited jams from band practice, fake (or sparsely attended) live performances, and a few sound effects. Most of it is full of unfunny crude “humor” and mediocre, uninterested singing. This album was obviously cobbled together in a drunken session by someone who was having trouble finding anyone to join his band for more than one afternoon. A few bits are moderately fun, but anyone could have done this. It runs a mind-numbing 47 minutes, and the song “It’s Not Funny The Second Time” says it all, except that this isn’t even funny the first time. Fart noises and racist humor are bad enough, but it gets worse: at one point the singer even thinks it’s amusing to sing that he wants to “rape some bitches.” The album ends with a weird montage of noise that’s far more interesting than any of the other songs, but still isn’t enough to make it worth slogging through the previous 40 minutes. If this kind of thing ever becomes a collectable, there’s no hope for the world. [AM]


”Karen H Oznick” 197 (no label)
[plain cover]

Demo LP of female folk/s-sw with mostly originals and covers of Judy Collins, Leonard Cohen.


LOS PABLOS (San Antonio, TX)

"Los Pablos" 1970 (Teardrop 2025)

Hispanic funky psych/hardrock with fuzz, organ, some horns. With the standout track "Los Pablos '70". Fun bordertown party vibe. 


"The Cycle Is Complete" 1969 (Verve Forecast fts-3086)

This is certainly a surprising album to have been released on a major label. It's free-form improvised jams, and pretty trippy and creative ones too. It's hardly rock at all, but some bizarre offshoot of Eastern-influenced folk/drone. It's not for everyone, and even for those who have a taste for it, it may be suited only for certain moods, but some of you will really like this a lot. Ex-Buffalo Springfield. [AM]


"Fighter By Nature" 1975 (RoRo Records LPR 1011RS)

Down home rustic singer-songwriter busking at the James Taylor/John Denver intersection crowded by so many others. Very rural in its vibe, with some rootsy throwbacks mixed with more personal love songs. Young Mr Palmer has an OK voice but the nasal style typical of the era may irritate some. A light rock setting, pleasantly warm and sincere, and some OK songs.


"Art is Whatever You Can Get Away With" 1972 (Oosik) 

Comic novelty basement organ-led rock. Intentionally bad goof vanity LP with ribald Fugs & Zappa humor. "Milkman Strut", "She's a Weiner", "Cincinatti Dancing Pig", and more. Reportedly only 100 copies pressed, but obviously the appeal is a bit limited.

PARIS SISTERS (San Francisco, CA)

"Sing From The Glass House" 1966 (Unifilms 505)
"Sing Everything Under The Sun" 1967 (Reprise 6259)

Long-running female vocal trio who had some hits with Phil Spector. Highlighted by dreamy vocals, the 2 albums listed here have raised interest with soft rock and vocal harmony light-psych fans. Comparisons have been made to the Julee Cruise/David Lynch '90s music. The "Glass House" LP was released on a small label and is pretty rare. There are many more releases and retrospective samplers on CD.


"Today's Tomorrow" 1971 (private)

Amateur concept rock musical about the youth of today, with folk moves, use of flute and violin, lots of organ. The garagey opening track is the high point.


"Neon Princess" 1968 (Folkways FTS 31009)
"Many Windowed Night" 1968 (Folkways FTS 31025)

Second-tier Eastcoast folkie brings in a full band sound with nice keyboard arrangements and personal moods on these albums. His monotonous vocals and some of the songs remain clearly in a manly coffee-house Fred Neil style, which keeps the overall feel in the earlier folkboom era (a dated mix which highlights the vocals contributes). Still, these two LPs are appreciated by some.


PASCAL (Los Angeles, CA)

"Art In Space" 1969 (Narco)
"Head" 1969 (Buddah bds-5062)
  [coloring book; promo also exists]  [1]
-- retitled and repackaged reissue of 'Art In Space'

"Beyond The End... Eternity" 1971 (Narco)

"The Sixth Ear" 1972 (Narco 666)

"Magnetic Web" 1973 (Narco)

"Zero Gravity" 1975 (Narco)

All of Nik Raicevic’s albums came with the “do not listen to this album stoned” stickers, and all of them are minimalist moog experiments, generally taking a basic rhythm and slowly adding layers or patterns. These records are simple and repetitive (there’s very little variation from song to song.) Even so, they’re appealing, especially if you’re in the right kind of mood. They’re very creepy at times. If you like one, you’ll like all of them... or, maybe since they’re similar maybe one is all you need, and it doesn’t really matter which one. [AM]


"Ships Of Dust" 1971 (Trilogy Arts)

Religious-flavored folkrock and s/sw from Mormon guy given a professional sheen by Lex De Azevedo, Ben Benay, and Mike Deasy helping out. Well-written songs mainly in a moody 60s folk style, while Payne sings in a heartfelt, manly style not far from John Ylvisaker. Although "square" it's better than many more expensive genre albums, worth checking out if your expectations are right. Nice cover too. Payne would make many more albums and go on to a career as an actor. He has a website.


"Peace & Quiet" 1971 (Kinetic Z -30315)

Prior to forming Peace & Quiet singer Rick Steele had kicked around with a number of Southern Florida bands, including The Villagers. Bassist Jim Tolliver had followed a similar path, recording with The Birdwatchers and Razor's Edge. With the original line up consisting of Steele, Tolliver, keyboardist Reuben David Ferguson, drummer Steve Hatch and guitarist Brad Peed, the band became staples on the Southern Florida club scene. As to be expected, the band underwent a steady stream of personnel changes and by 1971 Steele and Tolliver were the only founding members left. By the time the band attracted the attention of CBS's Kinetic label, the rest of the band consisted of guitarist Roger Pavlica, keyboardist Chuck Witherow and drummer Gregg Williams. Teamed with producer Larry Fallon, the cleverly titled "Peace & Quiet" is a surprisingly impressive debut. I've seen a couple of dealers describe it as being psych, but that's a pretty inaccurate tag. Featuring six extended tracks, material such as 'You Can Wait Till Tomorrow' and 'Country Thing' is more along the lines of hard rock, with occasional progressive moves. Probably doesn't sound very promising, but Steele had a good voice (occasionally giving the band a Deep Purple-ish feel) and all six tracks boast strong melodies and enthusiastic performances. Stand out track is the closing instrumental 'Looney Tunes'. One truly commercial pop-ish song and I would have given this four stars (okay, so I'm lame ...). [SB]


”Inward Eye” 1975 (no label)

Acoustic folk/blues LP with about half instrumentals and some post-Vietnam concerns. Recorded in New York.


"Second Thoughts" 1982 (Earth)

Heavy guitar bar-rock with female vocals. [RM]
see -> Tempest


”Upon Cripple Creek” 1969 (Paragon 240)

Late 60s organ/guitar rural rock with about half originals. Two Creedence covers, ”Suspicious minds” and the Band title track. Seldom seen title on this well-known label, housed in a beautiful pasture and creek cover.


"Keyboard Tales" 1972 (Atlantic SD-7230)

Can't say we know much about this guy and there isn't much to be found about him on the web ... Released in 1972, his sole album "Keyboard Tales" was recorded in San Francisco's Wally Heider Studios, with Geoffrey Haslam producing. Musically the set's a one man show, Perlitch credited with writing all of the material, as well as handling all of the vocals and instrumentation. Starting off with the 14 + minute "Captain Zanzibar", the album's full of material that's simultaneously melodic, atmospheric, bizarre and occasionally downright disturbing (sensitive types should probably avoid the gruesome "Pete the Bondage Freak"). A gifted keyboardist and a decent singer, who sometimes bares a passing resemblance to Neil Young (the vehemently anti-Nixon/anti-war "America"), lyrically Perlitch turned in some of the year's stranger meanderings - "Take Off" (described as "The customized spacecraft SPECTOCAR blasts off into the outer atmosphere where with a gaseous burst the second stage separates and glides out into distant space.") and "Planet Mission Alpha" (described as "Barbarian space savages drop bomb on plant.") (The album was originally released with a gatefold sleeve.) The collection didn't sell worth crap and as far as we can tell, this is Perlitch's only release. [SB]


”Live And In Person” 1969 (Hideout 1003)

Comic bar-band rock LP from drummer for Bob Seger’s Last Heard on noted local Motor City label. The live-recorded album is full of the kind of self-depreciating humor that requires several rounds of beer to be enjoyed. For Detroit or Hideout completists mainly.

RUDY PERRONE (Port Jefferson, NY)

"Oceans Of Art" 1981 (Heartstring 1)  [insert]

Complex keys prog with mellotron, moog, guitars from ex-Cathedral guitarist.


"Peter" 1973 (no label)

Described as cosmic folk and basement rock.

PHARMACY (Truth Or Consequences, NM)

"It's Your Funeral" 1973 (Heroine xxx-1)  [gatefold; insert]

Heavy rock. [RM]


"Endangered Species" 1979 (Push)

Local 1970s sounds with real people moves and strongly felt environmental concerns. Some slide guitar, with help from Bill Homans of the Merry Airbrakes.


“Philty McNasty” 1974 (Golden Eagle NC 601)

Local lounge band with two great self-penned fuzz psych cuts and a bizarre trippy cover of “Summertime”.


"Sometimes" 1978 (Crazy Cajun 1059)

Huey Meaux tax-scam release of unknown 60s garage band, who were once believed to be the Gants in disguise.


"Phluph" 1968 (Verve 5054)  [mono promo exists]
"Phluph" 2001 (Akarma 147, Italy)
"Phluph" 2001 (CD Akarma 147, Italy)

Bosstown sound on the pop-psych side, with good upbeat tracks like "Ellyptical machine", well worth checking out at a low price.


"Blood, Sweat and Brass" 1968 (Mainstream mrl-303)  [gatefold]

Blood, Sweat and Tears inspired exploito beast. Jazz guys horn renditions of the hip heavy tunes of the day! "Honky Tonk Women", "Everyday People", "Down On Me", "Journey to the Center of the Mind"... [RM]


”Shinin’ In The Light” 1971 (Destiny)

Christian vocal harmony folkrock with male-female vocals and CSN hippie sounds. ”Broken wing” is a standout track with terrific harmonies and a secular westcoast feel not unlike Oasis (Cranbus.


”Next Superstar” 1969 (Century 45633) [insert]

Obscure title on the notorious custom label, light pop/folkrock with harmony vocals and artrock keyboard and harpsichord moves.


"Pittsburgh's Greatest Hits" 1966 (Itzy)   [2 LPs]

Mainly r'n'b & vocal groups with a mix of national and local groups as was typical for this label's compilations. There were many more volumes and the series is in fact still running!


"Plain Jane" 1969  (Hobbit H.B. 5000)  [wlp exists]

Underrated album on the same label as Sapphire Thinkers and Randy Holden. It’s generally described as “rural,” but it’s not country at all. It’s more like a guitar pop album with a very laid back feel. In an understated way it anticipates the California rock of the 70s. Several songwriters create a surprisingly consistent sound. The vocals are very nice and the songs sneak up on you. “Not The Same” sounds like grade-A Badfinger. A pleasant surprise. [AM]


”Planet Of The Apes... A Musical Trip” 1974 (TPI)

Oddball LP from artist inspired by the classic movie, mediocre prog hardrock with spoken bits mimicking the movie. Strange cover of monkey heads floating in space. The work of one Terry Phillips.


"Pleasure Fair" 1967 (UNI)

Soft dreamy pop featuring David Gates (Bread). [RM]

PODIPTO (Bemidji, MN)

”Homemade” 1973 (Minnesota Green 7304)

Rural/country-rock LP from a locally popular band who also had a less obscure, self-titled LP on the GRT label. This one has been described as unexceptional within the genre, with short pop-format songs. A vinyl-sourced CD reissue of both LPs has been made for regional distribution.


"Poker Flatts" 1977 (Stacked Deck 278)

Rural rock in the Dead style.


”Don’t Bother Me” 1966 (Mirror 123)

Acidy downer urban blues folk with guitar and harmonica, including lengthy track ”LSD fixation” which is an early description of an acid trip. Worth looking up for early loner-freak folk fans. He also wrote books about the hobo lifestyle. Produced by NY upstate legend Armand Schaubroeck for his Mirror label, this was a ‘Capitol Custom’ job with distribution.

POUND (Chicago, IL)

”Odd Man Out” 1974 (Audio Mixers 74840)

Homemade 70s blend of basement folk and rock, not terribly impressive. The title track is worth checking out for a sample. Ex-Down From Nothing.


"Cosmic Furnace" 1973 (Atlantic sd-7251)

Spacy instrumental electronic rock played on ARP synths imitating fuzz guitar, strings, woodwinds, percussion, etc. Has a nice Krautrock groove in spots. Powell would later join Utopia and also released another solo LP in 1980. [RM]
Before he joined Utopia, Powell released this album of six instrumentals, using nothing but keyboards, mostly ARP synthesizers. It’s not exactly the wildest synth album out there, as Powell uses the synths mostly to mimic “natural” instruments. The songs are well-composed, though, and he’s a master of the instrument, making this a reasonably interesting album. [AM]


”Revelation (The Party’s Over)” 1974 (Wine Skin 259-02)

Rainbow Promise main guy using his former band as back-up, a bit mellowed out bit still showing some basement jammy tendencies.

PRATT (Grand Rapids, MI)

”Pratt” 1978 (Stentorian 38022)

Midwestern guitar-driven hardrock with echoey vocals, in crude reverse negative cover showing the drummer behind his kit.


"O'er The Stormy Sea" 1983 (Sextant)

Modern folk with a psychy feel, some people like it.

PRISONER (Kansas City, MO)

"Prisoner" 1979 (Big K 40671) 

Power trio.


”Professor Fuddle’s” 1974 (Periwinkle 7314)
”Professor Fuddle’s / Borealis” 2005 (CD Beatball, South Korea) [2-on-1]

Lots of synthesizers can’t disguise the fact that this album is basically bubblegum, and in fact, the catchiest song on it is one that’s definitely aimed at kids. Not that bad, really, but unlikely to appeal to psych fans or to prog fans who hear it described as a moog-heavy rock album. Very short album, under 25 minutes. Vocalist Paul Bradbury was formerly with Borealis. [AM]


”Promise” 1980 (Cumulus)

Seldom seen private press ranging from strong power pop to Beatles influenced pop-psych, with an occasional heavier edge.


"Infinite Change" 1981 (private)

Fusion prog.


"Pumas" 1967 (acetate)

Melancholy garage and folkpsych. [RM]


"Tribute to Jimi Hendrix" 1971 (Summit 037, Canada)
-- British, Australian & German versions also exist
"Tribute to Jimi Hendrix" 1971 (Stereo Gold Award 40, Canada)
-- omits one track from the Summit pressing

Two tracks from this LP have been comp'd, and the "Acid Test" track has been famously sampled. The LP was part of the Alshire/Somerset/Europa exploito industry; some tracks also appear on the European "Jeff Cooper & Stoned Wings" LP. The original tracks were probably recorded in the US, but no US pressing has been found.


"Puzzle" 1969 (ABC S-671)

Ttracks such as the leadoff rocker 'Hey Medusa', 'Make the Children Happy' and 'No Complaints' offer up a first rate set of hard-rock. Complete with strong melodies, some excellent harmony vocals and occasional shots of fuzz guitar, "Puzzle" put lots of better known names to shame. To be honest, the only disappointments were the seemingly endless blues-rock workout 'Working for the Rich Man' and a clumsy foray into psych 'Got My Head Right Yesterday'. [SB]


"A Tribute To Three Dog Night" 197  (Century)

Basement covers of Three Dog Night songs with fuzz. [RM]


"Queen Anne's Lace" 1969 (Coral crl-757509)

Mixed vocal pop psych.


"In Concert" 197  (Satellite JM-36)

Very lo-fi recording of local club band doing typical numbers like "Higher" and "Down By The River" (lame version with no guitar breaks). A lot of time is taken up by raunchy spoken interplay with the enthusiastic audience, and this has a certain amount of entertaining realness. Musically it's guitar/organ 70s rock and soul covers below average, and the bad sound makes things worse. Recorded at the Office Lounge in Louisville KY.


"Quill" 1970 (Cotillion sd-9017)  [wlp exists; gatefold]
-- an Australian pressing exitst

Bouncing between standard rock moves ("Too Late") and light psychedelia ("Shrieking Finally"), the set wasn't without it's oddball charms. The Cole brothers proved decent singers and extended song structures such as the harmony and percussion-rich "They Live the Life", the bizarre "The Tube Exuding" and the sweet ballad "Yellow Butterfly" (vaguely recalling something out of the Syd Barrett catalog) were quirky enough to deserve multiple listenings. [SB]
Interesting album of long experimental songs, including the dreamy mellow “Yellow Butterfly” and some far out song titles (“Thumbnail Screwdriver,” “Tube Exuding,” Shrieking Finally”). Heads in some hard rock and prog directions, and not all of it works, but this some pretty interesting and original stuff. The gatefold cover includes a collage of a bunch of disembodied breasts. The Cole brothers were formerly with Mt Hermon Academy school band the Knights. [AM]


"Endless Possibilities" 197  (MTA 5020)

Early 1970s dreamy hippie pop. [RM]


"Reflections" 196 (Century - UMYC 11969)

Late 1960s harmony folk trio who look like frat brothers. Very moody, slow tempo tracks with delicate acoustic guitar & organ. A couple of stinkers, but most of it is deep late-night folk and oddly rendered melodic rock like ”I dig rock and roll music”, ”Get together”, ”She loves you”. Like the Four Freshmen going for a Mamas and Papas sound, without the gals. Beautiful Victorian psych cover. [RM]

RAINBOW (Los Angeles, CA) 

"After The Storm" 1969 (GNP Crescendo gnps-2049)  [wlp exists]

Largely written by keyboardist David Mohr, the album's fairly diverse with the band taking on a variety of genres (sometimes within the same song). "Love Allusions" and "4 Leaf Clover" are fairly conventional pop pieces. Sounding somewhat out of place on the album, the title track instrumental boasts an exceptionally pretty (if pseudo-MOR-ish) melody. They're cover of Willie Dixon's "I Just Want To Make Love To You" stands as one of the lamest versions we've ever encountered. At least to our ears the group's at their best when pursuing a heavier sound. Along those lines, propelled by Vavela's fuzz-drenched leads, album highlights include the bluesy and lyrically weird "The Ballad of Captain Bob and the Good Ship Venus" and the thoroughly stoned "Does You Head Need Straightening?". Add in plenty of sound effects (it sounds like they had fun cutting the album), and there's enough entertainment value to make the album worthwhile. This seems to be the quartet's only recording, though the liner notes make reference to a planned follow-on entitled "The Music Maker". Guess that was little more than wishful thinking on their part. [SB]
Odd, drugged-out mess of an album that definitely has its admirers. It’s somewhere between heavy bluesy psych and pop-psych, with a few freeform freakouts. I found the good bits overshadowed by the annoying bits, but there’s no doubt that the album is surprising and far out. [AM]


"Lighten Up People" 1975 (Joint Artists ja-331) 

Folkrock on the same label as Bill Clint. This may be the same guy who had a 45 on Kapp in 1971.


"That Acapulco Gold" 1967 (UNI 3002)  [mono]
"That Acapulco Gold" 1967 (UNI 73002) 

Classy '67 beat-psych numbers unfortunately mixed with two awkward soul tracks that cut into the excitement badly. The band was semi-famous back then for early pot references on the dorky but fun hit title track. Could have been a contender, everything is in place for a seat in the upper mainstream psych echelon except for those two losers. At least their brief hit status allowed for an expensive-sounding LP recording, although the sleeve design is another drawback. An obviously talented band suffering under the hands of "smart" management. Not a rare LP. The group had some very good post-LP 45s. [PL]

KEN RAMM (Canada)

"Dragon" 1981 (Jackal)

Heavy guitar keys prog.

RAVEN (Buffalo, NY)

"Live At The Inferno" 1969 (Discovery 36133)  [1]

Raw blues rock covers recorded in 1967. Band had a later LP on Columbia. There is a modern metal band called Raven who (amazingly) also released an LP titled "Live at the Inferno", which causes confusion.

RAVE-ONS (Minneapolis, MN)

"Rave-Ons" 196  (Dove Recording Studio acetate)
-- no vinyl pressing exists

Mid-1960s acetate from band with band who had some local 45s, reportedly good album.


"Pearl River Turnaround" 1975 (Cooking Fat)

Rural folk with blues and fuzz in the mix. Anna McGarrigle sings some back up. Rawlings had more LPs.


"Maverick's Child" 1969 (Capitol skao-548)  [gatefold; lime green label]

Folk blues with psychy touches. Excellent cover of Robert Johnson's "Hellhound On My Trail". Rea had more releases.


”Refined By Fire” 1980 (no label)

This is 70s sounding mellow Christian rock with some quite good (often jazzy) guitars and the genre’s usual pretty but soulless vocals (there are several female singers and one male singer.) Much of this is average bland AM-style pop, but a couple of songs have a dreamy beauty to them and the closing song has a cool heavy guitar solo that flows underneath a catchy repeated end chorus. Not a great album, but here and there it hits the spot. [AM]


"Rog" 197  (RPC)

Another obscure folkie on the RPC custom label. Rog sings with a morose voice, harmonizing with his buddy Ed, and goes through a number of acoustic originals and covers of Dylan and Gordon Lightfoot.


“American Rock’N’Roll” 1979 (Feldergarb 41178) [lyric sleeve]

Hardrock with good guitar, twin leads.


"The Red Herring Fall Folk Festival" 1970 (Century 36387)

Various artists local folk assembly including Louie Kotva (see Acid Archives entry), Dan Fogelberg, Peter Berkow, Nancy Fetters. Red Herring was a coffee house in Urbana, IL.

RED SHADOW (Cambridge, MA)

”Live At The Panacea Hilton” 1975 (Physical 21-005) [insert]

Underground radical folkrock with mixed vocals and counterculture politics. Track titles include ”Stagflation” and ”Under¬standing Marx”, a Ray Charles take-off with a spoken segment with a hip female explaining how she got turned on to Karl Marx. This bizarre LP still sounds like satire, but hardly in the way it was intended. There is a 2nd LP, ”Better red”.


"How Can I Tell Them" 1969 (Prophet Records PS 117)

UK-born Christian folkie who moved to the US and cut some records, this being his first and hardest to find. Typical clean-cut 60s vibe religious folk/folkrock with some good tracks like "Behold".

RELAYER (Houston, TX)

”Relayer Album” 1979 (HSR) [inner]

Symphonic keyboard prog in the Yes style.


"Like Long Hair" 1961 (Gardena LP-G1000) [mono]

At least two label variations exist -- one with red & black lettering & one with green & red lettering (either a later pressing or a boot). This LP is all instrumentals including 5 originals, the rest covers including 2 Wailers covers. The album was bootlegged in Europe as "Rock & Roll With" ('Gardena') with 4 bonus cuts, and a different cover. Incorrect band members are listed.

"Paul Revere & The Raiders" 1963 (Sande S-1001)  [mono]
"In The Beginning" 1966 (Jerden JRL-7004) 
[mono reissue]
"In The Beginning" 196  (Jerden JRLS-7004) 
[fake stereo reissue]
"Paul Revere & The Raiders" 1969 (PickWick SPC 3176) 
[fake stereo budget re-issue, missing 2 cuts, with a new psychedelic cover]
"Paul Revere & The Raiders" 197  (Sears SPS-493) 
[same as Pickwick reissue]
"Paul Revere & The Raiders" 1980 (Sande S-1001) 
[mono re-issue with 'Etiquette' in dead wax & thin cover]

One band original, the rest is r'n'b covers, showing the band's early days as a frat/club band. The album also was reissued as part of the "Northwest Collection" 6-LP boxset in 1980. Thanks to Rich Strauss for the detailed info on these early, obscure Raiders albums. The band hit the big-time with CBS in 1965, after which the story is well documented.


”Ocean of Love” 1977 (Living Love Productions) [gatefold]

The songs were written by Marcus Allen and Summer Raven and performed by The Reunion Band and Friends. Features many of the same folks on The Love Band’s ”The Oneness Space” LP, but is considered superior by some. Gentle folk with pretty femme vocals and cosmic, cultish lyric concerns.


"A Piece Of The Action" 1979 (Revolver)

Hard rock.

GUY RHEAUME (Quebec, Canada)

”Reve” 1972 (Polydor)

Odd French-Canadian garage rock LP with plenty of fuzz and organ, from former Robert Charlebois collaborator.


”There’s More To Living Than I Know So Far” 1969 (InterVarsity 03498)
”Patterns” 1970 (InterVarsity 8091-4498)
”Patterns” 200 (CD M2U, South Korea)
”Apple Tree” 1975 (InterVarsity 279-598)

Delicate acoustic Christian folk on the same label as Jonathan & Charles. Her poetic lyrics and stunning alto vocals have a dreamy quality that may appeal to 70s folk psych collectors, although there isn’t much variation. ”Patterns” features a trippy cover.


”Richard, Cam & Bert” 197 (Trilogy TS-91701)

Late 60s or early 70s New York street musician folk blues. The three switch around on guitars and bass and sing mostly in harmony. They are occasionally accompanied by a drummer. Some nice soloing on what I believe are amplified acoustic guitars, rather than electric. Overall rather pleasant, but hardly earth-shattering. Produced by Warren Schatz (Yesterday’s Children, etc). [MA]


"New Sound Element - Stones" 196  (UNI 3008)  [stereo]
"New Sound Element - Stones" 196  (UNI 73008)  [stereo]

Wild mix of electronics, 22 tone-to-the-octave instruments, and moog. Emil performs a composition for each of the twelve birthsigns. [RM]


"Warren S Richardson Jr" 1969 (Cotillion sd-9013)

Good heavy guitar blues rock produced by Michael Condello. This is actually Bill Spooner formerly of Condello and later a member of the Tubes! [RM]
Standard late-60s bluesy hard rock album with some surprising moments and a little bit of sax to give it life. Not especially better or worse than most in the genre. If you like this kind of thing, you’ll like this album. [AM]

RIDE (Eureka, CA)

"Ride" 197  (Ride no #)

Northern California 70s mellow groove-rock with lots of horns, sometimes offered as "westcoast". Despite occasional hype, at least one listener describes it as very bland.


"Ride The Bubble" 198  (No Trespassing)

Hard guitar, post Bubble Puppy and Demian. [RM]

RISING HOPE (Cincinnati, OH)

"Farewell To The Shadowlands" 1975 (no label lp-s-726)
"Where The Songs Come From" 1978 (no label 8064N2) [insert]

The two albums from this Christian folk/folkrock outfit are given enthusiastic reviews elsewhere, but I suspect only true believers (and fans of bland MOR folk) will find them enjoyable. They work as examples why so much of the second and third-tier 1970s Jesus rock simply doesn't work; there is no edge, no originality, no musical ambitions beyond presenting the faith in an inoffensive way. The first LP sounds like '60s folk-boom for the most part, with overly sincere male vocals and a slick vocal harmony folk sound. Only the closing "Narnia"-inspired track offers some variation. In time for their second LP the band had moved a few years forward, so that they now sounded like 1971 instead. It's user-friendly singer-songwriter music with light electric backing, and again an over-powering ambition to please and not offend the listener. Like the first LP, there's some OK female vocals for those who crave such, and a rather insipid male singer. The closing track sounds like it's going to move into some interesting moody, psych-flavored spaces for a minute or so, but then it falls back into the upbeat major chord s-sw, and the momentum is lost. Again, Christian specialist collectors will hear something in these albums that atheists won't (hence the $50+ going rates), but there's nothing else present to attract the heathens. It's unfortunate that so many 2nd and 3rd tier Jesus rock albums have been misrepresented as general collector items in recent years. [PL]

RISING SUN (Toronto, Canada)

”Born To Be Wild” 1969 (Birchmount 515)
”Born To Be Wild” 2004 (CD Radioactive 092, UK)

Exploito fuzz and pop rock covers mixed with several originals, which is the main reason for this album’s relative desirability. Side one is more garage, while side 2 brings in some horns for that special Blood Sweat & Tears touch.


”Rist Rocket” 1978 (Sun West 2506)

Guitar rock and AOR from goofy-looking Southern California club band.


"Rite Of Exorcism" 1974 (Crunch 045000)

Exploito exorcism concept. Mostly spoken with rock backing and effects. [RM]


"Let It Shine" 1982 (Roadhouse 101)

Southern hardrock/AOR with fuzz leads.

ROAD OF LIFE (Chicago, IL)

”Newborn” 1974 (no label)

Christian folk quintet with female vocal harmonies, acoustic guitars and standup bass.


"Listen To the Silence" 1970 (F.E.L. 552)

Here's one that some dealers have pushed off as a lost Christian psych masterpiece. It ain't. This 12 piece outfit apparently came together in 1969/1970 when the members were attending seminary school in Rome (get it - The Roamin' Brothers). Most members were American, but percussionist Fulvio Pirozzi was Italian, while harmonica player Chris Weckend was Canadian. Discovering a common interest in music, they started playing at local church events, discovering their "happening" sound was actually somewhat popular with younger Italian church goers. Recorded at Rome's RCA Studios, 1970's "Listen To the Silence" sounds like something you'd hear at a folk mass. All 12 songs have an acoustic folk flavor, layered with overtly religious lyrics. Largely written by group "leader" Ron Meyer, a track such as "Shout Out, Sing of His Glory" pretty much sums it up. Strumming guitars, group harmonies and occasional horn blasts, any Catholic who grew up in the late 1960s or early 1970s will be familiar with this kind of stuff. Pretty much forgettable, though the flame cover is kind of cool. [SB]

THE ROBBS (Oconomowoc, WI) 

"The Robbs" 1967 (Mercury SR 61130)

We've seen the Robbs slammed as lightweight popsters. That's unfortunate. While they were definitely a pop-oriented outfit, overlooking the yellow polka dot outfits, their self-titled album is nothing short of wonderful. Apparently self-produced (quite an impressive accomplishment given they couldn't have been more than 20 years old), 1967's "The Robbs" is certainly a period piece, but manages to blend the best of protest folk-rock ('Violets of Dawn'), Byrds-styled jangle rock ('Race with the Wind'), should've-been-a-massive-radio-hit pop ('Cynthia Loves' and 'See Jane Run') and light psychedelia (the backward guitar propelled 'Next Time You See Me' and the freakout "Jolly Miller"). Great songs (most penned by Dee), killer hooks and strong harmony vocals ... how can you not go for this? Naturally the album vanished without a trace (well it actually charted, somehow managing to hit #200). The band continued to record and release singles through 1970. In 1971 they reappeared as Cherokee (see separate entry) and subsequently established Cherokee Studios, turning their attention to engineering and production work. [SB]


”Rock Hard” 1980 (Primal p-1001) [1000p]

Rare hardrock/metal trio housed in a funny period cover; highly rated among genre fans. The band had several later LPs after this debut, and are usually categorized as early metal.


“All About Love” 196 (Spin-Et ABL-1)

Beautifully bizarre versions of “California dreaming” and “River road” from one-man-band loner Italian immigrant on this obscure private press.


”Everybody Jerk” 1965 (Donna do-2112)

A good East LA teen group doing uptempo soul rock proto garage ravers. Fine vocals similar to the best Justice label LPs. Features three ‘jerk’ songs. It appears that Arthur Lee may have been involved with some tracks.


"Children of Light" 1969 (Tetragrammaton T-116) 

Geez, here's another one of those late-1960s/early-1970s artists who managed to record a handful of bizarre and mildly entertaining LPs before settling into obscurity for some thirty years. Born in California and raised in New Orleans, Rose apparently started out as a comedian, writing for George Carlin and Steve Martin. He apparently enjoyed some success, even managing to appear on Johnny Carson's The Tonight show before turning his attention to music. Rose's material isn't exactly rock and roll, rather features increasingly dark and sophisticated social commentary-cum-1960s troubadour. He's hard to adequately describe, but imagine a Loudon Wainwright III with an affection for New Orleans-styled honky-tonk keyboards and you'll be in the right neighborhood. Today Rose is probably just as well known as a songwriter as a performer (which is to say he's hopelessly obscure to audiences). David Bowie and Tiny Tim both recorded Rose's 'Fill Your Heart' (co-written with Paul Williams) Bowie's version appeared on the "Hunky Dory" album, while Tim's served as the 'B' side to the 'Tip Toe Through the Tulips' 45. Like his debut, Rose's sophomore LP second album for Bill Cosby's Tetragrammaton label was co-produced by former New Christies Minstrels Nick Woods and Art Podell. Musically 1969's "Children of Light" is probably best described as an 'acquired taste'. Rose doesn't have much of a voice and lots of folks will find it tough to handle his flat sing-song delivery and irritating habit of falling back on a whiney falsetto. Whereas the debut exhibited a happy-go-lucky attitude, this time around material such as 'Just Like a Man' and 'American Waltz' has a much darker and painful feel. Adding to the problem, exemplified by tracks such as 'Communist Sympathizer', 'Ballad of Cliches' and the live 'Colorblind Blues', much of the set's social commentary hasn't aged all that well. Elsewhere, Van Dyke Parks provided a weird synthesizer to the opener 'Ain't No Great Day', while producer Woods contributes a Moog solo to the goofy 'Evolution'. It's a timepiece for sure, but the set's so bizarre that it's actually worth checking out. [SB]


”Rosewood” 197 (Martin Recordings PRP-29312)

Early 1970s folk private from the trio Kent, Phil & Doug. Has sold for decent money on times. Not to be confused with the Rosewood from Colorado.


“Get Your Rocks Off” 1976 (Sit On It And Spin, no #)

Crude, boozy bar-band hardrock from local Midwest band with no relation to later metal bands named Roxx (there were several). The band uses a guitar-keyboard setting with boogie and prog-pomp rock moves. Not really an underground sound.

R P M (NY)

”R P M” 1972 (Free Flow 1001)

Seldom seen private press of keyboard-guitar flowing progressive rock. It seems the band included Chris Robison, who had two solo LPs out (see Acid Archives book).


"The Travels Of Christopher Toboggan" 197  (no label)

Seldom seen mid-70s melodic rock with various mainstream moves. Good groove playing as always with Texas bands, OK vocals, some guitar soloing and jazzy flute excursions. Not a bad album, but somewhat faceless. "If My Life Came Up Again" is a great rural rock tune that could have been a radio hit. [PL]


”For Our Friends” 1979 (Island Sound Waves LP0001)

Ambitious lounge-rock private from South Padre Island.


SAGE ( )

"Like The Wind" 1978 (A & B)

Mix of acoustic and electric rural rockers, like Crazy Horse.


”Live At The Cleveland Agora” 1980 (Corposant) [inner sleeve; #d]

Hard progressive guitar keys. Garagy King Crimson sound and minor Tolkien influence.


"Sabbath Prayer" 196 (no label)

Late 1960s typical Christian folk and folkrock with male-female vocals, in a nice color sleeve. Described as unexciting by some.


”Conceptual Orchestra” 1978 (CER)
”Conceptual Orchestra” 2005 (CD)

Westcoast and rural-flavored religious folkrock with flute and fuzz from duo, highly rated by some. There is a second LP from 1984, ”Second Coming”, and further recordings from recent times.


"Saloon Music" 197  (no label S134)  [insert; 500p]

Yet another obscure album from the MI rural/s-sw scene that produced the various Thrower-Drendall etc records. B A Thrower is on bass and electric guitar. The main member is Jack Hamilton, who also had a solo LP out. "Saloon Music" takes a fairly enjoyable Midwestern plains view of personal 70 s-sw with an occasional Tim Hardin slant and country-rock moves. The setting is light electric, and Hamilton has a good if somewhat impersonal voice. The mood is dangerously laidback and somewhat one-note, and a special interest in the style or people is required. [PL] 


"Finders Keepers" 1968 (Buddah bds-5021) 

Bubblegum pop. [RM]


"Salvation" 1968 (ABC s-623)

These guys don’t get as much attention as the more well-known California bands of the era, but their albums are quite good. There’s a bit of a good-timey feel (shades of the Charlatans and Country Joe), but mostly this album rocks convincingly. Lots of fuzz guitar, awesome fuzz bass, and they have a really solid rhythm section. Counterculture fun. [AM]

"Gypsy Carnival Caravan" 1968 (ABC s-653) 

Their second album is more far out than the first, with some wild jams and moodier songs. It’s recommended as well, though I suspect that any given listener will prefer one album to the other, depending on your taste. If you enjoy more coherent, tighter songs, try the first. If you like your music loose and freaky, try the second. [AM]


"This City" 1979 (no label) 

Rock with three good heavy guitar tracks. Early 70s sound.


"Road Map To Nowhere" 1974 (Gestation)

Hippie folk & singer/songwriter from guy with roots in the "Inland Empire" 60s garage scene. Opens on an agreeable CSN note, peaks with the dreamy "Puzzled Pieces" that may recall "Broken Arrow"-era Neil Young. The rest of the LP is unsuccessful moves into rural, rootsy and other awkward-sounding domains. Samson also had a non-LP 45 in 1971 on Barnaby.


"Sanctuary" 1971 (Veritas 92072)

Described as progressive. Ex-Fabulous Flippers, but sounds nothing like them.

SAND (Portland, OR)

"Head In The Sand" 1976 (Ostrich)

Mix of AOR and soft proggy rock. This is the same band that had an earlier self-titled 2-disc set on Barnaby with the unique gimmick of being a single LP spread out across two discs, allowing for "continuous play". The Barnaby album is more in a rural/country-rock style.

V.A "SAN FRANCISCO ROOTS" (San Francisco, CA) 

"San Francisco Roots" 1970 (Vault 119)

Issued to remind of the early days of the then declining S.F scene, this has some interesting embryonic stuff like the megarare Great Society 45, a punky Knight Riders track only available here, plus Beau Brummels, Tikis and Mojo Men. All the worthwhile stuff has been issued elsewhere so you needn't really bother with this unless you're a Frisco completist. Later pressings exist. [PL]


”Country Life & My Wife” 1976 (Acredited)

Side 1 (the ”mellow side”) of this obscurity has light rural hippie folkrock with relaxed vocal harmonies, ringing guitars and a homespun 1960s flavor to moods and songwriting; more Byrdsian than CSNY:ish. May appeal to fans of 60s revivalists like Creme Soda or News, although the songwriting is on a lesser level, and the lack of variation in sound (combined with overlong songs) may piss you off. Side 2 is the ”Rocking Side” and delivers a more rootsy and clichéd sound, although the difference isn’t overwhel¬ming. Basically a CA garage band 10 years too late, trying to make up for their lack of attitude with charm. Closing track ”The King” is the only thing that stands out, with an unusual new wave edge, psychedelic echo effects, and bizarre lyrics (”someone thinks I’m gay... when I become king you’ll do as I say”). Just like Creme Soda and News we’re also treated to a collage with voices and backwards effects. If the whole album had been like the last 7 minutes it would have been memorable, instead it’s an inoffensive 70s teen folkrock private press with some quirky angles. Although given front cover credit, Linda Hankee’s contribution seems to be only backing vocals, which is a pity. Funny cover drawing shows the boys looking like Starsky & Hutch. The back cover shows a Downey CA address. [PL]


”John W Sargent” 196 (no label) [no cover]

Druggy lounge rock with guitar, organ, flute. Some of the vocals are unintelligible which may well be for the best. The label reads ‘demonstration copy’. [RM]


"Get On Down The Road" 1977 (CLW-7781)

If I see a record with a release date of 1977 and the band sounds like a mix bag of musical styles, I automatically suspect it’s a tax scam label. Savvy fits this description but feel confident their record release was for live shows and promotions. They dress like a disco lounge band but play mostly mediocre horn rock. The band consists of seven members and, according to the album photos, they had a van for touring the local circuit. All 10 songs are originals and written by the keyboard player, but the two guitar players do get a fair share of playing time, including some nice lead acrobatics. The band’s repertoire represents various musical forms like southern rock, early seventies style hard rock (Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, etc), FM friendly AOR and lots of horn rock similar to bands like Chicago & Blood, Sweat & Tears. Uncharacteristically, however, Savvy uses a Roland synthesizer on most songs with varying results.
Overall, it is a far cry from being a solid record but does have a few catchy moments with about four of the ten tracks. Synthesizer fans that like other genres than just new age and electronic music may find a few tasty tidbits by Savvy but not enough to have the reissue labels salivating. On a wider scale, most fans of vintage music will find Savvy dated, dull and full of clichés. I could only recommend it to the record collector that has everything or bargain hunters -- Savvy sells around 25 to 35 US dollars -- digging for average seventies rock albums on private labels. [SLB]

SAXONS (New York City, NY)

”Love Minus Zero/No Limit” 1966 (Mirrosonic AM 1017) [mono]
”Love Minus Zero/No Limit” 1966 (Mirrosonic AS 1017) [stereo]

Baroque vocals and harpsichord folk¬rockers from duo doing three Dylan covers among others.


”Another Brand New Day” 1975 (no label)

Hippie folk with flute and male/female vocals. May be a demo pressing only.


”A Wedding Present From” 1971 (no label)

Early 1970s, laidback mostly acoustic blues jamming. Made as a gift for friends. Jim was in the Siegel-Schwall Band. There was a later private press also, ”Spring Vacation” (1978).


"Signing Our Lives Away" 1978 (Missouri Woodland S8O-1553)

Rural acoustic folk.


"A Lot Of People Would Like To See Armand Schaubroeck... Dead" 1974 (Mirror)

It’s hard to fathom the impact of this absurd, independently released 3-record set upon its mid-70s release. While not a lot of people have heard it, almost everyone who shopped at hip, indie record stores in the late 70s and early 80s will remember the album cover, a close-up of Armand’s face with a bullet hole in the forehead. When I was about 13, I walked into the local cool record store for the first time, and staring at me from the very front of the “new wave” section was this album cover. My initial rection was “this new wave stuff is some really sick shit.” Little did I know what my record-buying habits would soon become. Despite this particular store’s placement of the record, Schaubroeck’s music actually has virtually nothing in common with the new wave. It’s his attitude, his willingness to do whatever he wanted no matter who was offended, and his do it yourself ethic that endeared him to punk-era music fans. The album cover is typical for Schaubroeck, who wore T-shirts that had bull’s eyes and the words “kill me” in big letters. (He also sold these T-shirts via mail order and his store.) Schaubroeck was a juvenile offender, and spent a few years in prison. Those years are the subject of this 2-hour album, which has spoken word sections, music and sound collages. It’s more like a movie than a record, and is a surprisingly riveting story. The music ranges from 60s folk to 70s rock, and is decent but unexceptional. It gains power from the story that surrounds it. This record is an “experience.” After leaving prison, Schaubroeck not only found rock and roll (he also released a few 60s garagy singles as Kack Klick and the Churchmice), but opened one of the world’s biggest music stores, the House of Guitars, near Rochester, NY. The store is as chaotic and as wild as Armand’s records. If you’re ever in Rochester, drop by and say hi to him. [AM]

"I Came To Visit But Decided To Stay" 1977 (Mirror)

Schaubroeck’s second record tackles the subject of religion. It’s a concept album about a priest and his love for a nun. The story isn’t exactly easy to follow, but the mood is strong, and this is a very solid rock record, musically, with some hot lead guitar and several great songs. The highlight is unquestionably the 9-minute “The Bells,” Poe’s poem sung hysterically to a backdrop of wailing lead guitar. This is a brief album, about a fourth the length of his debut, but in many ways has just as much of an impact. In Schaubroeck’s ouvre, this is only topped by RATFUCKER. [AM]

"Live At The Holiday Inn" 1978 (Mirror)

This two-LP album is a big goof—a fake live recording with the loudest overdubbed audience noise you’ll ever hear. One LP plays at 33, the other at 45, so it’s more like one and a half albums than two. The entire album is made up of songs from Schaubroeck’s debut album, but they’re extended and taken to some pretty wild extremes. The 20-minute “Streetwalker” is a harrowing endurance test. As you listen, you think it’s just never going to end, that the narrator is stuck in a nightmare from which he’ll never wake up. The audience noises are so obtrusive that eventually they’re funny. This is one of those albums that really should be terrible, yet somehow has a weird compelling appeal to it. [AM]

"Shakin Shakin" 1978 (Mirror)

This mini-LP has one of the greatest liner notes ever. It says the songs were “written by Armand Schaubroeck right after they were recorded.” The reason it’s so funny is that it’s pretty much accurate, as the lyrics are completely improvised (my favorite is when he starts singing about how the guitars have gone out of tune.) After two or three listens it’s obvious that Armand just sat his band down in the studio, had them run with a couple of riffs, and let himself go nuts. What’s amazing is that it works. These songs are quite good, and the lyrics, some of which are really vulgar, are more interesting than the kind of stuff singer-songwriters take a year to write. This is a throwaway, but a really inspired one. [AM]

"Ratfucker" 1978 (Mirror)

Schaubroeck’s third album of 1978 is his masterpiece, and after this, for some reason, he recorded no more. The liner notes say "I doubt if you'll ever hear this record on the radio," which encouraged me to play it on my show in the mid-80s. This record is a concept album about the lowest dregs of American society, as Armand takes on the personalities of a batch of heartless criminals. The relentless obscenity of the album gave it quite a bit of notoriety at the time, and overshadowed the fact that musically this was one of the best albums of its era, a blend of hard rock, soul, and pure sleaze that was miles beyond albums like Lou Reed’s somewhat similar STREET HASSLE. (That album may have been a bit of a model for this one, and both album covers show the singers wearing sunglasses that glint in the sun.) Schaubroeck’s band is at their best, with searing organ, relentless lead guitars and female backing choruses who convincingly sing unlikely lyrics like “I’m fucking around.” The album’s highlight is the 12-minute “Queen Hitter,” a fascinating study of the most vile and amoral contract killer you could imagine. Schaubroeck plays the part convincingly, and his own criminal past no doubt has given him a lifetime of experiences from which to draw upon for this album. Armand isn’t likely to win over all fans of psychedelic or progressive rock, or even hard rock, but he has a solid “real people” appeal and made some of the most interesting and distinctive records of the 70s. All of his records increase in appeal from association with each other, but this one is unquestionably the best. [AM]


"Ascent" 1982 (Aircraft)  [1]

Christian prog. Backed by Argosy.



”Scorpion” 1970 (Tower st-5171) [striped label]

Black guys doing raw underground bar funk sounds, sometimes hyped by dealers but hardly the most highly rated LP in the style.


"Mosaics" 1972 (TAL Enterprises d-12977)

Dark instrumental piano and acoustic guitar folk with classical shadings. Minor chords and moody strumming late-night sound.


”Angels Are Falling” 1982 (Osty) [insert]

Interesting early 80s pop album with folky leanings. Sebrow did the whole thing himself, which unfortunately means it has a drum machine. The songs are quite good in a post-Beatles pop mode, and Sebrow has a haunting voice. One song is a tribute to John Lennon, but unfortunately quotes from some McCartney songs that Lennon always hated. Lennon would be spinning in his grave! Otherwise, though, if you can get past the drum machine (which I can not), this is a nice album. Osh was an Eye Surgeon and gave out the ”Angels Are Falling” LP to his patients. Due to a quantity find it’s not a pricey album at all. He also did a much earlier LP, ”I Can See Tomorrow” (Ame, 1974). [AM]


”Hymns For A New Age” 1978 (Whatever WA 101)

Unrelated Seeds doing hippie new age folk, with the prolific new age mover Marcus Allen. Seems there were at least two more album by these Seeds, who have a minor fan-base among young new age crystal healers.


"Portrait" 1969 (Enterprise 1003)

"The Cold Of The Morning" 1976 (Peabody 101)

Mid-70s obscurity from prolific Memphis performer with several releases out. Selvidge sings backing vocals on Alex Chilton's classic "Sherbert" LP. The earlier LP has been described as soft singer/songwriter a la Neil Diamond.


"Early Bird Café" 1969 (Capitol skao-207)  [gatefold]

All over the place interracial group 60s sounds blues and jazzy rock hippie jamming. wailing guitar, horns, organ. half covers including "Like a Rolling Stone" and "I'm a Man". [RM]


”Scott Seskind” 1985 (no label 11785)

Late phase downer-loner folk and singer-songwriter trip, mostly acoustic, some tracks with a small band.


"Severance & Cassidy" 1978 (no llabel)

Described as 1970s folkrock, acoustic with occasional electric guitar, bass and harmonica backing.


”Shade Tree” 1979 (Buffarilla)

Mediocre Southern/rural rock with a couple of good tracks.


"Come Live With Me" 1968 (Tomorrow Productions 60001)

Exploitation LP with two OK tracks, both compiled on Turds On A Bumride vol 3.


"Ananda Shankar" 1970 (Reprise rs-6398)

Fun mix of sitar rockers and moog electronics, rated as one of the very best LPs in the sitarploitation bag. Shankar had several LPs out, of which "Ananda Shankar & His Music" (EMI, India 1975) has attracted most attention.


”Ideas & Rhymes” 1977 (Blue Heron)

Private press-looking LP from country rock & folk quartet with some female vocals and an a capella cover of ”Come up the years”. The Minstrel String Guild duo help out on one track.


"Servant Of Peace" 1973 (no label)

This is a commune band, also known as ‘Center Family’. The album is mostly mystical folk, and includes a ‘chant instructional’. A lot of it isn’t far from standard ‘70s singer-songwriter music, other than the spiritual lyrics. Tempos are generally sluggish and the songwriting simple, though a few songs have catchy choruses. The songs are just acoustic guitar and vocals (mostly male, though some female too), with flute or harmonica on a few, and electric guitar on one. They definitely suffer from lack of variety. Not really the kind of thing that can hold a listener’s interest for a full half hour. [AM]


”Shatters” 1966 (Welhaven 63)

Sleeve-less demo LP (or acetate) from garage band with a few 45s. The LP is mainly frat and r’n’b covers.


"It Is What It Is" 1976 (Tiger Lily, 1976)

Sherman’s music is light country rock, not generally the kind of thing collectors look for, but due to being on Tiger Lily his album has grown in value. It’s well made, with a very solid backing band, but I can’t really imagine too many Archives readers digging it. “Breezy Day,” a solid and catchy rock song, is most certainly the standout. One song has Amy Madigan on vocals. She would soon form the moderately successful band Jelly, then go on to a notable career as an actress. [AM]


”Shiloh” 1971 (Amos aas-7015)

Early countryrock with steel and harmony vocals in Flying Burrito Bros style with Don Henley on vocals and guitar, pre-Eagles.


”Shiloh Morning” 1974 (TRC 51053)

Well-played and -recorded folkrock with mixed vocals in a variety of styles, probably best known for their faithful version of ”Nights in White Satin,” but with a little bit more to offer. Mostly working in a pleasant pop mode on songs like ”Talk It Over in the Morning” (which, like some other songs here, comes across a bit like a mellotronned Carpenters), they provide a few meatier cuts like opener ”Riverside” and ”Jamaica” with their somewhat west coast feel and excellent harmonies (the whole album is full of strong harmony work), and the rural poprock of ”One A.M.” They also do an upbeat version of ”White Bird.” Probably too happy for some to stomach, but not without its merits. [RP]


"Shredded Wheat" 197  (Owl)

X-rated rock, goof-off trash recorded for friends.

SIDEWALK (New York City, NY)

”Sidewalk” 1975 (C.D.)

Cosmic jazz lounge duo, some wailing guitar parts.


SILOAM (St Louis, MO)

”Siloam” 197 (Timbrel 47-248)

Siloam is to American Christian folkrock what groups like Presence, Aslan and Sanctus are to the British scene. Melodic textures of 12-string guitar, piano, percussion and male/female harmonies combine with compassionate songwriting and skilled musicianship to create a wonderful work of fragile beauty and homegrown charm. Gently strummed mid-tempo numbers like ”Mystery”, the minor-key ”We beseech you” and the breezy ”For this reason” all are sheer perfection for the genre. Tracks like ”The shepherd” and ”Day of the Lord” even have a dreamy psych edge to them. Others reveal a delicate VU ”Femme fatale” kind of quality. Very nice acoustic lead guitar work throughout. A seven person outfit from Dayspring Community in St. Louis. Not an expensive LP. [KS]


"Voice Of The Turtledove" 1974 (Grubb Associates)

Moody xian folk with female vocals and amateur passions.


"Sing A Song With The Beatles" 1965 (Tower t-5000)  [mono]
"Sing A Song With The Beatles" 1965 (Tower st-5000)  [stereo]

Studio hacks playing instro Beatles covers so you can sing along! [RM]

SIN-SAY-SHUNS (Los Angelese, CA) 

"Live at PJ's vol 3" 1968 (Venett)

One track comp'd on "Kicks & Chicks".

SIRIUS (Houston, TX)

"Rising" 1979 (Elcric Flow)

Hardrock from ex-Bubble Puppy Texas veterans. The label name is 'Wolf Circle' backwards.


”Composed For You” 1974 (A.R.S. 1211)

Nun folk with highly rated track "Speak To Me Of Life", otherwise a concern mainly for genre specialists.


”Sivelization 1” 197 (Rene 1107)

Oddball local LP of teenbeat & blue-eyed soul with horns.

SKYWALKER (Long Beach, CA)

”Made In Flight” 1982 (Phax pr-2001)

Hardrock trio with spacy Floydian moves.


"The First Book Of Sloan" 1971 (Audio 7171)

Acoustic vagabond folk with a world-weary, weathered tone. The aesthetics are somewhat '60s-flavored, like Fred Neil or Bob Dylan at his most hobo-ish. One track is a stripped down dead ringer for Dylan's "Blood On The Tracks" sound, although Sloan's LP seems to precede it. The mood is dark and occasionally nihilist, but the rustic, earthy Okie style of Sloan is probably too realistic for the "downer folk" collectors, and it's not psychedelic in any sense. If approached as a self-released album of drifter Americana, it's enjoyable and nicely done, although (as usual with acoustic privates) lacking the unique personality and arresting songwriting needed to make it truly memorable. The closing droner "Sailing Home" is a high point in a Jay Bolotin style. [PL]


”Notes On A Journey” 196 (Faithful Virtue fvs-2002) [gatefold]

Late 60s hippie folky rock group led by Michael Wendroff and David Greenberg. Deep thought lyrics and wistful acoustic jammy playing. Solid late-night charmer.


"Slyder" 1978 (Hustler)

Hardrock with Thin Lizzy influence.


"Smith & Worrell" 197  (Mars)

Local Midwest obscurity, details invited.


"The Survival Of St Joan" 1971 (Paramount pas-9000)  [2 LPs; gatefold; book]

The short-lived Smoke Rise (you had to look at the back cover and album labels to find the band name), featured the talents of bassist Randy Bugg, non-performing writer James Lineberger and brothers Gary (guitar), Hank (keyboards) and Stan (drums) Ruffin. The quartet apparently started out as a conventional rock outfit, releasing a little heard 1971 single for ATCO ('I Need a Woman"' b/w 'Late Last Friday Night') (ATCO 45-6851). The following year found them signed to Paramount, releasing 1972's Dave Blue and Steve Schwartz produced "A Rock Opera The Survival of St. Joan". From a marketing standpoint Paramount seemed to have considerable faith in the band, allowing them to release a double album, 23 track concept piece. With a plotline having something to do with the life and times of Joan of Arc, the results clearly weren't for everyone. Sure the lyrics were occasionally clumsy and the plotline was incomprehensible without the accompanying booklet. That said, backed by strong pseudo-progressive moves, strong melodies, nice harmonies and enthusiastic performances, material such as the single 'Love Me', 'Survival', 'Run, Run' and 'Back In the World' wasn't half bad. Needless to say, commercially the set went nowhere. [SB]


"Where The Rainbow Ends" 1972 (Covenant 1214)

A cross-religious rock oratorio composed by a fairly well-known vocal coach, this album is quite enjoyable and occasionally 'psychedelic' not unlike the St Pius X Seminary Choir or John Rydgren's "Cantata", although the most likely source of inspiration was "Jesus Christ Superstar". It's an expensive, pro-level production with a huge chorus and some beautiful, folk-flavored melodies and rich and varied arrangements with rock, jazz and classical elements. The opening track could be put on a mix tape and blow a few minds. The oratorio was performed at the Cathedral Of St John The Divine in NYC; the same venue that hosted the Trees "Christ Tree" a few years later. Pick this LP up if you find it cheap. [PL]

SMYLE (Canada) 

"Smyle" 1970 (Columbia 90017) [promos exist] 

Melodic guitar rock with good vocals, some horns. Promo copies came with a glossy promo photo, sheet, and a black plastic outer bag.

SNOW GEESE (Manfield, TX)

”Feathers In The Wind” 1977 (Old Hat) [inner; insert]

Rural hippie folk and country-rock with some Christian moves.



”SOS Fever - Live At The Outrigger Hotel” 1971 (Makaha 5001)

One of many LPs from this successful Hawaiian lounge/variety band. This is listed as a 'collectable' elsewhere but it's actually an easy to find LP of upscale lounge/adult contemporary, with a fine version of Johnny Mathis' "A Time For Us" a possible highpoint.

S O D (Los Angeles, CA)

"Face the Music" 1972 (Decca DL-75353)

I probably wouldn't have bought this album had I known this was a horn rock outfit ('course I could've opened up the unipack sleeve and seen concert photos that show trumpet player Michael Green and sax man Rick Kellis ...). On the other hand, I would have missed a chance to score an LP produced by the ever eccentric David Axelrod and in this case it turns out my distaste for horn rock was largely misplaced. I know absolutely nothing about this band other than I think they were based in Los Angeles and the line up consisted of bass player California (guess he couldn't afford a last name), drummer Larry Devers, sax man Rick Kellis, keyboardist Jo Jo Molina and guitarist Don Phillips. I believe 1972's "Face the Music" is their second LP, but I'm not even sure about that. With all six members contributing material, you can categorize most of this set as a blend of top-40ish pop (the bouncy title track) and 'white boy blues-rock'. There's nothing particularly original about tracks such as 'House Rules' and 'Blues Route', but the band plays with considerable energy and unlike such competitors as BS&T, Chase, or Chicago, the horns are kept largely in-check. Mind you, I'm not telling you that this set is going to change your life, but as far as the horn rock genre goes, this is pretty good. [SB]

SOJOURNERS (Corpus Christi, TX)

"From The Cross To The Glory" 1971 (Encounter)

Amateurish, melodic Jesus rock with off-key vocals and some nice jammy guitar. The vibe is too mild-mannered and the sound too generic to garner serious 'rock' credits. A mix of originals and covers. The title track is probably the best thing on board, with a CSNY feel.


”Wings Like An Eagle” 1979 (no label 017901)

Christian proggy folk and rock mix, recorded at Magic City Studios in Bogalusa. Keyboard-heavy sound with synth, organ, clavinet, electric guitars and various percussion instruments.


"Solar Plexus" 1975 (Evidence)



"Almost Tender" 1977 (Rufert rr-1016)

Offbeat prog recorded at Sound 80. Not an expensive LP.


"Something Borrowed Something New" 197  (no label)

Soft Christian gospel folk with classical chamber music flourishes and the typical Jesus praise, lofty yet somewhat croonerish male vocals, light electric instrumentation. A dreamy, nocturnal, night before X-mas mood in places that is not without appeal, but all over this one's for genre specialists only.


”Somethin’ Else” 1966 (Roman drl-103)

Canadian teen-beat sampler including the Paupers, early David Clayton-Thomas, and the Shays. The latter’s track (”This hour has seven days”) is good moody beat and has been comp’d. Like all four Paupers tracks, it also came out on 45.


”Are You Looking” 1970 (Century 40499)

Electric folk-folkrock with female vocals on well-known custom label.


"Song Within Me" 1978 (SONR-1978)

Amateur s/sw and church picnic folk from this male/female combo with light rock setting, piano and flute. As many of the lesser genre LPs, the generic Jesus praise and semi-incompetent music drowns out any personal expression. For believers only, with a couple of female vocal tracks the most listenable.

SONSET (Puerto Rico)

"Discoteca Sonset" 1967 (Hit Parade)

Garage with hot reverb guitar.


"He's Back" 1973 (HIS 001)

Christian vocal harmony pop/folk/gospel, for genre fans mainly.


"Leonard Feather Presents" 1968 (Verve v-8743)  [ylp; mono]  [1-2]
"Leonard Feather Presents" 1968 (Verve v6-8743)  [1]

"Spleen" 196  (Limelight)

Leonard Feather produced the Verve LP. Dreamy pop femme duo, Alyce and Rhae Andreace, backed by big name jazz guys. Jazzy, spooky tripped out pop.


”Sounds Of Central High ‘67” 1967 (no label)
”Sounds Of Central High ‘68” 1968 (no label)

High-school project LPs of which the first is of no particular merit, while the 1968 installment has some cool tracks and an extraordinary psychedelic cover.

V.A ”SOUNDTRACKS 1966” (Northfield, IL)

”Soundtracks 1966” 1966 (no label 28573)

Obscure school project LP from New Trier High School, features some brief teenbeat from the Maniacs doing ”Little Latin Lupe Lu” as the main attraction; also has some students singing a mock ”protest” tune to the melody of ”Louie Louie”. The album is sometimes credited to the Maniacs, but their contribution is just that one track.


"Sounds Of The Highlands" 1965 (Century)

High school yearbook LP from Piedmont High, including a fun, piano-based "Louie Louie" by Jonah & The Wailers and a bird call contest, among other things.


”Sky-Sails” 1973 (no label MH-93) [insert]

Obscure Canadian electronics, effects & poetry LP. This is usually classified as modern art music (Southam had a long string of works), but is sometimes pitched to psych/fringe collectors.


"The Southern Portrait Band" 197  (no label 790905)

Decent second tier southern rock band with some good material on their only known album. The good tracks are genre friendly songs full of hard rocking duel guitars shooting it out like gunslingers as the rhythm section pins it all down with the standard shuffling back beat that's commonly used by all southern rock bands. On the downside, the album's cluttered with a few insipid ballads as lame attempts to be accepted commercially. These weaker songs have some poorly conceived synthesizer parts that I find even more detracting from the band's chances at success. Worth picking up providing you don't pay more than $20 to $30 for it. Hard rock guitar fans should appreciate the heavier material. [JSB]


"Smell Of Incense" 1968 (Hip his-7001)  [1]

Soft pop with some psych moves. Noted for their hit cover of the West Coast Pop-Art Experimental Band's "Smell of Incense". England Dan and John Ford Coley went on to commercial success as a duo. [RM]


"Southwind" 1968 (Venture vts-4002)

"Ready To Ride" 1970 (Blue Thumb BTS 8813)

"What A Strange Place To Land" 1971 (Blue Thumb BTS 26)

Rural rock band with blues moves, featuring Moon Martin.


”Sower” 1977 (Grand Trine) [500p; inner]

Friendly rural hippie s-sw and folkrock with guitars, drums, flute and violin. There are many many albums like this, and Sower have little that grabs you, hampered further by weak male vocals and a too squishy “have a nice day” mood. Even if you’re a fan of this style (which only really exists on local/private pressings), there are many better LPs, such as Robin Woodland or David Sinclair. The dark folk drone moods of "Green Fields" is the high-point, while some literary credentials are reaped via a lengthy interpretation of T S Eliot’s ethereal poem "Burnt Norton". [PL]

SPARKS (Montreal, Canada)

”Travelling With” 1965 (Fontaine LPE 1)

Obscure teenbeat in a cool car cover. The crude packaging and lack of credits make this reminiscent of the many privately pressed albums from the US Eastcoast of the same era, and the similarities continue with the amateur crooner pop and square oldies on the disc. An unusual LP for the Canadian '60s scene, but except for Quebec completists it's hard to see anyone take an interest in it.

SPEAK EASY (Kansas City, MO)

”Speak Easy” 197 (no label)

Late 1970s hardrockers.


"Alive At The Sanctuary" 1973 (no label)

Straightforward Christian 1970s MOR with male lead vocals, female backing harmonies, and a live-recorded (?) yet lush-sounding production. Familiar spiritual folk tunes like "Into Your Hands", a Carole King cover. Of no immediate interest unless you're a big New Seekers fan. 


"Liberates The Pirates Of Penzance" 1970 (Steady s-111)

The Gilbert & Sullivan opera done up 'pop-rock style'. Led by Tom Costello who wrote, arranged and produced the material. It's actually pretty good baroque psych pop. [RM]


"Spirit In Flesh" 1971 (Metromedia md-1041)  [wlp; lyric inner] 

"Spirit In Flesh" 1979 (no label)  [1]

One of the few 70's xian hardrockers on a real label. Blazing guitar, screaming vocals, uptempo tunes. There may not have been a black label stock pressing. [RM]


"Listen To Me" 1977 (Midas 001)

Littleknown album with cover showing the guy out in a field hugging his acoustic guitar, which may tell you what it sounds like.


”Rock ‘n Roll Rowdies” 1983 (Zanbeck ZSP 1001)

Good Southern guitar-rock despite the late release date.


"Springfield Rifle" 1969 (Burdette st-5159)  [wlp exists]

Garage pop with flowery moves similar to Grass Roots.


”Woodstock” 1970 (Paragon 302)

Power trio doing blues-rock with all covers except one instrumental, on the same label as the 2nd Reign Ghost and the first Christmas.


"On The Wings Of Song" 1976 (no label)

Hippie xian folk.


"Space Age Music" 197  (QCS)  [1]

Electronic sound textures. With Brian Eno.

STALLION THUMROCK (Chilliwack, Canada)

"Stallion Thumrock" 1972 (Haida)

Pro-level early 1970s rock with a ballsy Stones/Faces/Free vibe for the most part, and some minor backwoods touches. Imagine It's All Meat minus the organ and the psych moves. Not bad, but kind of wasted as an obscure release (Haida was an A & M subsidiary); this is a rock star sound from non-rock stars. The last track has a Bay Area groove-rock feel. Worth hearing.

STANLEY (Austin, TX)

"Enemy Ave" 1981 (Rectangle)

Obscure local bonehead hardrock in simplistic street-sign cover. This sells for decent money on occasion, but a renowned student of the field describes it as "dullsville".


“Song Of Life” 1970 (Jai Guru Dev)

Spiritual meditation folk sounds from ex-Gentle Soul guy on the Maharishi trail. It opens with a lecture on the virtues of transcendental meditation, followed with music in the expected style. Stanley’s songs are followed by spoken word segments explaining their meaning. Stanley later popped up with the Natural Tendency Something Good Is Happening LP (Ganesh, 1972) which has a full folkrock sound with keyboard and woodwind.


”Rock Is Our Business” 197 (LRS)

One-sided LP on same custom label as Frolk Haven, typical 70s hardrock with mostly covers in an elaborate gatefold sleeve.


"Live" 197  (private)

"Yellow Jacket" 197  (private)

Lounge and country moves. Ex-Homer but nothing like that great group.


"Stark Naked" 1971 (RCA lsp-4592)

This creative prog album starts out great, with an intense and multi-layered instrumental introduction to a song called “All of Them Witches.” When the song proper begins, the hooks is terrific, and you may think you’re listening to a classic. Unfortunately, the vocals come in and the melody simply mimics the hook, Black Sabbath-style, and the effect is pretty disappointing. Throughout this album there are great instrumental moments, but as with a lot of prog bands they spent way more time writing the breaks than they did the songs, and this ends up being a mixed experience. When it’s on, though, it really hits the spot. This is another band with an under-utilized female vocalist, by the way. [AM]


”Triste-Payaso” 196 (Teardrop lpm-2015)

Tex-Mex sound with some garagy r&b ravers. ”Mustang Sally”, ”Stagger Lee”.


”Memories Never Die” 197 (no label)

Late 1970s proggy hardrock a la Legend ”From The Fjords”, with some AOR moves and synth. The LP is sometimes shown as self-titled, as there is no title on the front cover.


"Everybody's Baby" 1976 (Ovation ov-1717)

Instrumental progressive jazzy rock virtuoso guitarist showcase. Steele plays several multitracked guitars on each track with all sorts of effects including fuzz, wha-wha, phasing. Some MOR tracks but mostly it's funky or psychy explorations with excellent, complex playing throughout. Steele had an earlier and more common LP on Ovation. [RM]

STEEL RIVER (Toronto, Canada) 

"Weighin' Heavy" 1970 (Tuesday)
-- also released in the US on Evolution

The album title is reasonably apt here, as this album does get loud here and there. The opening “Dream Is Country” has some pretty powerful organ. The album also has a few decent soulful ballads, a bit of boogie blues (the weakest songs here), and some straightforward, un-heavy rock. Overall it’s a good, if not distinctive, early 70s rock album. The singing is a little too AOR for my tastes and some of the songs are awfully repetitive, but the band can play. Some of the best lead guitar is on the mellower songs (i.e. the nice Leslie effect on “Walk By The River.”) “Ten Pound Note,” one of the more average songs on this album, actually hit #5 on the Canadian charts. Seems like they were influenced not only by heavy bands, but also the Guess Who and even Three Dog Night. [AM]

"A Better Road" 1971 (Tuesday)
-- also released in the US on Evolution


"St Elizabeth" 1983 (Mystic ST-10001)

Obscure private hard rock with light prog moves and guitars/keyboard. A bit AOR-ish, but some underground vibe.


”Opening Act” 1983 (Realtime RTA 1000)

Styx-inspired melodic hard rock-AOR with professional sound and some progressive rock leanings, with keyboard and ace guitar leads.


”Sacrifice” 1982 (CCS)

Guitar-dominated band somewhere between hardrock and metal. The cover shows stills from a slasher movie the band made.


"Songs" 1971 (UNI 73103)  [gatefold]

Excellent, delicate folky singer-songwriter baroque Victoriana dreamer sensitive reflections with Harry Palmer (Ford Theatre) playing guitar and producing. Think Arthur "Dreams and images" crossed with James Taylor's "Sweet Baby James" LP. Orville also worked as a movie actor in the 1980s and 90s. [RM]


"Stone Country" 1968 (RCA lsp-3958)

12-string harmony Byrds and pop psych floater. Excellent LP has all the westcoast moves. [RM]
This album seems like the work of studio musicians or more than one band, as it goes through many styles, from folk-rock to horn-and-strings AM pop. Most of the album is pretty good, though and the mix makes it an interesting product of its time. [AM]


"Sounds Like Woodstock" 1970 (Design sdlp-320)

Ridiculous, fun exploito hippie rock.


”Skunk Creek” 1974 (Red Rock)

Stoned rural rock.


"From A Naked Window" 1970 (RCA) 

This is the kind of album that makes hunting down and collecting obscurities worthwhile. Apparently Storch was the singer in The Vagrants who also included a pre Mountain Leslie West, but you would never expect that or hear any garage roots in this amazing album. What this album is is something that blows Food and similar "spooky" soft psych albums out of the water and could only be described as Tim Buckley gone mad crossed with Bowie and Gandalf. The songs, some of which are over 5 minutes long, discard traditional song formats for a chamber music/classical/avante garde at times approach that includes on at least four of the songs some incredibly intense fuzz guitar driven backings for Jeremy's unique, high pitched, echo drenched quavering voice. He is a singer who can go from soft and world weary to wailing and melodramatic in two seconds and always sound confident. Every song is amazing, even the closing instrumental which is purely classical music on a rock record! The dark mood and tripped out ambience we search for in all melodic psych songwriter albums is here, and the funny thing is he sounds more like a band than over half of the "groups" who tried to record this kind of album. The lyrics also are a plus, bizarre and meaningful at the same time including a song about lesbians ("Lynn and Sue Are A Country"). An absolute unique masterwork well worth searching for and known to almost no one. -- Ben Blake Mitchner


"Transformer" 1968 (Elektra eks-74034)  [gold label; no date on label]

Probably the weirdest of all Elektra albums. The album cover says “produced and created by David Stoughton,” which explains it all, because this sounds more like performance art than music, as some off-Broadway wannabes sing bizarre lyrics over a soundtrack-type backing that includes synthesizer experimentation. This is not a rock or folk album, as most people will tell you, but an experimental music record. Some of it is pretty interesting, but some is pretty annoying too. [AM]


"I Want Candy" 1965 (Bang)  [mono]  [1]
"I Want Candy" 1965 (Bang)  [stereo]  [1]
"I Want Candy" 198  (Line, Germany)

Infamous hoax of supposedly "Australian" band doing Bo Diddleyish teen-beat; in actuality the work of some shrewd NYC business pros. Long ago disinherited by garage fans due to its bogus nature, but the music isn't without merit, including two drum-heavy hit 45s. [PL]


"Rock'N'Roll Forever" 198  (Excalibur)

Obscure self-released album from long-running local barrock/hardrock act, who backed Vince Hopkins on a classic '70s 45 several years earlier. Copies have been found with a paste-on sheet, or in blank covers. This LP has sold for decent money on occasion.

STREP THROAT (Salt Lake City, UT)

"A Sock Hopera" 197  (Kall Radio 910 no#)

Parodic melodic covers. Obnoxiously bad falsetto crooning versions (hence the name) of soft rock staples like "Hey Jude" and "I left my heart in San Francisco". A DJ vanity project? [RM]


”Strictly Canadian” 1969 (Birchmount bm-523)

A Canadian compilation LP with a mixed bag, notable for including the uptempo folkrocked ”High Flying Bird” by the Plague, one of the best versions ever (it has been comp’d).


"String Cheese" 1971 (Wooden Nickel wns-1001)

Westcoasty folkrock with female vocals. The use of electric violin adds an It's A Beautiful Day-feel. A French pressing also exists.


"The Soft Sounds Of" 1968 (Pete)

Orchestrated soft-rock with nice vocals. Nothing is especially original here, but it is pleasant throughout. The highlight is cover of labelmate John Braheny’s “Warm.” [AM]


"Live At The Roxy" 1981 (Beaver)

Pomp rock in Styx/Kansas mold from popular live band. The band had more LPs later on and are highly rated in AOR circles.

LES SULTANS (St Hyacinthe, Canada)

"Sultans" 1966 (Teledisc 356) 

In spite of the fact all twelve songs were sung in French, the debut was nothing short of spectacular. Showcasing a largely original set, the album featured a great mix of radio-friendly pop and tougher fuzz-propelled rockers. Huard had a fantastic voice that was more than capable of handling the entire spectrum of material in their diverse repetoire and the rest of the band played with an intensity that you simply don't hear very often. Highlights included their two Zombies covers "Je T'aime Bien" ("You Make Me Feel Good") and "Dis-lui" ("Leave Me Be"). Curiously both tracks are credited as Sultans compositions, as is a Kinks cover. Other highlights included the two singles pulled from the album. [SB]

"Express" 1967 (DSP 16003) 

The band's second studio set, 1967's "Express" displayed creative growth. Showcasing a mixture of originals and popular covers (this time crediting the original writers), the album made it clear these guys had been listening to lots of Byrds ('Pour Qui Pourquoi') and English bands such as The Kinks and The Zombies ("Les Filles"). Unlike many of their contemporaries, these guys managed to do more than merely be imitative. Take a song like the original 'To Say You're Sorry'. A great song, it's also one of the earliest slices of country-rock I'm aware of. Simply put, every ingredient required for a massive hit was here including great songs, fantastic performances and a willingness to experiment (check out the "Eleanor Rigby"-styled strings on "Tout Ira"). While most Quebec-based bands were reluctant to record anything in English, The Sultans broke with that tradition including several English performances on the album. It's simply a crime that they didn't enjoy an American hit with something like "Bring Her Back", "Fade Out" or their raunchy cover of "Sticks and Stones". [SB]

"En Personne A Starovan" 1968 (DSP 16028) 

Subtitled 'their spectacular goodbye', this LP chronicled the group's final concert before some 6,000 fans at Montreal's Starovan Club. From a technical standpoint the collection isn't exactly state of the art. The screeching fans and the echo laden sound recall something from 1964 rather than 1968. To be honest the album occasionally sounds like it was recorded in a large bathroom. Beyond that, the performances pack a bigger kick than 90% of mega-selling in-concert sets, with a mixture of popular hits and originals in both French and English. The covers (Beatles, Them, Motown), are energetic if predictable, but be sure to check out their hyperactive cover of "Can I Get a Witness". In contrast the original numbers are largely killer, including the near perfect pop track "Pour qui Pourquoi", the fuzz-propelled rocker "Tu est Impossible" and the pretty ballad "Pardonne-Moi". They also turn in a nice jangle-rock cover of "Le Poupee Qui Fait Non". Simply a great album that I keep coming back to and one of the few live albums I'd give a four star rating to. [SB]

"L'Historie De Sultans" 1970 (DSP 4901)  [4 LP box-set] 

All three LPs above, plus a fourth LP from 1970 ("Bruce Seul", DSP).


"Miracles" 1972 (London xps-608)

Twilight zone multi-octave vocal exotica princess backed by an acid rock band. Fuzz, organ, and her haunting vocals, what can you say but amazing. Les Baxter produced and wrote all but one tune. The remainder of her oeuvre is outside the scope of this archive. [RM]


"Shepherd Of The Highways" 1976 (Mount Moriah Music 870)

Obscure folk/s-sw with Theresa Edell guesting on one track.


"Observer" 1976 (Homegrown s80-1147s)  [lyric insert [1]

"Above And Beyond" 1978 (Homegrown)

Good melodic heavy AOR rockers with dynamic guitar/ keys interplay and good vocals. The debut was recorded at Sound 80 in Minneapolis.


”Sunny Spring Fever” 1971 (Mark)

Connecticut teen folk with a live Burnt Suite track. The full title is ”Canton High School presents - Sunny Spring Fever”.


”Sunpower Band” 1977 (Right Now 11277)

Jammy rock with a mild funk feel. Poorly recorded and echoey. There’s some good guitar playing here but this album bored me. Not an expensive LP. [AM]


“Meet The Band Called” 197 (Mountain Records MT 100) [plain back cover]

Seldom seen local macho lounge-rock thing with two good, dark psych-rockers which recall Freeman Sound. Beyond that it’s an unhip bag of covers with ‘manly’ Americana aesthetics at play, sounding almost like Chance “In Search”, except less fun. These guys had photos of Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash in their dressing room, no doubt. Once this rather familiar experience has played out the album has little to offer, but the excellent opening track and the overall Southern redneck lounge ambience may attract some. Covers include two Creedence, Neil Diamond, B J Thomas, and an overblown “If I Were A Carpenter”. Standard rock setting with keyboard, some horns, and occasional fuzz and feedback leads. Very rudimentary packaging. [PL]



”Assault On Merryland” 1977 (Carousel 77) [booklet]
”Assault On Merryland” 199 (CD Zarathustra)

Prog fantasy concept, with heavy guitar, organ, moog, flute. Deep Purple & ELP influences.


"This Oneness" 1975 (Oz)  [1]



"Down Home" 1977 (Bison 101)  [insert; blank back cover]

Obscure, home-made album covering various roots styles, with good male and female vocals (Jean sounds a little like Joan Mills) and strongly varied acoustic arrangements. Hard to say exactly what they were aiming for, but as a local time machine into country, trad folk, hobo, ragtime, and other retro moves it's neat. Most surprising is a cover of the Coasters' "Searchin'". Also some Hoyt Axton tunes, and no originals. An authentic feeling "Big Rock Candy Mountain" with alkie lyrics intact is strangely arresting. Not a rock or contemporary folk LP, but a worthwhile 35 minutes for rural/roots fans. [PL]


"Swampwater" 1970 (King)

"Swampwater" 1971 (RCA lsp-4572)  [foldout gimmick cover]

Good rural rocker with Gib Gilbeau and John Beland of Flying Burrito Brothers. [RM]


"Little Girl" 1966 (Bell lp-6001)  [mono]
"Little Girl" 1966 (Bell slp-6001)  [stereo]
-- an original British pressing with laminated sleeve also exists
"Little Girl" 1997 (Sundazed 5051)  [+4 tracks]
"Little Girl" 1997 (CD Sundazed sc-6120)  [+4 tracks]

Remembered mostly for their great hit 45, the LP has some other moments of interest including an unexpected Sonics cover, but could be regarded as a typical 'Nuggets' band quickie LP. There are also samplers on the German Performance label (both CD and vinyl) that include non-LP and unreleased tracks. [PL]


"Tailgunner" 1983 (Rapid no #)

Despite the 1983 date, this album is well-loved by 70s hard rock fans. Large quantities were bought by dealers and the album never shows up cheap, but if you’re a fan of noisy, aggressive hard rock, it’s a pretty great album. The guitar sound is really grungy, and the opening and closing songs are killers. I wouldn’t exactly say it sounds like it was recorded before 1983, but it doesn’t have the usual annoying 80s production tendencies. The lyrics are typically stoopid. [AM]


"Dues To Pay" 1969 (Pulsar AR-10603)

Produced by Mac Rebennack aka Dr John (who also contributed the closing track ' The United State of Mind'), the LP sports one of the year's most depressing album covers; Talbert posed in an L.A. alley looking like a homeless wino, complete with tattoos and don't fu*k with me -expression (albeit wearing what look like expensive boots). Musically material such as the title track, 'What More Can I Say' and '' featured an interesting mix of blue-eyed soul, downbeat bluesy moves and a mild jazzy vibe. In spite of some truly downbeat lyrics ('Schizophrenic Susan Minnick' and the oddly MOR-ish 'Hell of a World') the results are actually much better than you'd anticipate. Interestingly, Talbert's keyboard moves and his rough hewn and slurred voice actually bare a mild resemblance to that of Dr John, or even Delbert McClinton on the funkier tracks (' Love Ain't What It Used To Be'). Mind you the set's far from perfect. Talbert's voice certainly won't appeal to everyone and the horn arrangements (and strident female backing vocals) will certainly turn off quite a few folks. Talbert recorded at least two other albums. [SB]

T C (Phoenix, AZ)

”Lamanite” 1976 (Desert City 3002)

Native American doing 1970s melodic rock and folk with mellotron and unusual vocals, also two heavy rock tracks. Has been hyped but not likely to blow you away.

T C B (Ottawa, Canada)

”Open For Business” 1970 (Traffic)

Jazzy horn rock with psych-prog touches and female vocals.


”Teakwood” 196 (Century 34005)

Bob Tupper and Greg Rita of Hamilton College doing late 1960s vocal harmony acoustic folk. Like other college folkies from the era, the LP has the advantage of being nicely played and sung, but it's also very much in a mainstream coffeehouse era style, where Peter Paul & Mary were still calling the shots, and a dose of moody early Simon & Garfunkel were about as "hip" as things got. The guitar setting is occasionally expanded with bass. "2-Page" is a strong track with a modern feel for the time. Released on the famed custom label, this should interest some specialist collectors.


”That’s Right - Walk On By” 1965 (Arkon ACS 4)

Teenbeat obscurity with moody cover shot of the six band members’ heads arranged to form a human pyramid.


”Tempos” 1966 (no label WFC 595) [10”]

No relation to the famous Alabama band, this is a very obscure 10-inch teenbeat LP from the same era.


”Live” 1969 (Amcue)

Primitive local release of late-period 60s club band doing Beatles and soul covers, along with a few originals.


"Honor Among Thieves" 1983 (Beggar Recordings no #)  

Incredibly dark loner poet folk/rock. Very heavy Leonard Cohen influence, but makes LC seem cheerful by comparison. Even the one song that is upbeat, almost good-timey, has a dark undertone. Terlazzo is accompanied on many tracks by a beautiful haunting female backing vocal which is often wordless. Several tracks have fine electric guitar leads and solos. The poetic nature of his writing rather stark and often “esoteric” lyric images, brought out well by his rather limited baritone voice. I rate this at the top of the loner folkie heap. [MA]
Enjoyable modern-sounding dark folk and singer/songwriter with a vibe similar to Bruce Janaway or Bob Theil. There is indeed a notable Leonard Cohen influence but Terlazzo needn't be embarrassed, as this is simply the genre he belongs too, and he does it well, with a personal voice and inventive arrangements including spooky female harmonies and sparse folkrock arrangements. I counted three excellent tracks with "Seven stars over Sicily" a favorite, several more good ones, and only one dud. Terlazzo would continue to record after this debut and is still active as a performer and poet. [PL]


”Arrives” 1981 (Stress) [12” EP]

Weak hardrock on a 5-track, 45 RPM 12-incher, some prog moves with keyboard.


”Third Generation” 1967 (no label)

Lounge rock covers.


"Thorinshield" 1968 (Philips phs-600)  [wlp exists]
-- demo copies came with a huge promo kit with photos and several pages of band history

Folky soft psych melodic moves sounds a couple years earlier. Nice LP.


“Locked Inside” 1983 (Unique Records no #)

Latter day album hyped by psych dealers, despite there not being anything “psych” about it. Some of it is heavy, some in a more refined pop style. One song is country/rockabilly. It’s pretty impressive that Thornley spans a bunch of styles without the album sounding disjointed. The reverb-heavy production does shout out ‘1980s’, but not in as offensive a way as most albums from 1983. There are a few christian lyrics here, lots of lead guitar, and some good hooks. One song has a guest female lead singer and she’s better than Jeff, though neither are especially distinctive. Frankly, I’m not sure how this got a $50+ price tag when there were hundreds of 80s private press albums of similar quality and originality, but it is a pretty good record. [AM]


"Pass On This Side" 1974 (ESP-Disk esp-63109)

Folk psych led by Leslie Fradkin and Paul Thornton (ex-Godz). With guests David Peel, Paul and Linda McCartney.


"Dream Come True" 1971 (Hilton's Concept, 12" EP)

Easy going pop with one strong instro fuzz organ jam.


"Groovin' on the Sunshine" 1968 (RCA lsp-4021) 

E-z studio flower power with effects, female vocals, and an out of control horn section. Produced and arranged by Robert Allen and Ray Ellis. [RM]


"King Of The Black Sunrise" 1969 (United Artists uas-6709-sd)  [1]
"King of the Black Sunrise" 1998 (CD Lizard 0705, Europe)

This is a pretty decent post-Hendrix hard rock album by teen-looking guys who show no fear. They even cover Hendrix’s blues workout “Red House.” Recommended to people who like a lot of lead guitar; this album has a really nice sound to it. The songwriting is kind of hit and miss, but this is one of the better albums in the genre. [AM]


"Almost Live" 1971 (Mouth 7237-s)

Strange mix of rural sounds and jazzy prog, religious vibe. A bit of a mess, really. Ex-Upside Dawne.

T.I.M.E (Canada)

"T.I.M.E" 1968 (Liberty lst-7558)  [die-cut window]

This is a terrific early psych album, somewhere between garage rock and popsike. The songs are highly memorable, the production is clever and surprising, and it’s full of could-have-been-hits. It’s like listening to a really solid NUGGETS-style compilation. The songs are consistently catchy and they grow on you. One of the very best of its kind. Cool die-cut cover. Dumb band name, though. [AM]

"Smooth Ball" 1969 (Liberty lst-7605)

Their second album dispenses with the popsike in favor of a much heavier sound. It’s marred by the requisite really-long-and-boring blues jam, but otherwise it’s a worthy followup, with some great guitar playing and continued solid songwriting. The closing “Trust In Men Everywhere” has effects galore and is pretty powerful stuff. An underrated band. Both LPs were also released as US pressings with the same catalog number. [AM]

CY TIMMONS (Atlanta, GA)

”Cy Timmons” 197 (Erewhon no #)

This isn’t any kind of ‘loner folk’ record. It’s pure lounge-night club non-rock. This is the kind of guy who would be perfectly at home singing “Feelings”. Cy has one of those smooth voices that shows practice and polish but not soul or even natural skill. This isn’t something like Rick Saucedo’s venture into rock. It’s not music I could imagine appealing to fans of folk, rock, or even the softest soft rock. It’s collectable because it’s a private press, period. What’s next, hype for high school marching band records? Given what it is, by the way, it’s not awful, but he’s certainly no Tom Jones. Some copies of this debut came without sleeve. [AM]

”The World’s Greatest Unknown” 1976 (Erewhon 1001)

Little-known singer-songwriter guy in the light-jazzy Neil Diamond nightclub direction. The first LP is with band and smooth brass; the second LP is acoustic solo and has been put down, despite the high going rate.


"Inside Out" 1968 (Tower)  [white label promo]  
"Inside Out" 1968 (Tower)

Odd trippy reflections cheese pop.


”Cycles” 1971 (Silver Crest Custom 112771)

Upstate collegians, basement prog moves with horns and deep thoughts. On the same custom label as Collective Tools. However, this one seems to be generally disliked by those who have heard it.

BRENT TITCOMB (Vancouver, Canada)

“Brent Titcomb” 1977 (Manohar mr-100)

This long time Canadian folkie (he was in 3’s A Crowd) finally got around to making a solo album after the genre practically disappeared. The result is an interesting piece somewhat lost in time, with some eastern influence and an almost evil post-hippie feel to it. Strong songwriting and Titcomb’s deep voice make for a distinctive album. Only one song has a particularly psychedelic feel to it, but the album should appeal to fans of loner folk or moodier folk-rock. Titcomb went on to release three more LPs. [AM]

TONE THE BONE see Anthony Donovan (under 'D')


"Toners" 1970 (Vintage)

Hippie folk rock covers with CSNY sound.

TONGUE & GROOVE (San Francisco, CA)

"Featuring Lynne Hughes" 1968 (Philips phs-600-251)

Lynne Hughes is a pretty powerful singer, and adds appeal to an album of rock and blues-rock songs by this Charlatans offshoot (a number of these songs were originally done by the Charlatans.) Rhythmic piano and occasional congas create a propulsive rhythm that works well with the laid-back structure of the songs. A male singer on four songs is solid, but nowhere near as exciting as Hughes. A few songs are in a less effective good-timey boogie style. Side one is much better than side two. Overall, a worthwhile and enjoyable album. [AM]

TONY'S TYGERS (Milwaukee, WI)

"Little By Little" 1968 (Teen Town 102)  [1]

Recorded on the heels of the Midwest hit 45 title track, the album offers a mixture of original material and popular covers. In spite of their happenin' image (long hair, sideburns, pendants and Nehru jackets), these guys were pretty lame. Anyone expecting to hear cutting edge psych was bound to be disappointed by the group's overwhelmingly MOR attack. Searching for a suitable comparison, material such as "Twilight", "I Still Love Her" and a mind-numbing cover of The Zombies "She's Not There" (how do you make that song dull?), sounded like a cross between The Association and The Letterman with a couple of Four Seasons thrown into the mix (check out the title track). Without wanting to sound like a snoot, the album's actually worth a spin if only for the cheap laughs which include some of the year's worst harmony vocals (a couple of the band members literally sounded like their voices were breaking) and for one of the lamest Beatles covers we've ever heard ("She Loves You"). Looking for hard rock? This ain't the place. [SB]


”Tor-Kays” 1967 (Wild Enterprises WE 1003)

A sleeveless LP of local unknowns doing mostly blue-eyed soul covers, indicating an eastcoast origin.

TORO ( )

”Toro” 1975 (Coco clp-106)

Hispanic group with cool Santana sound, heavy guitar rock (great leads) and latin groove on the melodic cuts.


”Touch” 1980 (Jewel)

Local hardrock, includes cover of ”Wizard” by Charlee.

TOWER (New York City, NY)

“The Tower” 1973 (Other World 1001)

Post-nuclear holocaust story with audio collage of electronics, musique concrete, synthesized speech, and all sorts of sound effects. Sounds like the Dreamies doing the music for a Stephen King audio book! The memorable cover shows one of the ‘mutants’ staring at ya.


"Let's Do It" 197  (no label)

Recorded live at the Mousetrap in Louisville, '70s funky barband rock.


”Toy Factory” 1969 (Avco AVE-33013)

Poppy studio lounge psych mixed group that’s beginning to attract some attention. The male lead has a very feminine sounding voice. Mostly originals, and a far out ”Summertime” cover.


"Trademark" 197  (no label)

Early 1970s obscurity from the Midwest, featuring a mixed bag of guitar/organ rock, folky moves, some CTA-style hornrock.


”Stranger In The Same Land” 1982 (Hyde & Zeke) [insert]

Genesis-style progressives, with 12-string guitars, acoustic guitars, electric guitars, bass, synth, tablas, drums, autoharp, tape effects, bamboo flutes, recorders, shruti box, mandolin, piano.


"Travel Agency" 1968 (Viva v-36017)
"Travel Agency" 1999 (CD Chrome Gold)
"Travel Agency" 2004 (CD Headlight 4197)

Good and diverse rockers with rhythm guitar and harmony vocals similar to Happy Jack era Who. Also some dreamy melodic tracks. Produced by Snuff Garrett. [RM]
Strong popsike album with great songwriting and an unusual mix of styles. Underrated and underpriced, maybe in part because of the cheesy album cover. The 7-minute “That’s Good” works an effective and deceptively simple groove to terrific effect, “Cadillac George” has great fuzz guitar, and “What’s a Man” a cool, eerie organ intro. Nothing here is truly great, but all of it is very good. It’s much better than a lot of similar but better known albums. [AM]


"Dance Rock & Roll" 1971 (Little Crow Records Vol. 2412)

This talented four piece (lead, rhythm, bass & drums) rock band’s record has been hyped on ebay by a trusted dealer as a lost garage classic and sold much higher than its actual worth. Truthfully, they’re just a working cover band performing popular fifties, sixties and seventies rock songs. Everything from traditional Elvis like “I Beg of You” (dull & poor Elvis vocal style) to Grand Funk Railroad’s hard boogie rock anthem, “Are You Ready” (late garage rock sound). Out of the twelve songs, five of them do have a trashy, reckless and loud garage aesthetic combined with an early hard and attacking rock sound. A sound that reminds me of that late sixties/early seventies period when garage bands were growing up and becoming more influenced by the new hard rock sound by acts like Cream, Jimi Hendrix, Steppenwolf, etc. Collectors of seven inch 45’s are well aware of this transformational period and, those into this type of music, have countless examples of this mostly ignored crossover of the two genres. Besides the four fifties oldies, the record also includes an average version of “Fire” (J. Hendrix), “Travelin Band” (CCR) and an early rock song with sweet soulful vocals named “Give Me More”. Too bad this band wasted their time playing cover songs and not able to muster enough motivation to write and record original music. If this album only had the three best cover songs and everything else blazing originals, its value would skyrocket and out survive all the overhyped praise from delusional record seekers. [SLB]


"I'm Beginning To Feel It" 1969 (Mercury sr-61310)  [insert; wlp exists]

Pretty good rock/rural rock album with moderate hard rock moves. A recurring short song gives the album a coherent concept. No real standout songs here, but this is well-played and consistent. Great eyeball album cover. [AM]


"Chuck Trois & the National Bank" 1969 (A&M)

Sleazy lounge rock with Traffic covers. Related to the Soul Survivors. [RM]


"Sweet Inspiration" 1978 (Pueblo Club)

OK but not terribly interesting s-sw with full band, some keyboards and flute. Occasional Dead moves. Sells for good money at times, but proceed with caution.


"Truth" 1970 (People PLP-5002)

This is another one of those obscure early-1970s acts that fans are beginning to latch on to as a minor collectable. To be truthful, the first couple of times I listened to the LP it didn't do much for me. That said, we've gone back to it several times and it does have a distinctive charm that grows on you. Largely self-penned, musically the trio bounced all over the place. Most of the first side reflected a harmony rich folk-rock sound with tracks such as 'Far Out', 'Let It Out, Let It In' and 'Contributin'' recalling a weird hybrid of Peter, Paul and Mary-meet-Grace Slick and The Jefferson Airplane. A number of selections were also surprisingly secular (check out their cover of Stevenson's 'Anybody Here Know How To Pray'). In contrast, the flip side offered up a much more rock oriented sound. Probably the basis for some references giving the trio a psych label, on the sitar-propelled 'Thoughts' (the collection's stand out effort), 'Lizzie' and their cover of Joe South's 'Walk a Mile In My Shoes' the trio bore a stronger resemblance to The Jefferson Airplane. [SB]


"Are You Experienced" 196  (Custom CD 1115)
"Are You Experienced" 2002 (Gear Fab 173)
"Are You Experienced" 2004 (CD Gear Fab 173)

In typical exploito fashion, this LP contains no writing credits, no performance credits and no production credits (although the back panel carried a ton of technical data on the way the record was cut). That said, the result was a charming slice of period psychedelia. Clearly a throwaway collection, the set offered up a mixture of surprisingly impressive originals and popular covers such as the Hendrix title track and a cover of the The Box Tops' "The Letter" (mis-titled as "A Jet"). Elsewhere they lock, stock and barrel appropriated The Classic IV's "Spooky", re-titling it "Take It Easy Baby". Won't appeal to everyone, but for those of you into this weird subgenre, it's an undiscovered underground pseudo-classic! One track appears on the Endless Journey comp. The band reportedly included session pro Jerry Cole, also on other Custom jobs such as "Psychedelic Guitars" as well as RCA:s more respectable "Inner Sounds Of The Id". [SB]


"Island in the Sky" 1968 (Capitol st-110) 

Vocal harmony late '60s pop from a young band, with some minor psych shadings. This used to be a bargain bin title, but has been attracting some attention of late. Includes what sounds like a pro-draft song.


”Power & Peace” 1967 (Fleetwood 5069)

Goofy-looking club band with sax and organ on well-known New England label, packaged in great full color cover like most Fleetwood releases. Despite its cool appearance, this is a musically unexceptional record with zero garage appeal, and not many people seem to like it.


”The Accepted Way” 1984 (no label)

Obscure distorted folkrock with some heavier moves and harmonica and synth here and there.



”Timeless Voyager” 1981 (Rofer Music) [insert]

Spacy prog hardrock. Good hard guitar runs, amateur synth moves.


”Up Against The Wall” 1979 (SSS)

Heavy rural Southern blues rock.


"Psychedelic Visions" 1967 (Mercury-Wing 16337)

Budget psych exploitation job along the lines of the Fire Escape, all covers but crazed enough to be at least marginally interesting. Can be scored fairly easily. The version of "Psychotic reaction" has been comp'd on Relics vol 1.


"Extremely Heavy" 1969 (Dot)

Kim Fowley project. Heavy psych rock.


"Hey Jude" 1968 (Crown)

Over the top distorto fuzz exploitation, ridiculous vocal. Rumored to be the Firebirds.

UNGAVA (Quebec, Canada)

”Ungava” 1976 (Trente-six fh-36004)

Mostly instrumental heavy prog. Excellent guitar, some flute, vocals in French.


”10 Jewels” 1976 (no label, no #)

Midwest dual guitar pomp-rock with melodic power-pop angles. Sometimes listed as a ‘prog’ LP, which it isn’t; AOR collectors may enjoy it however. It’s quite mainstream in style, but has some good guitar-work and a driving band sound. Ten original compositions from this quartet, who sport some of the biggest, pointiest shirt collars this side of Barry Manilow.


"Universe" 1977 (PBR International 7002)

The opening “Rock In The Sky” starts with a little acoustic guitar, then, wham! Synthesizers come in double barreled, with a loud bass-y one anchoring the song and a higher more unpredictable one soloing over it. THIS is a synthesizer song! It would only be a couple of years before digital synths would rule the world and the instrument would ruin a lot of otherwise good music, so it’s hard to remember how cool the early analogue synths could be. Here it’s as powerful and as mind expanding as any guitars. There’s no way anything else on this album could come close to the first song, and the subsequent songwriting is only OK, though the synth playing remains creative and surprising. Unfortunately the wooden singing really drags this music down, and the rest of the album as a whole is kind of a disappointment despite some cool moments scattered throughout. The mix of space-rock and Christian themes is unique, making this fall into the “I didn’t know Christians made music like that” category. This is the kind of record that makes you wish that certain musicians would take a secondary role with a better artist rather than choose to lead their own band. It’s tantalizing to think how cool this synth player would have been in another context. [AM]


”Stage Band Festival” 1967 (no label)

Obscure Battle Of The Bands souvenir LP, of note for a track called ”LSD ‘67” which is s a strange, chaotic instrumental aiming to simulate an acid trip.


"Saturday Night With" 1970 (Roto RM 10041)

A young tuxedo-clad lounge band from rural Nebraska give you a taste of what 'Saturday night' amounted to in some serious backwater regions. The sound is somewhat like the first Conte Four LP, with trumpet and organ (great vintage sound) leading the charge, plus some shakey vocals. The crooner job on "More" is a highpoint. The band isn't very tight, and they're not really in key either, at times. They do pop songs by the Monkees and Surfaris, but also things like "In The Mood" and "Lichtenstein Polka". The atmosphere is there and genre fans should enjoy this. Interestingly, this seems to be the same Roto label that released the Bachs LP. [PL]


"Unobstructed Universe" 1976 (private)

Jazzy prog.


"Tuesday, Apr 19" 1968 (Ascot)

Here’s a nice, underrated album that should appeal to fans of mellow folk-rock and female vocal pop-rock. It’s full of delicate but not wimpy songs with lovely vocals and intricate arrangements. It’s not exactly soft-rock or folk-rock, not really baroque either. A few songs have a light Eastern feel to them, especially the great opener “The Anniversary of My Mind.” The occasional use of orchestration and horns is a very effective match with the unusual melodies, subtle shifts from quiet to loud, and clever use of backing vocals. The bass is prominent throughout, almost in the mode of the first Country Joe album. This is dreamy and lovely and rewards close listens. Though Dede Puma is an exciting singer she only takes the lead on four and a half songs. There’s kind of a communal feel to the vocal arrangements, though, so it makes sense to have different people singing from song to song (or, in some cases, from one section of a song to another.) This album is a bit slight, perhaps, but very nice and highly recommended. I don’t know much about the Ascot label, but these were very poor pressings—even sealed copies have light surface noise. [AM]

"Unspoken Word" 1970 (Atco)

Their second album is much more mainstream, with some dull blues and uninteresting cover versions. Singer Dede Puma is terrific, though, and because of her some of the pedestrian material has life to it. Too bad they let the guys sing so much. Not great, and disappointing in comparison to the first album, but not bad. [AM]

US ( )

“It’s Just Us” 1979 (no label)

Guitar-driven rural stoner rock.


"U.S Apple Corps" 1970 (SSS International 12)

"Let the Music Take Your Mind" 1976 (Plantation)

Heavy xian soulful guitar rock versions of gospel songs by Edwin Hawkins and others. The debut features a black femme belter, while a white male vocalist takes over on the followup. Both LPs are good. The first one was issued with the band's logo sticker on the cover. [RM]



”No Hype” 1979 (Future Productions no #)

Obscure loner-downer folk LP with a dull, claustrophobic sound. Even among the generally uncritical genre fans, this one hasn't been able to gain much support, i e: "no hype".  

VARI-5 ( )

"Man" 1970 (no label)

Early 1970s cover band from the Midwest but with a southern flavor, highlighted by the dynamite original "Leave It Behind" that should make it onto a 'fuzz-psych' comp some day. The rest is versions of Creedence, Santana, plus a bunch of fairly square covers and oldies with 'manly' vocals and an unexceptional club rock sound with organ/guitar/sax. The band's theme song is an OK jazzy instrumental. File next to 'Meet The Band Called Sunshine' as a down home bourbon-joint 1-tracker. Reportedly most of the 500 copies pressed were lost. 


"At The Haunted House" 1966 (Mercury 21059)  [mono; gold lbl]
"At The Haunted House" 1966 (Mercury sr-61059)  [stereo; red lbl]

Garage soul covers with lounge action. amazing cover shot of them playing live in the monster's mouth! "Midnight Hour", "Satisfaction", "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag"... The Vegas brothers would later form the successful Native American band Redbone. [RM]


"Live At Wolfendale's" 1979 (Eclipse)  [2000p; gatefold]

Rural rock/country covers of Creedence, Marvin Gaye, Dead, etc.

VICTORIA (San Francisco, CA)

"The Secret Of The Bloom" 1970 (San Francisco SD-201)

Her name was Victoria Domalgoski (easy to see why she elected to go with her first name) and she somehow caught the attention of Atlantic Records newly formed San Francisco subsidiary. Her 1970 debut "The Secret of the Bloom" was co-produced by David Rubinson and Fred Catero and features a mix of original material and popular covers. Musically the set's kind of schizophrenic offering up a mixture of sensitive singer/songwriter material and some pseudo-country flavored numbers. That mix of styles is probably a reflection of the fact half of the album was recorded in Nashville with the cream of the city's sessions players, while half of it was recorded in San Francisco's Pacific Recording Studios. Victoria certainly had a decent, if somewhat fragile voice that occasionally recalled a younger Judy Collins, though Collins wasn't nearly as shrill. (I've also seen a couple of reviews that compare her to Joni Mitchell.) There's certainly nothing horribly wrong here, but there isn't really anything particularly mesmerizing. So what's worth hearing? The set includes one of the earliest Warren Zevon covers I've heard ('Tule's Blues'), while her cover of 'Helplessly Hoping' may be the lamest Stephen Stills cover you'll ever hear. [SB]

"Victoria" 1971 (San Francisco SD-206)

1971's cleverly titled "Victoria" was again produced by David Rubinson and Fred Catero. This time around, singer/songwriter Victoria (Domalgoski) dropped outside covers in favor of focusing on original material. While sensitive singer/songwriter remains the primary genre, this one's a marginal improvement over the debut. Her rather shrill voice remains an acquired taste, but this album gets the nod as the better of her two releases, if only due to the fact it featured an interesting mix of players, including keyboardist Herbie Hancock, bassist David Hayes and guitarist Ron Montrose. 'One Way Road' has kind of an interesting jazzy feel to it, while the somewhat atypical 'We've Got Ways to Keep High' sported a nice Ed Duran guitar solo. For those of you who care about stuff like this, novelist Richard Brautigan provided some of the year's lamest liner notes - can only hope the rest of his catalog isn't as dull. I'm not sure what the relationship was, but Victoria is the woman pictured on the front of Brautigan's 1966 novel "The Abortion: An Historical Novel". [SB]


"Real Wild Child" 1979 (Golden Disc 1001)

NY Dolls influenced rock/punk.


”Homemade” 1971 (no label 584 N10)

A folk quartet with mixed vocals, playing covers of CSN and ”High flying bird”, among others. Partly a live recording, housed in an elegant silhouette cover.


”Wild Strawberries” 1976 (Audem AU 1004)

Rarely offered private rural singer-songwriter folk rocker. A number of the tracks have a country Grateful Dead influence a la Workingman’s Dead, and Vincent’s voice often sounds like he’s trying to emulate Jerry Garcia’s vocal style, though in a lower range. The LP is mostly acoustic, but some songs feature electric guitar (no fuzz though) and synthesizer (no fuzz on that either). [MA]

VISITOR (Albany, NY)

”Visitor” 1980 (Blue Elf/Arabellum AR 1033)

Hard guitar prog/AOR, highly rated by genre fans. There was also a 12-inch EP ”4 by 5” in 1982 and LP ”Take It” in 1983, both on the Visitor label. These later releases sell for at least as much as the 1980 album among AOR collectors.


"Future Language" 1981 (Strazar)

Futuristic electronics rock played very fast. Usually categorized as post-punk or no-wave.


"Sound Barriers" 1981 (Camwood)

Mellow rock amateur hour. 


"Live - The First Legal Bootleg" 1973 (no label 73-101)

Mix of rural and heavy drug rock, primitive and trashy. The band later became the Elmer City Rambling Dogs. The LP has been in some demand occasionally, but interest seems to be on the decline.



”Mountain Roads & City Streets” 1979 (True Vine)

Country-rock/folkrock with lots of string instruments, pedal steel, some fuzz and female backing vocals.

WARD 6 (Canada)

”Ward 6” 1971 (Cynda 1007)

Obscure male vocal harmony folk with covers of Tim Hardin, Beatles, James Taylor, Woody Guthrie and a few originals. Cool cover.


”Warlock” 1972 (Music Merchant mm-102) [promos exist]

Proggy funky blues rock, possibly from Michigan. The colorful yet satanic cover reflects a deep-set dualism.

JOHN WARREN (Winston-Salem, NC)

”Land Of New Hope” 1973 (Icthus)

Mix of rural rock and christian folk.

WAZOO (Novi, MI)

"Wazoo" 197  (Zig Zag zz-217)  [gatefold; 2 inserts]

This is a tough one to categorize. The weirdness and band name have caused most reviewers to compare it to Zappa, but this is a wholly different kind of strange experimentation. Some songs have long jazzy instrumental sections; others have goofy sound effects and/or silly vocalizing; some utilize all kinds of studio trickery. Some of the songs are quite long. The lyrics include both social commentary and humor, though what they’re really getting at is hard to determine. The cumulative effect is more interesting than the basic musical styles used here. Instruments include harpsichords and lots of sax, heavy guitar on only a few songs. This occasionally gets a bit psychedelic, as on the intro to “Slip On,” but they’re clearly not beholden to any genre at all. The best thing about this album is that they’re just doing whatever they want, which makes for some highly original moments. It also means that not all of it works, but I’d rather see something go for broke and just miss the mark than play it safe and barely succeed. Interesting record, one you need to be in the right mood for. Sometimes I think it’s great, and other times I think it’s tedious. [AM]

W D FISHER (Montreal, Canada)

”William D Fisher” 1972 (Trans-Canada 1447)

Quebecois album that, like a lot of Canadian records of the time, has long songs and equal parts keyboards and guitars. I hesitate to call it "prog," though, because that implies something more complex. This is nor more than mainstream 70s rock with some Lengthy instrumental passages. It's not especially creative, more are the instrumentalists virtuoso in any way. It rocks somewhat but isn't hard or heavy. The songwriting and singing are, like the performances, unremarkable. The best thing about the album, by far, is the 13 minute "Willam D. Fisher's Adventures," which has a lengthy break with some dreamy backing vocals and heavy use of reverb and echo effects on the guitar. If there had been more similar experimentation on the album, I could recommend it, but other than the last half of this song, it's of interest more for its scarcity than its quality. Fisher, by the way, wrote the music and lyrics but isn't actually a member of the band. Since the band, album and best song are named after him, I wonder if this is a case where a rich guy found a band to indulge in his fantasy of creating a rock record? [AM]


"One Man's Queen Is Another Man's Sweathog" 1970 (AVCO 33010)

Heavy organ/guitar dominated prog/psych, sometimes hyped. Original Canadian, French and Brazilian pressings exist.

WEIGHT (Walnut Creek, CA)

”Music Is The Message” 1970 (Bertram International 104)

Live garage lounge-rock from Rick’s Lounge, half ludicrous Beatles covers. For lounge-rock and '70s cover band fans only.


"Elyse" 1968 (Tetragrammaton t-117)

Femme folk psych with trippy studio moves and sitar, tabla. [RM]

MAE WEST (Los Angeles, CA)

"Way Out West" 1967 (Tower t-5028)  [mono; insert]
"Way Out West" 1967 (Tower st-5028)  [stereo; insert]

70+ year old Mae tackles rock classics! Backed by fuzz punkers Somebody's Chyldren.

V.A "WEST COAST LOVE IN" (Los Angeles, CA)

"West Coast Love In" 1967 (Vault)

Features 4 tracks by the Ashes, along with the Peanut Butter Conspiracy and the very un-westcoasty Chambers Bros.


”We The People” 1972 (United Sound)

Christian folk, no relation to the great 60s Florida band.

WHAIL (Fostoria, OH)

”Fresh Air” 1974 (Luv 701)

Lounge rock with a wide range of styles from Gordon Lighfoot covers to a couple more psychy tracks. Occasional use of synth. The band, with roots in the '60s garage era, was known as Fresh Air but changed to Whail to avoid confusion with another group, instead this became the album title. Pricing of this tends to be all over the map, but it’s really a marginal item. A number of 45s and unreleased recordings exist.


”Blues-Rock Fusion” 1980 (Duke 809-123)

Bluesy guitar-driven hardrock from young guy who credits Hendrix and Johnny Winter among his influences.


"Whiskey Howl" 1972 (Warner Brothers WSC 9012)

Blues rock/r'n'b with jazzy moves here and there, mostly covers.


“White Wing” 1976 (ASI 212) [insert]

Layered guitar, keyboard and mellotron progressive and hardrock, from a band who later evolved into the ‘other’ Asia. The record occasionally sells for good money, but isn’t highly rated.


"Whiz Kids" 1974 (Kasaba 200)

Keys-led progressive duo. Cub Koda was involved with this group earlier.


"From Philly To Tablas" 1977 (Music Is Medicine 9001)  [inner sleeve]

Though it’s on a very small label, this album isn’t especially hard to find and must have sold reasonably well. That’s surprising, since the kind of ambitious progressive folk-rock on display here was way out of vogue in 1977. "From Tablas To Philly" is a concept album about traveling across America, and the lyrics are pretty deep. The music includes lots of acoustic guitars, but also mellotron, tablas, oboes and plenty of piano, mixing several singer/songwriter styles. There are some pretty interesting moments here, but the album doesn’t really hold together, as there are no standout melodies, the whole thing is very serious, and Whynott’s strong vocals are almost never accented by backing vocals. The result is a dry, sluggish feel and even though the songs aren’t long, they tend to drag. Some people really love this album, but I think you’ll have to really fall for his voice in order to feel that way about it. There is a second LP on the same label, "Geography" (1978). [AM]


”Cold Sunshine” 1973 (Hub) [insert]

Hippie folk with psychedelic cover.


"Leave Them A Flower" 196  (Amsterdam)  [wlp exists]

Populist folk with a cover of Dylan's "(It's All Over Now) Baby Blue". Whyton was in fact a British TV personality.


"Wild Butter" 1970 (United Artists UAS-6766)

I had gone for 12 or 13 years without ever seeing this Ohio band's record which easily makes it one of the rarest ones on the label or any major label for that matter. Although my copy is far from perfect in condition this record is one of the great lost treasures musically for melodic psych into early progressive moves. The lead singer shares an uncanny similarity to Justin Hayward of The Moody Blues at his best and a cover of his/their song "Never Comes The Day" is not the first thing to make this obvious. The first track on the album sounds like a hybrid of the Moodies with the Byrds and sports a great melody line and fantastic soaring harmonies. "Terribly Blind" on the other hand features a roaring fuzz guitar lead all over the place, more harmonies, and a slightly dark vibe. Despite 3 cover versions this record is alarmingly advanced and enjoyable for a lesser known major label album and occasional flashes of the late 60s East Coast psych sound a la The Troll/Fallen Angels make this a thoroughly great record. The vocals are never strained or lower in quality than the music, and the music  -- ranging from the soft to the slightly harder edged -- is perfect. This album is a true lost classic of melodic "late night" psychedelia verging on the very beginnings of progressive and late art pop. - Ben Blake Mitchner


"Wild Wind" 1974 (Sound Triangle 7780)

Funky latin rock, possibly from Florida.


”Honey From The Bee” 1976 (SJL 4107)

Raw bluesy & funky bar-band rock with horn section and a cover to match, and titles like ”After my hard-on is gone”. Willie Murphy went on to start the Atomic Throy label and is producing other artists, and also recorded a couple solo projects. The album has a certain fan-base today, primarily among funk collectors.


"Flying Together" 1975 (HDO 7939)

Probably a self-financed vanity project but it's got first rate, big budget sound and production (courtesy of Bias Recording Studios in Falls Church, Virginia). Co-produced by Wilson and Bill McElroy, 1975's "Flying Together and Other Short Subjects" showcased Wilson's likeable voice on a set of pop-rock that's surprisingly catchy and commercial. Admittedly there's nothing particularly original or stunning on the album, but quite a few of these Wilson originals would have sounded good on top-40 radio including these personal favorites: "Constitution", "3/24/74" or "Flying Together #2". In case anyone cares the HDO label stands for Hunky Dory Organization. [SB]

"Fill In The Measure" 1979 (HDO)

For a no budget private press, "Fill In the Measures" sports some surprisingly good sound (kudos to Bias Recording Studios in Falls Chruch, Virginia). Credited to 'Little Kenny Wilson and the Band of Renown' musically it's also kind of interesting, though not in the real person/psych style that some big ticket item sellers would have you believe. Propelled by Wilson's likeable voice, the set's full of attractive folk-rock with tracks like "Crucifix Love" and "Miracle Music" offering up a faint religious flavor (not to worry, nothing here is 'in-your-face' obnoxious). Elsewhere material such as "You Can Walk", "Critical Mass" and "Change In the Wind" reflects a subtle (and all the more effective) social agenda. I'll be honest and admit that it took me a couple of spins to get into the collection, but it's one that rewards repeated spins. The pressing quality of both Wilson LPs reportedly varies. [SB]


"Matchbox Woman" 1975 (Windmill)

Cosmic folk with female vocals, rich acoustic mix. The band name may be a misprint of "Windmill". The LP is not rare.


”Revival” 1982 (Lamda)
”Revival” 199 (CD Monster 006)
[+3 tracks]

Power trio jamming hardrock-metal, with no relation to the Native American late 70s band. Described as unexceptional and slick by some, although lead guitarist Jordan Macarus is championed as a guitar hero in stringbending circles. Monster has released more material from these guys.


"Winterwood" 197  (ETC Enterprises)

Mellow lo-fi rural femme folk, reportedly not without merit.


”Wizard” 1979 (Future Track)

Hardrock/early metal trio. There was also a 45 on the same label.


”Wooden Elephant” 1978 (Jeree 771237) [insert]

CSN/America-style folk and rural rock from trio with drums and keyboard added for the album. The label indicates a North-east origin.

WOOL ( )

"Wool" 1969 (ABC s-676)  [gatefold]

Strong mixed vocal heavy rockers with loads of amateur charms. Wailing fuzz leads.


”Wouldya” 1974 (Stereolab Sound 47103)

Odd LP that looks like it's going to be a rural rock album in the Grateful Dead style, and partly is just that, but also goes into ambitious prog modes with tempo shifts and jazzy playing. The lead vocals add to the idiosyncratic vibe, guttural and shakey and sounding almost tongue-in-cheek like on one of those Fugs/Zappa underground albums, which contrasts weirdly with both the rural and the prog stuff. Hard to say who will like this album, but it's pretty unusual. The playing is solid, with lots of piano, some mandolin, even some horns. [PL]


"Billy Workman" 1978 (Direction 10013) [1]

Guitar-driven hardrock with Walter Rossi, Michael Pagliaro and Frank Marino.


”Meditation Works” 197 (no label)

Spiritual hippie folk oddity in primitive green cover design.


"Wasted" 197  (Vermillion)

A country singer-songwriter LP a la Hoyt Axton or Kris Kristofferson, full of worldweary manliness and whisky laments. It is quite good for the genre, with appropriate soulful vocals by Wray (brother of Link Wray, who guests on the album), nice understated arrangements which are closer to s-sw than country, and well-written songs. Any fan of the genre will want to check this out, although it's not easy to find -- released on Wray's own label, it was apparently only sold on local gigs in Tucson. Wray passed away in 1979. [PL]


”David Wright’s Original Home Band” 1975 (Own Spun)

Local electric folkrock with some hippie moves. Labels state ‘yin’ and ‘yang’.


YELLOW HAND (Los Angeles, CA)

"Yellow Hand" 1970 (Capitol ST-549)

For every ten albums I pick up, the vast majority prove to be disappointing, or even worse. That makes an album like "Yellow Hand" an unexpected surprise. Mind you, it's not a major classic that will change your life, but these guys exhibit good taste in their covers (lots of Stephen Stills and Neil Young) and they play with more enthusiasm than most of the competition. Produced by Dallas Smith, the album was produced in L.A.'s Golden West Studios. At least one well known reference draws a comparison to a lost Buffalo Springfield album. That's actually not a bad description, though I'd say the album sounds more like Poco had Paul Cotton and Rusty Young decided they wanted to rock out, rather than pursue country-rock bliss. There are also CS&N echoes (check out the vocals on Stills 'Neighbor Don't You Worry'). As mentioned, the covers are all pretty good - two Neil Young efforts (their covers of 'Down To the Wire' and 'Sell Out' are two of the album highlights) and four previously unreleased (?) Stephen Stills songs. I don't know enough about the Springfield to say this for sure, but I suspect the Young-Stills songs were all culled from non-released demos. Bolstered by some nice harmony vocals and Pat Flynn's excellent lead guitar (which actually recalls Stills' own work), and you have a set that's worth a couple of spins. [SB]


"Dreamer Of Life" 1976 (Napali Musoical Society BMS-89)

Obscure local/private release from yet another middle-of-the-road singer-songwriter dude. The opening title track reflects an Elton John influence, while the rest sounds more like a mix of James Taylor and Van Morrison at his most commercial. It's a full electric setting backing Yoder's annoying, nasal vocals (typical for the genre). The playing is pro-sounding and it sounds like a fair amount of money went into this. Unfortunately it's all bland and strangely impersonal, like so many other 2nd-tier s-sw albums. It's late enough to incorporate the caribbean elements that became popular during the 2nd half of the '70s, and this is not a good thing. It's fairly close to Tom Rosplock in style, but Rosplock's album is clearly better (without being all that great). Yoder's best track is probably the CSNY-flavored "If There's A Chance Tomorrow". For s-sw genre collectors only, or as a reminder that the 1970s happened a very long time ago. [PL]


"Yorkville Evolution" 1968 (Yorkville yvm-33001)

Garage and pop with Ugly Ducklings, Big Town Boys, etc.


”High Energy Rock” 1978 (GDS 781136) [yellow vinyl]

Midwest Christian fuzz hardrock with three brothers on guitars and Kenny Mooney on drums.


”Yukon Railroad Co.” 197 (Big Hole 75-001)

Rural hippie rock and country-rock in a New Riders-70s Dead-Nitty Gritty Dirt Band direction. Possibly from Tustin.


"Young Ideas" 1970 (no label)

Psych pop with horns.


ZAZU ( )

"Zazu" 1975 (Wooden Nickel bwl-1-0791)

This is the always-interesting Wooden Nickel label’s venture into prog territory. Throughout most of side one this is passable 70s FM radio rock. Side two is mostly taken up by “Itsnottasonatta (but it’s close),” a long experimental suite with lots of synthesizers and a ton of unusual ideas. It’s pretty great, one of the better unknown prog songs of the era. The album as a whole is only a bit above average, but genre fans will want it for that one song. [AM]


"Take Bubblegum Music Underground" 196  (Decca dl-75110)

How many times have you bought an album for a cool title, or a wild cover only to be major disappointed? Geez, we can't even begin to count the number of times we've been disappointed... Unlike so many other things in life, the title of of 1969's "The Zig Zag People Take Bubble Gum Underground" tells it like it is. Produced by Vinny Testa, this hip looking five piece was apparently a studio entity (the back cover credits listed Peter Braune, J.Q Brown, Sal Cervelle, Michael Dean and Ralph Vincent as the band members). So what about the music? Anyone who loves original bubblegum hits by the likes of The 1910 Fruitgum Company, The Music Explosion and The Ohio Express probably wants to avoid this set like the plague. On the other hand, if you're willing to listen to some radically different cover versions, then this is worth a peek. As you'd expect, some of these remakes are great; some merely bad ideas gone horribly astray (avoid stoned Chipmunks-styled cover of "Indian Giver"). We won't describe each track, but highlights include a fuzz guitar drenched/ take-no-prisoners "Little Bit of Soul", a drastically slowed down, pseudo-dirge take on "Chewy Chewy" (complete with way cool droning bagpipes and fuzz guitar) and a bet you can't recognize it "Hanky Panky". There were also a pair of amazing non-covers. Penned by arranger Murphy Earle and Jack Murphy, "Sally Goes To the Dentist (Available In 8 & 16MM)" and "Peel It Off Your Face" (complete with reference to bubblegum gurus Kasentz and Katz), were both great slices of late-'60s psychedelia. All told, one of the biggest surprises we've encountered over the last couple of years and an LP we continually come back to. One non-LP single "Baby I Know It" b/w "Peace of Mind" (Decca 32607) and they were history. [SB]


”Early Sunday Mornin’” 1977 (Castle TZB 10177)

Midwest Allman Bros-style guitar rock with heavy moves.


"Zodiac: Cosmic Sounds" 1967 (Elektra EKS 74009)  [stereo]
"Zodiac: Cosmic Sounds" 1967 (Elektra EKL)  [mono]
"Zodiac: Cosmic Sounds" 1997 (CD FID 32)
"Zodiac: Cosmic Sounds" 200  (Elektra)

Geez, this is a weird one. It's not exactly psych, or even progressive, but is odd enough that it might well appeal to fans of either genre, especially those who are into exploito efforts such as Animated Egg. With music composed by Mort Garson, Modern Folk Quartet vocalist Cyrus Faryar was brought in to handle the spoken word segments. In an overly serious manner Faryar breathlessly intones some of the traits associated with each astrological sign - "Venus contemplates a serene flower the color of an hour of love". I'm a Taurus and had to laugh at "Taurus - The Voluptuary". While the album deserved a negative five rating for sporting some of dumbest lyrics you'll ever hear, some of the music was actually quite good. "Cancer - The Moon Child" sported a nifty fuzz guitar segment, "Leo - The Lord of the Lights" featured a neat mix of sitar and beach guitar, while keyboardist Paul Beaver kicked in some early Moog synthesizer moves. Today the whole thing sounds kind of goofy and pompous (geez, it probably did even back then), but there's a quaint and somewhat naive charm to much of the album. Garson and Wilson apparently recorded a series of twelve follow-on LPs for A&M - one for each astrological sign. Some of these never went beyond the promo stage, it seems. Released in mid-1967, the "Zodiac" LP has been credited with inspiring Moody Blues massively influential "Days of future passed". A somewhat rarer British pressing exists. [SB]


”Breaking Out” 1965 (Space 12-1965) [no cover]

Seldom seen sleeveless teen-beat LP with guitars & piano.


"At Paul's Place" 1978 (no label 82-15)

Latin rock with fusion and Santana moves, lots of keyboard.

ZUIDER ZEE (Lafayette, LA / Memphis, TN)

"Zuider Zee" 1976 (Columbia PC-33816)

During their existence, Zuider Zee (bassist John Bonar, drummer Robert Hall, keyboardist Kim Foreman and singer/guitarist Richard Orange) stood as one of Memphis' more talented (if lesser known) contributions to mid-'70s power-pop.  Foreman and Orange originally came together in Lafayette, Louisiana, cutting their first record as members of Thomas Edison's Electric Light Bulb Band. By 1970 they'd picked up a manager in Leland Russell, along with a new name. Relocating to Memphis, the band started playing local schools and clubs, though most of their touring energies were spent in the midwest. Signed by Columbia, the quartet's self-titled 1975 debut teamed them manager Russell in the production role. With Orange responsible for the majority of the 11 tracks, material such as "Listen To the Words", "Rubber Men" and "The Breaks" featured an engaging set of power-pop. While "Zuider Zee" may not have been the year's most original album, the set had more than it's share of pleasures; the Rickenbacker-propelled rocker "Zeebra", "She-Swing" and "You're Not Thinking" sounded like Badfinger's Pete Ham or 10 C.C.'s Eric Stewart doing their best Paul McCartney impressions. Great melodies and excellent guitar made this a please for anyone who enjoyed Badfinger or The Raspberries catalogs. Unfortunately, in spite of extensive touring, opening for a staggering array of acts ranging from Caravan (???) to The Tubes, in an era of punk aggression and disco madness the album vanished without a trace. Credit Columbia's art department with coming up wit one of the year's most unimaginative covers. The final blow came in December 1976 when bassist Bonar interrupted a group of thieves trying to steal the band's van. Beaten and stabbed, he was lucky to survive the attack. The band effectively collapsed when the other members refused to continue touring with a replacement while Bonar underwent extensive physical therapy. [SB]