”Live At The Greatwood Cafe” 1980 (Gildersleeve) [insert]
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.
1968 (RCA Victor 740035, Canada)
tongue-in-cheek organ/guitar "psych" with Beatles/Procol
Harum/Stones covers, weird spoken bits with a French accent, rave-ups, bad
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]
”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)
”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” 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.
”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
”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]
”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]
1970 (United Artists uas-6743) [gatefold]
style moody organ and fuzz psych.
”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
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) 
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]
”Organization” 1970 (Music Stop 100)
Obscure soft-rock and lyte psych
private press in primitive cover.
”Orion Express” 1975 (Round Mound Of
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
"Orpheus" 1968 (MGM se-4524)
Orchestrated Bosstown Sound artefact, released in January 1968.
1968 (MGM) [mono; ylp]
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)
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
"Osmosis" 1970 (RCA)
Heavy fuzz rock and funk.
"Smut" 1979 (Moseka)
with Zappaesque humor. Recorded at Moseka Studios in Fostoria, Ohio.
”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]
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
"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.
"Sing From The Glass House"
1966 (Unifilms 505)
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)
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)
"Art In Space" 1969
"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.
MARVIN PAYNE (UT)
"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 (FL)
"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
”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]
PEP PERRINE (Detroit, MI)
”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
"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
"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
[mono promo exists]
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"...
”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
"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
”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
"Pleasure Fair" 1967 (UNI)
Soft dreamy pop featuring David Gates (Bread).
”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]
”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
”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" 1979 (Big K 40671)
”Professor Fuddle’s” 1974 (Periwinkle
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)
seen private press ranging from strong power pop to Beatles influenced
pop-psych, with an occasional heavier edge.
"Infinite Change" 1981 (private)
"Pumas" 1967 (acetate)
Melancholy garage and folkpsych.
to Jimi Hendrix" 1971 (Summit 037, Canada)
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.
"Queen Anne's Lace" 1969 (Coral crl-757509)
Mixed vocal pop
"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]
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]
"Endless Possibilities" 197 (MTA 5020)
1970s dreamy hippie pop.
"Reflections" 196 (Century - UMYC 11969)
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
"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]
"Lighten Up People" 1975 (Joint Artists ja-331)
the same label as Bill Clint. This may be the same guy who had a 45 on Kapp
"That Acapulco Gold" 1967 (UNI 3002) [mono]
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
"Dragon" 1981 (Jackal)
"Live At The Inferno" 1969 (Discovery 36133) 
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.
196 (Dove Recording Studio acetate)
acetate from band with band who had some local 45s, reportedly good album.
"Pearl River Turnaround" 1975 (Cooking Fat)
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
”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)
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]
good guitar, twin leads.
"The Red Herring Fall Folk Festival" 1970 (Century 36387)
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.
”Live At The Panacea Hilton” 1975 (Physical 21-005) [insert]
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)
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 Album” 1979 (HSR) [inner]
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]
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
”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)
”Reve” 1972 (Polydor)
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)
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).
Sound Element - Stones" 196 (UNI 3008) [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)
guitar blues rock produced by Michael Condello. This is actually Bill
Spooner formerly of Condello and later a member of the Tubes! [RM]
"Ride" 197 (Ride no #)
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)
post Bubble Puppy and Demian. [RM]
"Farewell To The Shadowlands" 1975 (no label lp-s-726)
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]
”Born To Be Wild” 1969
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)
exorcism concept. Mostly spoken with rock backing and effects. [RM]
"Let It Shine" 1982 (Roadhouse 101)
Southern hardrock/AOR with fuzz
”Newborn” 1974 (no label)
Christian folk quintet with female vocal harmonies, acoustic guitars and
"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" 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
“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” 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
”For Our Friends” 1979 (Island Sound Waves LP0001)
Ambitious lounge-rock private from
South Padre Island.
"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)
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
"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)
"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.
"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.
"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.
”Love Minus Zero/No Limit” 1966
(Mirrosonic AM 1017) [mono]
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”
"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
"Ascent" 1982 (Aircraft) 
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,
”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
"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,
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
”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.
SHANTI DAS (OR)
"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
”Shiloh” 1971 (Amos aas-7015)
Early countryrock with steel and
harmony vocals in Flying Burrito Bros style with Don Henley on vocals and
”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)
goof-off trash recorded for friends.
”Sidewalk” 1975 (C.D.)
Cosmic jazz lounge duo, some wailing
”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.
Song With The Beatles" 1965 (Tower t-5000) [mono]
playing instro Beatles covers so you can sing along! [RM]
"Live at PJ's vol 3" 1968 (Venett)
One track comp'd on "Kicks & Chicks".
"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
"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
"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" 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.
”Feathers In The Wind” 1977 (Old Hat) [inner; insert]
Rural hippie folk and country-rock
with some Christian moves.
SOCIETY OF SEVEN (HI)
”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.
"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]
"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
"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
V.A ”SOMETHIN’ ELSE” (Canada)
”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.
"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.
Presents" 1968 (Verve v-8743) [ylp; mono] [1-2]
"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
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.
”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
"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
"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) 
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.
"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
are reaped via a lengthy interpretation of T S Eliot’s ethereal poem "Burnt
”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” 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) 
"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) 
Electronic sound textures. With
"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.
"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
"Weighin' Heavy" 1970
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
"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
"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.
"Stone Country" 1968 (RCA lsp-3958)
12-string harmony Byrds and pop
psych floater. Excellent LP has all the westcoast moves. [RM]
"Sounds Like Woodstock" 1970 (Design sdlp-320)
Ridiculous, fun exploito hippie
”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] 
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
"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
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.
"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] 
"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
”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]
SURPRISE (St Louis, MO)
”Assault On Merryland” 1977 (Carousel 77) [booklet]
Prog fantasy concept, with heavy guitar, organ, moog, flute. Deep Purple &
"This Oneness" 1975 (Oz) 
"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.
"Little Girl" 1966
(Bell lp-6001) [mono]
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]
”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
”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
"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]
”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.
(Philips phs-600) [wlp exists]
soft psych melodic moves sounds a couple years earlier.
“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
"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)
studio flower power with effects, female vocals, and an out of control
horn section. Produced and arranged by Robert Allen and Ray Ellis. [RM]
The Black Sunrise" 1969 (United Artists uas-6709-sd) 
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" 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” 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]
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]
"Toners" 1970 (Vintage)
Hippie folk rock covers with CSNY
"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]
"Little By Little" 1968 (Teen Town 102) 
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)
sleeveless LP of local unknowns doing mostly blue-eyed soul
covers, indicating an eastcoast origin.
”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.
“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
”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
”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
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]
"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]
Inspiration" 1978 (Pueblo Club)
"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.
"Are You Experienced" 196
(Custom CD 1115)
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)
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)
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
"Hey Jude" 1968 (Crown)
Over the top distorto fuzz
exploitation, ridiculous vocal. Rumored to be the Firebirds.
”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)
"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]
“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]
ROBERT VALENTE (IA)
”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".
"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]
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
"Live At Wolfendale's" 1979 (Eclipse) [2000p; gatefold]
Rural rock/country covers of
Creedence, Marvin Gaye, Dead, etc.
"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” 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
”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” 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.
”Land Of New Hope” 1973 (Icthus)
Mix of rural rock and christian
"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]
”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
"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
”Music Is The Message” 1970 (Bertram International 104)
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]
"Way Out West" 1967
(Tower t-5028) [mono; insert]
70+ year old Mae tackles rock
classics! Backed by fuzz punkers Somebody's Chyldren.
"West Coast Love In" 1967 (Vault)
Features 4 tracks by the Ashes,
along with the Peanut Butter Conspiracy and the very un-westcoasty
”We The People” 1972 (United Sound)
Christian folk, no relation to the
great 60s Florida band.
”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]
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"
”Cold Sunshine” 1973 (Hub) [insert]
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
"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
"Wild Wind" 1974 (Sound Triangle 7780)
Funky latin rock, possibly from
”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)
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" 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) 
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.
”David Wright’s Original Home Band” 1975 (Own Spun)
Local electric folkrock with some hippie moves. Labels state ‘yin’ and
"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
"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
”Early Sunday Mornin’” 1977 (Castle TZB 10177)
Allman Bros-style guitar rock with heavy moves.
"Zodiac: Cosmic Sounds" 1967 (Elektra
EKS 74009) [stereo]
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
”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" 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]