Sunday, August 14, 2011
Psychedelic Sundaze #2
I got so caught up in explaining the new series last week, I said nary a word about the the artists or tracks on the first volume. As has been the case lately, I won't do a track-by-track commentary, but I will single out a few highlights.
Notes on Tiny Purple Fishes, Vol I:
The first disc (which can be found here!) in this series kicks off with the acid-folk of New York's Holy Modal Rounders. "Hesitation Blues" is a traditional folk tune, with some not-so-traditional, lyrics added. This track from 1964, contains the first recorded use of the word "psychedelic" in a pop song, so I thought it would be an appropriate way to kick off the series.
The first disc is pretty evenly split between American and British acts with two Australian bands thrown in for good measure, although the Bee Gees had moved to London by 1967. Speaking of London, you'll notice some of the giants from the British invasion, including the biggest of them all, the Beatles. The fab four will make three appearances on TPF, the first of which is the John Lennon penned "Tomorrow Never Knows". Here in an early version, which can be found on the Beatles' Anthology 2. According to Steve Turner in A Hard Day's Write, Lennon was attempting "to create in words and sounds a suitable guide track for the LSD experience"-- the very definition of psychedelic music.
The most well known of the American bands listed here would probably be Austin's 13th Floor Elevators, who's charismatic leader, Roky Erickson, was the cover boy for Tiny Purple Fishes, Vol. I; and one of the first acid-casualties of the Rock & Roll era.
Vol. I closes with one of my favorite songs ever, the beautiful "Beechwood Park" by the Zombies. A song that was usurped to great effect by Knoxville Power-Poppers, Superdrag on the opening track from their neo-psychedelic masterpiece Head Trip In Every Key:
Notes on Tiny Purple Fishes, Vol. II:
Volume II kicks off with my favorite band. According to Ray Davies, the Kinks never wrote a psychedelic song. That may be true in the sense that they never set out to write a psychedelic song, but there are a number of Kinks' tracks that I would consider to be at least in the ball park of psychedelia. Two of which have already been used on comps here at Burn and Shine: "Lazy Old Sun" and "Wicked Anabella". I've picked another Kinks' track for inclusion on TPF, the lovely "Lavender Hill" which was an outtake from the Village Green sessions.
Though I'm not a big fan of guitar-gawd, Eric Clapton, I do tend to like some of the projects he was involved with during the early part of his career, Cream being one of them. His "Tales of Brave Ulysses" gets the envious honor of giving me the title for the Tiny Purple Fishes series.
Volume II hosts the first non-Anglo group on TPF, Israel's The Churchills, whose lead singer Stan Soloman was actually Canadian, and he sounds remarkably like Cream's Jack Bruce. Although there will be a few tracks on subsequent volumes sung in other languages, I must admit to owning very little psychedelic music (or any genre of music for that matter) from around the globe.
On the cover of Vol. II, is the first incarnation of the Soft Machine (from Left: Robert Wyatt, Kevin Ayers and Mike Ratledge). Not as well known over here in the States, but the Soft Machine might have been as influential as Pink Floyd in the U.K. The Richard Wright penned, "Remember Day" is also included on Vol. II-- the first of three Pink Floyd tracks which will be featured on TPF.
The closing track here is a fairly obscure track from a Boston band, Earth Opera. Those of you who know me, probably remember that I'm a huge Red Sox fan, so the title of this song certainly intrigued me. Presumably written during or just after the "Impossible Dream" 1967 season, the song itself has very little to do with baseball, but is a wonderful, early example of psychedelic prog.
Tiny Purple Fishes: A Trip Through the First Psychedelic Era, Vol. II
01. The Kinks, “Lavender Hill” [ca. 1968]. U.K. (England)
02. The Turtles, “Me About You” . U.S. (California)
03. Cream, “Tales of Brave Ulysses” . U.K. (England)
04. It’s a Beautiful Day, “Girl With No Eyes”  U.S. (California)
05. Pearls Before Swine, “Uncle John” . U.S. (Florida)
06. We the People, “St. John’s Shop (Early Version)” [ca. 1966]. U.S. (Florida)
07. Blossom Toes, “What’s It For” . U.K. (England)
08. J.K. & Co., “Little Children” . U.S. (Nevada)
09. Kaleidoscope, “Keep Your Mind Open” . U.S. (California)
10. Soft Machine, “Save Yourself” . U.K. (England)
11. The Byrds, “Draft Morning” . U.S. (California)
12. Leaf Hound, “Growers of Mushrooms” . U.K. (England)
13. Mouse & the Traps, “Requiem for Sarah” [ca. 1967]. U.S. (Texas)
14. Music Emporium, “Velvet Sunsets” . U.S. (California)
15. The Churchills, “Pictures in My Mind” . Israel
16. The David, “Time M” . U.S. (California)
17. The Five Day Week Straw People, “Five Day Week Straw People” . U.K. (England)
18. The Majority, “Wait By the Fire” . U.K. (England)
19. Pink Floyd (Richard Wright), “Remember Day” . U.K. (England)
20. Earth Opera, “The Red Sox Are Winning” . U.S. (Massachusetts)
Total time: 59:52
Download it here: Tiny Purple Fishes, Vol. II