Wednesday, 20 July 2016

VARIOUS ARTISTS – PSYCHEDELIA: A 50 YEAR TRIP (Rhino Records CD).

Strange things are really happening…………………we would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when this 32 track compilation CD from Rhino Records got the green light. Although Rhino has been completely absorbed into the Warner Bros. corporate hub over the last decade, they still have a reputation for well curated reissues and compilations, so the poor quality of Psychedelia: A 50 Year Trip comes as somewhat as a surprise. It’s not a bad album per se, there are some great bands included here, but it is just a shoddy selection of tracks that appear to have been randomly picked out of a hat and thrown together with hardly any thought whatsoever………this is even without mentioning the massively misleading title (the most recent track is over 25 years old). We have absolutely no idea who this album is aimed at…………….it’s too obscure for the baby boomers who want a CD of classic Psych Pop/Rock for the car, far too random selection of mainly second rate tunes for inquisitive baby PsychHeads to check out old sounds and as the majority of the songs here have already turned up on much better compilations, the serious PsychHead will have the bulk of these tunes and no doubt have the parent albums that they were originally from. WTF were Rhino thinking?????..........you could let any music fan with an interest in Psychedelia loose in the Warner archives (which include the entire epic Elektra back catalogue along with other great bits and pieces from now defunct labels they have hoovered up over the years) and they would be able to compile a much better album than this, focused for an intended market.


There is no doubt a demand for a Psychedelic compilation which covers the last half century, side stepping the obvious tunes that turn up all the time on major label compilations and showcases the lesser known but brilliant tracks………….but Rhino have fucked this up good and proper. On the plus side, apart from the Love classic ‘Alone Again Or’, Simon Dupree’s ‘Kites’ and Iron Butterfly’s tedious ‘In-A-Gadda-Da-Bloody-Vida’ that have turned up on about a trillion 60s themed collections over the years, the remainder of the 32 tracks are less well known……………however, lose a million points as they are, on the whole, a pretty uninspiring collection of tunes. For every ‘Koeeoaddi There’ by The Incredible String Band, ‘House Of Glass’ by The Glass Family, the great ‘The Clarietta Rag, from Kevin Ayres and a few cool obscurities from The Koobas, High Tide, First Crow To The Moon and Locomotive amongst others, there are a whole bunch of sub-standard tracks from “heavy hitters” such as Tomorrow, The Yarbirds, The Velvet Underground (‘Train Round The Bend’ FFS), Flamin’ Groovies, The Electric Prunes, Vanilla Fudge plus strangely out of place tracks by Dr. John, Van Morrison and Rahsaan Roland Kirk. This could, with a bit of thought when compiling the album, been so much better and not a dog’s breakfast of awkwardly sequenced tracks……..it feels like it has been put together by someone with absolutely no idea about Psychedelia. Nearly all the tracks here could be replaced by a better track by the same band still without being bleedin’ obvious. Calling the album “a 50 year trip” is total bullshit…………………the majority of the tracks are from 1966 -1972 with the most recent track being ‘Inheritance’ from Talk Talk’s 1988 masterpiece Spirit Of Eden, which in this context feels totally out of synch with the rest of the album it could have crashed to Earth from outer space. This could have been so good, Warner’s/Rhino have a big enough archive to have put together a 5 disc 50 year trip with groovy tracks from each decade but they have decided on a crappy budget compilation instead. Compared to the quality collections being released by Cherry Red and a whole host of boutique labels this 2 x CD set really comes across as being really half-arsed, but this record’s almost saving grace is it that it is so cheap (we have seen it Sainsburys for a fiver)…………………..it’s not the best Psych compilation ever but it maybe has enough groovy tracks on it that you could be missing from your collection to consider buying it………….or wait till it turns up in the remainder bins on offer. Here’s the track list so make your own mind up People………..

DISC 1
LOVE - Alone Again Or
THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND - Koeeoaddi There
THE IDLE RACE - The Skeleton and the Roundabout
BONZO DOG DOO-DAH BAND - The Equestrian Statue
KEVIN AYERS - The Clarietta Rag
TOMORROW - Colonel Brown
THE KOOBAS - Gypsy Fred
GLASS FAMILY - House of Glass
THE YARDBIRDS - Glimpses
THE VELVET UNDERGROUND - Train Round the Bend
FLAMIN’ GROOVIES - I'll Cry Alone
WIZZARD - The Carlsberg Special
HIGH TIDE - Death Warmed Up
IRON BUTTERFLY - In-a-Gadda-da-Vida
VAN MORRISON - Astral Weeks
TALK TALK - Inheritance

DISC 2 
VANILLA FUDGE - That's What Makes a Man
BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD - Everybody's Wrong
THE ELECTRIC PRUNES - Onie
THE AEROVONS - Resurrection
EDGAR BROUGHTON BAND - Hotel Room
KIPPINGTON LODGE - Lady on a Bicycle
FIRST CROW TO THE MOON - Sun Lights Up the Shadows of Your Mind
LOCOMOTIVE - Rain
THE MOVE - Message from the Country
JULY - My Clown
SIMON DUPREE & THE BIG SOUND - Kites
THE HOLLIES - Pegasus
HAWKWIND - We Took the Wrong Step Years Ago
LES VARIATIONS - Nador
Dr. JOHN - Mama Roux
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK - Freaks for the Festival

Out now and available from the usual outlets……HMV, Amazon, supermarkets etc. etc. etc.

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