20 best UK pysch records

DuderonomyDuderonomy Haut de la Garenne 7,551 Posts
edited March 2012 in Strut Central
http://www.factmag.com/2012/03/11/20-best-uk-psych/

I first got into psych through dealings with a local label in St Albans, where I grew up.

The label was called Waldo???s and released a number of odd post-punk singles from bands called the Bodies and the Tea Set, and was run by a graphic designer called Phil Smee, who designed record sleeves for Motorhead, Elvis Costello, The Damned and a heap of Demon/Edsel and Ace reissues.

Waldo???s morphed into psychedelic reissue imprint Bam Caruso, and I joined as teaboy-cum-label manager. Bam Caruso released dozens of albums, from artists like the Seeds, the Left Banke, The Eyes, July, SRC, as well as the soundtrack to the TV series The Prisoner and 20 compilation albums of UK psychedelia. I was just an enthusiastic teenager, taking it all in, and Phil???s knowledge and attitude had a profound effect. I???ve been seeking out odd psych and motorik tunes ever since, from all over the world.

The 20 compilations ??? the Rubble series ??? had suitably psychedelic names like Staircase To Nowhere, The Psychedelic Snarl and The 49 Minute Technicolour Dream. They were made up of songs by bands from around ???66-???68, who had managed to get deals with labels like Decca, Parlophone, Pye or Philips. After Dick Rowe famously failed to sign the Beatles to Decca, 60s A&R men were terrified of missing out on the next big thing, so hundreds of beat groups of the era got deals to make one 45 single, no matter how unlikely their song was to be a hit.

This A&R bonanza, combined with newly developed effects such as phasing and flanging and the extreme use of reverb and echo meant that during this two year period some of the oddest records ever made came out on these major labels. Most sold very few copies and were promptly forgotten about, until a small band of collectors started unearthing them in the 70s and 80s.

The records started to increase in value, from hundreds to thousands of pounds in some cases, such was their scarcity. A few appeared on badly recorded bootlegs. Bam Caruso was the first label to legally license these records, working from the original master tapes and lavishly packaging each compilation with archivist???s sleevenotes.

We started getting in touch with the musicians, and Phil Smee even invented a new term, ???freakbeat???, to describe these slightly weird mod records, one which has since entered the general lexicon and become a recognised a genre name. ??????We also ran a magazine called Strange Things Are Happening, a forerunner to Uncut and Mojo, with features on cult records, films and pop art. At its height the magazine was selling around 25-30,000 copies, but it didn???t last very long, as I moved to London, started writing for NME and got a record deal with Warners as The Grid.

Bam Caruso records still come out occasionally ??? there are 20 CDs of the Rubble series available ??? and Phil is one of the UK???s top designers, specialising in reissues, box sets and lavish packages, like the recent 19-disc Sandy Denny box set.?????? Working with Phil was like attending psychedelic university. We???d sit and make compilation tapes all day from his record collection, which is the largest I???ve ever seen, spread over a few floors of his house. ??????Some of those influences have found their way into both the Beyond The Wizard???s Sleeve records I make with Erol Alkan and into the Time and Space Machine.

A worldwide top 20 psych will have to wait. Instead, here???s a UK psych featuring tracks I discovered a couple of years before Acid House at Bam Caruso.

Richard Norris???s second album as The Time & Space Machine, Taste The Lazer, is out March 26 on Tirk.

Yootoobs and the 20 in the article link. I don't own a single one of these, not sure I've even heard most of them.

  Comments


  • HumanacatHumanacat 177 Posts
    There are some great tracks on this list, I only know a few of them from the acid archives book and some cd reissues I picked up years ago. That nirvana album, Simon simopath is a great pop psych concept album and I have passed on that left banke lp but will have to check it our for sure.

    Thanks for the link I need to learn me some more British psych

  • The_Hook_UpThe_Hook_Up 8,182 Posts
    some great records and some "meh" ones on there and a couple I really wouldnt consider "psych". Cool to see the Accent on there, that record is fire...been after that one for years.

  • finelikewinefinelikewine "ONCE UPON A TIME, I HAD A VINYL." http://www.discogs.com/user/permabulker 1,416 Posts
    Nice recommendations. I don't want to hijack this thread, but I'm wondering what the difference is between beat, garage rock, space rock, psych and prog.
    I'm always confusig these styles. The lines between them are blurred and thin, arn't they?

  • SoulOnIceSoulOnIce 13,027 Posts
    Humanacat said:
    There are some great tracks on this list, I only know a few of them from the acid archives book and some cd reissues I picked up years ago.

    I find it hard to believe any of those records are in Acid Archives. Uk 60's psych 45s aren't really what it's about at all.

  • phono13phono13 842 Posts
    In response to this article, Soulmarcosa put up his Top 20 UK list:
    1. Making Time - The Creation
    2. Father's Name Was Dad - Fire
    3. I Can Hear The Grass Grow - The Move
    4. My Friend Jack - The Smoke
    5. My White Bicycle - Tomorrow
    6. I'll Keep Holding On - The Action
    7. When The Night Falls - The Eyes
    8. Sorry - The Easybeats
    9. Imposters Of Life's Magazine - The Idle Race
    10. How Is The Air Up There? - The La De Das
    11. Mud In Your Eye - Les Fleur De Lys
    12. Everything (That's Mine) - The Motions
    13. Garden Of My Mind - The Mickey Finn
    14. Take A Heart - The Sorrows
    15. The Life I Live - Q'65
    16. Midnight To Six Man - The Pretty Things
    17. I See The Rain - The Marmalade
    18. The First Cut Is The Deepest - The Koobas
    19. You Stole My Love - The Mockingbirds
    20. 125 (album version) - The Haunted

    Gotta say that I prefer his. They don't have to be ultra-raer to be killer.

    I ride for this:

  • SoulOnIceSoulOnIce 13,027 Posts
    That's a great list but some of them aren't even anywhere near being psych! The Action track is a straight-ahead cover of a Marvelettes song - a great cut but pure mod soul without an element of psych. And "Midnight to Six" is an absolute classic but pre-dates the Pretty Things actual psych tracks by years - it is R&B, pure and simple.

  • finelikewine said:
    Nice recommendations. I don't want to hijack this thread, but I'm wondering what the difference is between beat, garage rock, space rock, psych and prog.
    I'm always confusig these styles. The lines between them are blurred and thin, arn't they?
    Heres some youtubes that can help give you an idea:
    Garage:


    Beat(Similar to garage but usually more poppy and less raw sounding):

    Psych:


    Space Rock(Pretty similar to Psych):

    Prog:


  • finelikewinefinelikewine "ONCE UPON A TIME, I HAD A VINYL." http://www.discogs.com/user/permabulker 1,416 Posts
    bobtheorange said:
    finelikewine said:
    Nice recommendations. I don't want to hijack this thread, but I'm wondering what the difference is between beat, garage rock, space rock, psych and prog.
    I'm always confusig these styles. The lines between them are blurred and thin, arn't they?
    Heres some youtubes that can help give you an idea:

    Thanks, that's enlightning. I need to digest this know.

    Could you also give me an example for "Freak Beat"? That's another genre I'm wondering about.

  • DuderonomyDuderonomy Haut de la Garenne 7,551 Posts
    phono13 said:

    13. Garden Of My Mind - The Mickey Finn

    I didn't realise how old this rhyming slang is as I'd first heard it taken as the moniker by a Jungle DJ/producer who also went by the alias Aphrodite, and I'd guessed it might be some '80s variant of Vera Lynn (skin = rolling paper), but it has it's origins in Chicago... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mickey_Finn_ (I can't hyper-link because the Strut is blacklisting the 'drugs' reference in the url ????)

    Quite a decent track too:

  • HumanacatHumanacat 177 Posts
    SoulOnIce said:
    Humanacat said:
    There are some great tracks on this list, I only know a few of them from the acid archives book and some cd reissues I picked up years ago.

    I find it hard to believe any of those records are in Acid Archives. Uk 60's psych 45s aren't really what it's about at all.

    Well I know the bands Sam Gopal, Open Mind, and Nirvana are referenced in Acid Archives not sure about the others.

    If you haven't read the book which may be hard to find (had to borrow mine), the website is pretty interesting with several artists added since the edition I have been reading.

    Acid Archives Lysergia

  • The_Hook_UpThe_Hook_Up 8,182 Posts
    finelikewine said:
    bobtheorange said:
    finelikewine said:
    Nice recommendations. I don't want to hijack this thread, but I'm wondering what the difference is between beat, garage rock, space rock, psych and prog.
    I'm always confusig these styles. The lines between them are blurred and thin, arn't they?
    Heres some youtubes that can help give you an idea:

    Thanks, that's enlightning. I need to digest this know.

    Could you also give me an example for "Freak Beat"? That's another genre I'm wondering about.

    Freak beat= Britsh R&B with a more pronounced "jerk" beat or fuzz guitar or raw vocal delivery or some sort of other eccentric element or a combination of any of the aforementioned qualities.
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