TINTERN ABBEY-Beeside/Vacuum Cleaner U.K. Deram DM 164 1967
British 60's psychedelia does not come any finer than this sizzling Deram records two sided monster slab of freakiness! Unleashed on November 24, 1967 this single commands upwards from $1,000 on up. In my 25+ years of record collecting I have never owned or seen a copy. I know of no one who owns one and no one I know has ever seen a copy. I'm making an Anorak Thing exception here. Normally I only write about 45 rpm's that I have owned, but this one is such a great platter it would be criminal to overlook it. Apologies to whoever the owner of the copy scanned above is. If you have any objections to it's use I will take it down post haste. These two fine tracks first came to my attention on a legendary LP compilation "The Great British Psychedelic Trip" on See For Miles records in the lysergic summer of 1986. They have both remained steadfast favorites since then and despite time, my enthusiasm for both tracks has never waned. The band at the time of the singles release were David McTavish-vocals, Don Smith-guitar, Stuart McKay-bass and John Dalton-Drums (not the same John Dalton of Mark Four/Kinks fame). There has been much confusion as to what they A or B side of this record was, but as you can see by the original 1967 Deram A-label demo copy above "Beeside" was not the B-side. Both sides were written by David McTavish and produced by one Jonathan Webber.
"Beeside" begins with a faint piano that descends in volume until banished by a burst of slowed down cymbal flashes and a tapestry of melotron. Then there's some Macca '66-'67 style bass and backwards guitars before the ethereal lead vocals begin. The whole track is a mindblast, there's so much going on it it musically while the lead singer sings about pollination. And in the timely British pop psych tradition there's some muted regal trumpet during the chorus. God I love this stuff. The flipside is equally brilliant, forget that it's a paen to a house cleaning device, "Vacuum Cleaner" is just as freaky. What blows me away by this song is it's essentially sparse. For most of the song there's just vocals, some very dominating bass and drums. In fact it's what today's folks might consider a "bass n' drum" record, both a quite heavy in the mix driving the whole thing along with quite a heavy groove. Then out of nowhere comes the guitar in time for the solo which is a concoction (I think) of wah-wah, fuzz, compression and mind numbing aural madness and then it vanishes again....The record never charted and vanished. There was talk of a second single "Do You What You Must"/"How Do I Feel Today" (with guitarist Paul Brett who moved in to replace Don Smith who'd left after this single) but nothing came of this. In the early 90's a U.K. psych fanzine (who's name I forget) published a scan of the label of this 45, but since it has never surfaced anywhere else I'm inclined to believe it was a fake.
Four unreleased tracks (the above mentioned single tracks and "It's Just That The People Can't See" and "Naked Song") were discovered on acetate and lovingly compiled on a limited edition 7" E.P. (long out of print) and cropped up on the 2007 psychedelic CD compilation "Psychedelic Jumble Volume One:What's The Rush, Time Machine Man?" None of these tracks bear any resemblance to the DM 164 single, lacking their array of instrumentation, studio wizardry or overall freak out sounds, but there are interesting to hear. One can only wonder.
"Beeside" and "Vacuum Cleaner" turned up on the Rubble LP/CD "Staircase To Nowhere" (Rubble 12) and are also part of the Rubble Box "Volume Two" and are also on the LP/CD "Chocolate Soup For Diabetics Volume One". "Vacuum Cleaner" is also on the Decca CD compilation "The Psychedelic Scene"
"Do What You Must":
"It's Just That The People Can't See":
"How Do I Feel Today":
This is still my fave psyche 45 ever, and has a permanent place on my want list (probably never to be filled). A perfect example of a band that blew it's wad on one brilliant 45 and then faded into obscurity.
I'd also like to know what else Jonathan Webber produced...
first UK psyche single SHAPE OF THINGS -YARDBIRD [FEB 1966]
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