|Lord John tripping the light fantastic at the Mind's Eye with the Captain Whizzo lightshow, Tramps, NYC, NY Spring 1988|
With a song title taken from a quote from a 70's Marvel comics issue ("The Hulk" I think) you can't go wrong. Lord John were a mid 80's New Jersey psych band who started out more Echo & The Bunnymen than The Pink Floyd but they were amazing, both live and on their sole output, an untitled LP on Voxx's Bomp imprint, where this trippy yet hard rocking tune came from. The band imploded, playing their final gig in November 1989. Had they stuck it out surely they'd have been embraced by the indie shoegazer crowd and the more lysergically inclined Brit pop types of the early 90's (in fact when I first heard Blur's "She's So High" I immediately thought it sounded a bit like Lord John).
2. THE PRETTY THINGS-"Death Of A Socialite"
I first heard this when I snagged Bam Caruso's 1986 Pretty Thing's comp LP "Closed Restaurant Blues" and like most of the other "Emotions" era tracks on the LP it did not move me. Fast forward to the early 90's when I copped the "Emotions" CD and it became my fave Pretties LP, and still is. Brilliant layers of horns, painting a kitschy angle of Swinging London fueled by Dick Taylor's mild acoustic strumming and Phil May's uninterested sounding vocals.
3. LLOYD ALEXANDER REAL ESTATE-"I'm Gonna Live Again"
Just when I thought I'd heard it all in the British 60's mod/r&b genre our pal over at Monkey Picks wrote about these guys in his January picks and a search of them on YouTube revealed this killer track, a perfect slice of mod '66 British sounds if ever there was one with cool brass, ska rhythm sounds (ala "Al Capone") and this funky riff slightly resembling "I'll Be Doggone"! Brilliant!! And it's on the new RPM CD compilation "Looking Back" with it's flip side.
4. MAC RYBELL-"The Lantern"
Possibly the coolest 60's Stones cover ever! This is by this mondo obscure Brazilian band from '68, in fact I daresay it rivals the original because it's pulled off without the trippy studio effects like the original (which is in itself, a masterpiece). Lovingly reissued on the trippy CD "Brazilian Guitar Fuzz Bananas".
5. THE TIMES-"I Helped Patrick McGoohan Escape" ("Splash Of Colour" version)
There's a zillion versions of this track by Ed Ball and his group called The Times from the 80's, this one being my fave as it's fuller sounding than the tinny D.I.Y. 45 version and it's got some jangly guitar thrown in too. From a rare as hell LP of neo-60's/psychedelic-pop British 80's groups called "A Splash Of Colour" which I literally borrowed (along with a double EMI LP called "Merseybeat") from Insomniac Dave Woj every time I went over his house in the 80's!
6. DAVID AXELROD-"Holy Thursday"
Over the top trippy, film musick, jazzy, orchestral bit of brilliance from Axelrod's stellar LP "Song Of Innocence". From the unreleased '68 cinematic feature shot in Technicolor starring me partying with Herbie Hancock, wearing a three tone double breasted tonic suit, driving an XKE Jag, shagging lots of birds, shooting lots of people with a Walther P38, tripping the light fantastic to Coltrane and getting shot on Golden Gate Bridge at sunset and falling to my death while peaking on orange sunshine. Yeah.
7. THE UNIVERSALS-"Green Veined Orchids"
A brilliant track by another obscure U.K. 60's mod/r&b band who embraced freakbeat. This was one of their two 45's on the Page One label, thankfully unearthed on the "Sweet Floral Albion" CD compilation. It's got that brass Brit r&b feel and soulful vocals but also leans towards The Lovin' Spoonful.
8. BLUE RIVERS & THE MAROONS-"Witchcraft Man"
Back in the 80's when I was buying up all the 60's U.K. r&b/beat group records See For Miles was putting out they put out an LP by this band, a ska/reggae/soul band. I never heard it till I saw it in the used bin at the local record shop for a price I could not pass up. This soulful ska number was a single on the short lived (U.K.) Blue Beat/Columbia imprint in '67 and is the best of the lot on their See For Miles CD.
9. THE JOHN ANDREWS TARTAGLIA-"Light My Fire"
I'm assuming this was American. It was first unearthed for me on the essential "Sound Gallery Volume Two" CD compilation and I've later discovered there was an entire wiggy LP cut on Capitol in the States titled "Tartaglian Theorem". This track is absolutely trippy: sitars, swirling near Eastern sounding strings, fuzzed out wah wah guitars etc. True sounds of the apocalypse, or a late 60's orgy..........
I don't recall too much music from the 60's, "Time Of The Season", "In The Year 2525", a few country music numbers and this one. Any rock n' roll number that can string a line like "my Antediluvian babyee" is alright by me. Alas poor Billy Batts I knew him well.....