Just in this week is the latest Pop Cycles CDR compiled by erstwhile record collector and Shindig magazine reviewer Paul Martin. Pop Cycles has been around for the past 3 years or so and Volume 5 is now circulating among fellow collectors and lovers of the more off-beat sounds from the world of underground and obscure pop 45s and album tracks.
This time around Pop Cycles takes the listener on a ride through toy town, pop beat, soft pop and early 70s underground. Some tracks even date from 1979/80. The sound quality of the music on the CDR is as good as you get from vinyl records mastered to the digital format. Expect loud mastering that is full of clarity. I\’m not sure if Paul masters his own vinyl, maybe he can expand on this. Whoever is responsible has done a fine job.
There are many highlights on this disc for me and I\’m sure many will feel the same way. Almost every track was new to me. I have heard the rather excelent psych 45 by These Vizitors before. Both sides of the record are present here. \’Happy Man\’ and \’For Mary\’s Sake\’ are pure 1967 flower poweresque psych, the kind of sunshine pop I\’ve always thought was cool even before it got kind of popular with those Soft Sounds For Gentle People and the Fading Yellow CDs.
The opening track by Prowler \’Pale Green Vauxhall Driving Man\’ is a cracking tune with a fab guitar break. Who would have thought it was recorded in 1972? According to the liners Prowler had formally been Mandrake Paddle Steamer of \’Strange Walking Man\’ fame.
The Imp-acts impress with their rare 45 from 1965 \’If I Were The Only One\’. This may have only ever had a release in Germany.
I was also very impressed by both Hollins Ferry tracks. These two songs were culled from the private press album put out by the band in 1977. Those who appreciate Big Star will certainly dig these tracks.
We are also treated to several rare \’toy town\’ type songs. Only the English could possibly record such ditties. If you\’re not sure about what I mean have a listen to The Laurels \’Threepence A Song\’ and Marvin Welch and Farrar\’s \’Strike A Light\’.
The liners are well researched and informative. Sadly no cover art exists yet but when it is available I\’ll post it here.
All in all, Pop Cycles Volume 5 is a fantastic addition to my CD collection.