Just before the latest lock-down I bought some vinyl records from ‘Hot Rats’ in Sunderland and I’m just getting around to playing some of them now. I was quite amazed to find a 10″ re-issue of an ancient ’60 psych / garage compilation called “The Magic Cube”.
This record originally came out in 1982 and a year before I discovered underground sixties psychedelia and garage punk. I didn’t even buy and original back in the eighties because they were very scarce, I can’t remember ever seeing a copy for sale in any of the record shops I used to inhabit on a regular basis.
some information about this disc:
10′ hand-numbered coloured vinyl with pop-up cube. One of the earliest psychedelic compilations and probably the strangest is The Magic Cube, which appeared inexplicably in 1982 in hip record emporiums around the world. A limited edition 9″ flexi disc housed in a card envelope. When it was opened it unleashed a pop up psychedelic cardboard cube emerged to mystify and confuse. Purportedly the product of the same deranged collector mind who gave the world the first Acid Dreams compilation, Magic Cube certainly contained some killer US 60s garage psych punk, not least the stupendously rare Children of the Mushroom‘s You Can’t Erase a Mirror and The Bedlam Four‘s crazed ‘Hydrogen Atom’ as well as The Front Page News fuzz fest ‘Thoughts’ and six other US ’60s acid punk psych diadems.
On Sunday I pulled out an original 45 from one of my many boxes of US garage / psych in my archive. Thackeray Rocke caught my eye. “Tobacco Road” / “Can’t You See” (Castalia ARA 268) 1968
Obscure psychedelic rock group from Phoenix, Arizona.
This was their second and final 45. Interestingly the production is in stereo. Check out the heavy psych leads, liquid fuzz attack and flashing tambourine.
B-side of ‘Tobacco Road’ (at least that’s what I think. My copy appears to come from an old radio station. Someone has scribbled through the title on the label usually meaning that the DJ wasn’t to play this side!
“Can’t You See” has never been compiled before and it’s the first time on YouTube. After a few plays the number really starts to have an effect. Moody psychedelic rock.
Working from home has gotten me all excited. This morning was Monday and I usually feel the ‘work-day blues’ because I know it’s a long trip of shit until Friday, before I can dive into the weekend. I was really buzzin’ for a change, now I know what a fat bloke feels like walking into a pie shop.
The main advantage with home working and a way to wash away the humdrum boredom of bashing away on a keyboard all day is the chance to play CDs and listen to podcasts.
This morning a listened to three mixes of “Psych-A-Rella” on Barrel House radio. Lot’s of choice ’60s garage, psych and freakbeat on offer and it’s well worth your time and effort to tune in.
Next up for a dream-away day is this CD collection called Ripples #8, sub titled ‘Butterfly’ . . . . Gathered here for your delectation are hopelessly rare or obscure examples of adventurous pop records during that golden age of 1968/69.
Explore material rich with harmony vocals, chiming instrumentation, pure pop onslaughts of flower-power and paisley reverie. One look at the exotic band names suggests an overdose of sunshine charm . . . . The Rainbow People, Floribunda Rose, The Onyx, The Quiet World Of Lea & John, The Candy Dates, Anan and Strawberry Jam. When was the last time you happened upon names like that?
The Ripples series of CDs were released on the now defunct Sequel label around twenty years ago, they were sought after then and command decent prices nowadays if you’re lucky enough to find a collector willing to sell.
How would my life have evolved without the music of The Byrds? It’s a question I often ask myself. Somehow I discovered the Byrds in 1981, I was still at school. At that time all of my friends were either into punk or starting to become influenced in their record buying persuasions with the pioneering synth-based groups such as OMD and early new wave acts like B-Movie.
I believe I got interested in the Byrds after reading a music press article about Aussie neo-psych band The Church. They named checked Roger McGuinn who played a 12 string Rickenbacker guitar, similar to the weapon of choice of Marty Willson-Piper.
Well, it was obvious that I needed to investigated because I loved The Church’s jangle sound. Who were The Byrds? and where do I find their records? That had to wait until a year later when I located a Byrds ‘Singles Collection’ LP in Boots, Sunderland. Yes!! Boots used to sell records. Can you believe that!
Today I listened to ‘Fifth Dimension’ a couple of times. It still sounds amazing for 1966. No group had their supreme and beyond wonderful sonic soundscapes in ’66, not even the Beatles. The album had a defining influence on American rock which is as deep and profound today with many underground garage groups.
After a week of home-working I’m really starting to see the benefits. So sitting at home clattering away aimlessly on a keyboard is not my idea of everlasting fulfillment but at least my shit work pays the bills. My Office freedom also means I’m playing CDs and today’s cranium distorter was the sublime album ‘Forever Changes’ . . . . once again. There is not a better album than this anywhere on the Planet. I’ve lost count the number of times I’ve played this record since the eighties. Everything about this disc is simply beautiful. It’s a wondrous time capsule of 1967 that virtually did nothing in America upon release and was favoured more by the heads in Britain.
I chose to listen to the mono mix from the gorgeous box set released by Elektra a few years ago. Heaven is within your mind as well as on this record. Love, I salute you as being musical geniuses from another age and dimension.
Next up is the 4CD collection from Rhino “Where The Action Is!” and what you get for your blood money is a set of Los Angeles ‘Nuggets’ recorded by various outrageously potent groups and performers during thee golden period 1965 – 1968.
There are way too many way-out cuts here to single any one out, buy the fuck outta this if you see it for sale, it’s almost twenty years old now but should still be easily obtainable.
I have my impending retirement soon, I’m getting out of the rat race long before time (at 56) I no longer feel the need to be a Government drone. Try as much as they did to change my ways and ‘become compliant and one of them’ and believe me they tried, I’m still skulking around doing my own thing after thirty odd years. Nothing and no-one will ever manipulate me into becoming square or one of those meek weaklings who uphold petty rules even at the expense of common sense just because it’s written in the codes of conduct.
Which brings me to the Black Diamonds, a group of teenage Australian hooligans hellbent on being the most fierce sounding bunch of outsiders that has ever existed within the grooves of a 7″ record. This is 1966, but it could also be the sound of the apocalypse if the lead singer doesn’t get his girl.
Thankfully new re-issue label Solution Records have resurrected this beast from thee ashes . . . . . rejoice one of the most powerful, angst-drenched 45s to come out of Australia EVER!!!
This 1966 monster has EVERYTHING – pounding drums, AS Olomans manic high pitched guitar – the driving, Entwistle-style bass and those strained, emotive vocals made this a regional hit and was only the b-side!
The band came from Lithgow, New South Wales, quickly establishing themselves as the best act around, earning a deal with Festival Records and were about from 1965 until 1971, but only had two singles out unfortunately. They evolved into Tymepiece in 1967, moving into a more progressive sound, but left this behind thankfully on it’s first official reissue
Made with full blessing from the band, this ace 45 comes in specially made company paper sleeves in wavy tops
Four photos of the Black Diamonds