“BLOW MY MIND!” CD (Big Beat Records CDWIKD 350) September 2021
Three of the quirkier imprints from Hollywood’s heyday in the mid-1960s were the record labels Doré, Era and Mira. Like most seasoned indie producers in that epoch, their owners Lew Bedell, Herb Newman and Randy Wood struggled to get to grips with the onslaught of rock’n’roll activity that followed in the wake of the British Invasion.
But amongst each company’s catalogue of R&B, pop schlock and novelty discs were a number of outstanding garage and proto-psych 45s that today are sought-after collectors’ items.
“Blow My Mind: The Doré-Era-Mira Punk & Psych Legacy” collects together the best of this venerated repertoire in a power-packed set that also constitutes the first official reissue for many oft-bootlegged titles. Cuts like ‘The Thief’, ‘Slander’ and ‘I’ll Blow My Mind’ would be expensive to acquire in their original, minutely-pressed incarnation. Here, with top-notch sound and extensive annotation, these totemic garage rock items shine brighter than ever.
There is the expected quota of attitude-laden classics such as ‘My Baby’s Barefoot’, ‘Just Wanna Be Myself’ and the incredibly snotty ‘So What!!’, along with less heralded gems by bands such as South Hampton Story, the Puddin’ Heads, Yesterday’s Tomorrow and the Search. An unexpected bonus is a superb unreleased cut by ‘Hey Joe’ hitmakers the Leaves, along with off-beat garage-psych titles by Simon T Stokes, the Outlaw Blues and the Wrench.
“Blow My Mind!” is the natural sequel to Big Beat’s recent, well-received collection “Lost Innocence” and is an essential purchase for the dedicated garage head.
This is an essential garage compilation for anyone’s collection, get your copy now before it goes out of print. I have several of the 45 here under examination but there are many cuts new to my brain-waves which sound stellar. I’m talking the unreleased Leaves number “Do Me A Favor” cut at the same sessions as their first album but never released at the time, not even worthy of a single B-side.
Other strong selections (unknown to me) are The South Hampton Story, John Winfield Jr (a previously unreleased swinger “She Touched My Soul”) and the off-kilter and plain weird “Cobwebs” by Simon T Stokes. Not sure what Simon was drinking before the recording session but it could have been human baby’s blood.
Over the years I’ve made contact with members of The Lyrics and The Search who are compiled on this set. I interviewed them via email and they’re available to read on my site, but they’re without a category and hidden deep within my archives. Use the search option for now! I intend to resurrect them all soon.
01. My Baby’s Barefoot – The Syndicate
02. Do Me A Favor – The Leaves
03. Gotta Hold On – The No-Na-Mees
04. The Thief – The Motion
05. So What!! – The Lyrics
06. Leave Me Behind – The South Hampton Story
07. Big City Blues – Simon T Stokes
08. The Other Half – Yesterday’s Tomorrow
09. Worryin’ Kind – The Regents
10. She Touched My Soul – John Winfield Jr
11. Slander – Ty Wagner
12. Now You Say We’re Through – The Puddin’ Heads
13. They Can’t Hurt Me – The Lyrics
14. I’ll Blow My Mind – Spencer’s Van Dykes
15. I’m Gonna Dance – The Decades
16. The Day Is Hard – The Wrench
17. Climate – The Search
18. Just Wanna Be Myself – The No-Na-Mees
19. Non-Stop Blues – The Outlaw Blues
20. Shame – The Front Page & Her
21. Forget Me Girl – The Bees
22. She’s Gone – The Tormentors
23. It’s No Use – Basil & The Baroques
24. To Make A Lie – Unknown Artist
25. Cobwebs – Simon T Stokes