Monday, December 29, 2008

Fools On The Hill 13: A Trip through Unicorn's Forest - 18 fabulous acid folk and folky psychedelic greats from the late-60s /early 70s

Don not confuse Acid-Folk (or Folk Psych) with Folk Punk… We've briefly touched the subject in FOTH Volume 4, as Acid-Folk lends itself naturally to the female voice. This volume is entirely devoted to the genre. After the renewed interested in all forms of folk, it was only a mattter of time untill some acid-dropping freaks decided they were bored by the straightness of folkies. How many reprise of "Scarborough Fair" can you stand? The Folk revival in Britain became rapidly very straight-laced, you were supposed to interpret these lovely Middle-Age songs note-by-note and very earnestly. It very clearly was The Incredible String Band, who also used sitar and semi-Indian singing, who helped fuse Psychedelia and Folk together. Most european countries would also sport bands playing this type of music, as their own folk scene was evolving into rigid reinterpretation of the past. Only Ireland, it seems, never produced acid-folk bands maybe because rediscovering and playing their folklore was essential to the very notion of Irishness. The weirdest group from that period without doubt was Comus, still a trademark for how far in expressions a “folk”-related group from that period could be. While most groups in England remained inspired by the traditional genre, many of the late 60s, 70s acid/psych and progfolk bands from Germany, France and Holland enjoyed a period of making creative experiments with longer improvisations and structures.
So what will you find here? A mix of acoustic bands often known for a peculiar, trance-like, and atmospheric sound, often drawing on musical improvisation and Asian influences. Their lyrics are often concerned with such subjects as the natural world, love and beauty and try to evoke a state of mind associated with the effects of psychedelic drugs. So, in other words, quiet acoustic music with "mystical" themes, often with acid flashbacks and psychedelic effects… enjoy.
NB: this is what I used to call "Hippie Shit" although I now know better… Hippie Shit is way more haphazard and is a whole complete style in itself. I'm not sure we will do a Volume on that, though. This is just to tell our 60's Punk readers to brace themselves! Keep an open ear… some of these songs might make you cringe but you might discover new ground with some others.

Don't get down, don't get down…here's the good stuff

Track List:

1●Tyrannosaurus Rex ●Chariots of silk (UK, 1969)
2●Arthur ●Blue museum (USA, 1968)
3●Duncan Browne ●Give me take you (UK, 1968)
4●Dave Morgan ●Hey Paul (UK, 1970)
5●Heaven & Earth ●Sixty years on (USA, 1973)
6●Tudor Lodge ●Help me find myself (UK, 1970)
7●Mark Fry●Dreaming with Alice (UK, 1972)
8●Paul Parrish ●Suzanne (USA, 1968)
9●Virgin Insanity ●Don’t get down (USA, 1971)
10 ●Dave Morgan ●I’ll wind (UK, 1970)
11 ●Transformer (with David Stoughton) ●Evening song (USA, 1968)
12 ●Skaldowie ●Keep the flowers from blossoming (Poland, 1967)
13 ●Linda Perhacs ●Chimacum rain (USA, 1970)
14 ●David Pomeranz ●Singin’ on the train (USA, 1971)
15 ●Jake Holmes ●Did you know (USA, 1968)
16 ●Bob Ray ●Woman of the highlands (USA, 1969)
17 ●Tyrannosaurus Rex ●Nijinsky hind (UK, 1969)
18 ●Mike Softley ●Ship (UK, 1970)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Fools On The Hill 12: Balls & Chains - 18 mid-60's fuzz-driven pop masterpieces from the US

Well, the opening track on this one was a real ear-opener for me. I couldn't believe the song was from the mid-60's! it could have come from the 90's England. This volume is one of our strongest: using the word "masterpieces" is not as far-fetched as you could think. All of these songs feature an instant pop catchiness and a good dose of fuzz. What seems at first to be an eclectic collection of songs (the Rolling Stones?) paints a perfect picture of the mid-60's, where hopes a crafting a hit were high… Only a few of these bands achieved any (deserved) success. Even more surprising for me was to find The 5-Man Electrical Band, whose album I had dismissed as uninteresting, compiled here. This goes to show our man Sylvain has sharp ears. Timeless stuff indeed and worthy of heavy rotation on your stereo.

Get your fuzz nuggets here.
Still diggin' your comments…

Track Listing.

1●Public Nuisance ●America
2●The Guess Who ●If you don’t want me
3●The Kitchen Cinq ●Please come back to me
4●The Music Machine ●Trouble
5●The Rolling Stones ●Think (UK)
6●The Buckhinghams ●C’mon home
7●The Tuneful Trolley ●Hello Love
8●The Great Scotts ●Show me the way(Canada)
9●The Ides of March ●I’ll take you back
10 ●The Grassroots ●Feelings
11 ●Teddy & The Pandas ●Running from love
12 ●The Five Man Electric Band ●We go together well
13 ●The Uniques ●Run and hide
14 ●The Tuneful Trolley ●Written Charter
15 ●Powder ●Gladly
16 ●Public Nuisance ●Time can’t wait
17 ●The Springfield Riffle ●100 or two
18 ●The Great Scotts ●The light hurts my eyes (Canada)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Fools On The Hill 11: Maybe in a Dream - 19 US Psychedelic Lullabies from the mid-60's

NEW FILE! A fine collection of early psychedelic American music, a lot of my faves are featured here. Unlike some of our other comps, most of these bands produced full albums which are at the least interesting, some of them being real classics (thinking of The Golden Dawn here, for example). It's interesting to see that psychedelia was devoid of gimmicks at the start, all the bands have a quite distinctive if mellow sound. Call it sonic exploration if like, there's none of the stereotyped "psych" sound here, no lengthy guitar heroics in sight, Jimmi Hendrix had yet to appear on the scene and radicalize this young movement. The Indian dream is gently creeping through some of the songs, with sometimes hints of acoustic blues, traditional folk and 30's ragtime. The provocation and protest attitude of late-60's (which I find quite boring personally) are also nowhere to be found. People were just enjoying new found mellow drugs and not yet into a bad acid trip… it's all mellow, man.
We've just completed another volume (22!) on which you'll hear again The Animated Egg… the whole volume is dedicated to psych exploitation or exploito psych, one of my favourite sub-genres. I wasn't too much in favour of including them here because of that, but they do fit in nicely. Just remember that this band was not a "real" band… but studio musicians trying to emulate the "now" sound. All the other bands were really earnestly trying their best and stretching the envelope.

Dig these psychedelic lullabies, download them here
Don't forget: comments are the lifeblood of blogs!
NEW FILE! It seems I don't quite get the hang of my iTunes… sorry. The zip now has all 19 songs. Last three were missing.

Track Listing:

1● Animated Egg ●Sock it my way
2●The Freeborne ●Images
3●The Golden Dawn ●This way please
4●Those Guys ●Looking at you behind the glasses
5●West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band ●Eighteen is over the hill
6●Flat Earth Society ●Satori
7●Bo Grumpus ●Yesterday’s thoughts
8●Kaleidoscope ●Please
9●The Rising Storm●Frozen laughter
10 ●Faine Jade ●Piano interlude
11 ●Jade ●My Mary (more than ever)
12 ●Merrel Fankhauser & HMS Bounty ●A visit with Ashiya
13 ● First crew to the Moon ●We walk the rain
14 ●The Freeborne ●Land of Diana
15 ●Food ●Fountains of my mind
16 ●Gandalf ●Hang on to a dream
17 ●Love ●The castle
18 ●Strawberry Alarm Clock ●Pretty song (from "Psych-Out")
19 ●Sopwith Camel ●Maybe in a dream

Monday, December 08, 2008

Fools On The Hill 10: Soft as Snow - 23 mid-60's soft beat and popsike acid greats from northern Europe

NEW FILE, you get 5 extra songs on this one. A seasonal offer with yet another strong volume in this series. Northern Europe was always more of a "beat" country as opposed to the more known "garage" sound. This, coupled with a great pop sensibility created a very specific sound.
Clean, often mid-tempo, with nice harmonies… quite far from today's Viking invasion. A quiet compilation for those winter mornings.

Get these fresh litlle beat ditties here
And don't forget to leave comments!

Track Listing:

1● Palmer/G B Graeff ● Bye Bye Baby (Norway)
2● The Golden Earrings ● Nobody but you (Holland, 1965)
3● Chapter II ● She won’t even let me in (Holland, 1966)
4● The Pussycats ● Love her (Norway, 1966)
5● The Pussycats ● Just a little teardrop (Norway, 1965)
6● The Outsiders ● Keep on trying (Holland, 1967)
7● The Motions ●Who’ll save my soul (Holland, 1965)
8● 126 ● Mailbox execution system (Norway, 1968)
9● The Golden Earrings ● That day (Holland, 1966)
10● The Pussycats ● The craftsman (Norway, 1966)
11● The Motions ● For another man (Holland, 1965)
12● 126 ● Today (Norway, 1968)
13● Sharks & Me ● Buses (Holland, 1966)
14● The Divorced ● I'm gonna leave you satisfied
15● Les Baroques ● We’re both to blame (Holland, 1967)
16● Trolls ● Alone (Sweden, 1966)
17● The Hounds ● The office girl (Sweden, 1967)
18● The Motions ● You’re my Adee (Holland, 1968)
19● The Jackpots ● The sound of silence (Sweden, 1968)
20● The Golden Earrings ● Must I cry (Holland, 1968)
21● The Zaks ● Take special care
22● Mayfly ● Blue sofa (Holland, 1971)
23● Chapter II ● To my girl (Holland, 1966)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Fools On The Hill 9: McCartnisms on my Mynd - Fabulous McCartneys that Time Forgot

Here is one of FOTH best volumes (in my humble own opinion). Until a couple years ago, I couldn't stand listening to the Beatles, my sisters had them on heavy, near continuous rotation at home. On top of this anecdote revealing my age, it also explains my love of all things punk. Lennon, McCartney? Old hippies, all of them! Pauls' marvelous ease of composing only caught my ear when I listened to a Beach Boys bootleg where he visits Brian Wilson during the ill-fated Smile sessions. Paul quickly bangs up during 20 seconds a Beatle song they've recently been working on… absolute magic! It sounded instantly catchy, in total opposition to Brian's convoluted and painfull process of working.

Paul's gift was at least 30% of the Beatles' success and it spurred a legion of aspiring songwriters in the 60's and 70's. While a lot of them missed the mark by a mile, the few bands and artists featured here issued unknown effortless classics. Some of these songs sound so close to the real thing that it's unnerving. This was also their downfall: who would buy a McCartney clone when they could buy the real thing? Most of these LPs failed to chart significantly, despite the high hopes of labels (Emmit Rhodes was thought to be "the next big thing"). Some achieved critical success, only to disband faced with the lack of sales. 30 + years later, we were able to buy most of these LPs still shrinkwrapped… never played.

Listen to all these songs that should have been hit songs long ago,
get your comp here!


1● Paul McCartney ●Your mother should know(1967 demo)
2● Emitt Rhodes ●You should be ashamed (1970)
3● The Leopards ●Psychedelic boy (1987)
4● The Ruttles ●With a girl like you (1978)
5● The Aerovons ●With her (1969)
6● Utopia ●Alone (1980)
7● Blond ●Sun in her hand (1969)
8● Colours ●Where is she ? (1968)
9● Chameleon Church ●Flowers in the field (1968)
10 ● The American Revolution ●In the late afternoon (1968)
11 ● The Raspberries ●Come around and see me (1972)
12 ● Utopia ●All smiles (1980)
13 ● Elmer Gantry’s Velvet Opera ●What’s the point of leaving ? (1967)
14 ● Blond ●I wake up and call (1969)
15 ● The Ruttles ●Another day (1978)
16 ● Fargo ●Places everyone (1969)
17 ● The Raspberries ●I saw the light (1972)
18 ● Emitt Rhodes ●Someone made for me (1970)
19 ● Paul McCartney ●Fool on the hill (1967 demo)