Side A (1965) begins in plangent Celtic beat, then moves through some late girl group proto-psych (the Chiffons’ ‘Nobody Knows What’s Goin’ On (In My Mind But Me)’ and jumping soul material (the Anglos’ ‘Incense’) to take in a bit of folk rock (the Pretty Things’ version of folkie Mick Taylor’s ‘London Town’) and the start of the drug culture with Donovan’s then-outrageous ‘Hey Gyp’ and Roky Erikson’s teenage group the Spades burning down the house with ‘We Sell Soul’.
Side B (1966) passes through West Coast drug music (the Seeds’ ‘The Other Place’, the Association’s ‘Along Comes Mary’), Norma Tanega’s proto-feminist ‘Walkin’ My Cat Named Dog’, soul (Rex Garvin’s dub-wise ‘Sock It To ’Em J.B. Part 2’, Ray Sharpe’s ‘Help Me’ with an uncredited Jimi Hendrix on guitar) and ends with the time-travelling fury of James Brown’s ‘Tell Me That You Love Me’ and the Belfast Gypsies (as the Freaks of Nature) turning primal on ‘People! Let’s Freak Out’.
On Side C (1967), you can hear the 60s divide. The single was still a vital pop form, but the complexity of records such as the Action’s ‘Never Ever’ and Buffalo Springfield’s ‘Mr Soul’ displayed the intensity that would soon be spread over 40 minutes on an LP. While white pop music began to split between psychedelia and its reaction, black American music made huge strides with Motown and Stax, heard here in records by Gladys Knight & the Pips and Booker T & the MG’s.
On Side D (1968) you can hear the forward momentum of 1967 reflected in a sequence of musical advances: the deconstructed funk of the French Fries (aka Sly & the Family Stone) on ‘Danse A La Musique’, the sanctified pop/soul of Aretha Franklin’s ‘I Say A Little Prayer’, the stretched out psych of Kak’s ‘Rain’ (San Francisco in excelsis), and the baroque folk country of the Everly Brothers’ ‘Lord Of The Manor’. 1968 was the year that the pirate radio stations stopped broadcasting off the UK and during that year, the British charts began their retreat from reflecting the zeitgeist. Albums began to take off as the form of the moment, leaving the charts – once a turbulent and fruitful arena – to autopop and mums’ and dads’ records. Songs that might have been hits in a less polarised marketplace, such as the Kinks’ ‘Wonderboy’, fell between the cracks of chart and underground. The full pelt momentum of the MC5’s ‘Kick Out The Jams’ preview pressing points forward to the turbulence to come.
- 01 That's The Way It's Got To Be - The Poets
- 02 Incense - The Anglos
- 03 Nobody Knows What's Goin' On (In My Mind But Me) - The Chiffons
- 04 Agent Double-O-Soul - Edwin Starr
- 05 Too Many People - The Leaves
- 06 London Town - The Pretty Things
- 07 Hey Gyp (Dig The Slowness) - Donovan
- 08 We Sell Soul - The Spades
- 01 Bad Little Woman - The Wheel-A-Ways
- 02 The Other Place - The Seeds
- 03 Walkin' My Cat Named Dog - Norma Tanega
- 04 Help Me (Get The Feeling) Pt 1 - Ray Sharpe with The King Curtis Orchestra
- 05 Along Comes Mary - The Association
- 06 Sock It To Em JB Pt 2 - Rex Garvin & The Mighty Cravers
- 07 Tell Me That You Love Me - James Brown & The Famous Flames
- 08 People! Let's Freak Out - The Freaks Of Nature
- 09 The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game - The Marvelettes
- 01 Never Ever - The Action
- 02 Take Me In Your Arms And Love Me - Gladys Knight & The Pips
- 03 I'm Five Years Ahead Of My Time - The Third Bardo
- 04 Mr Soul - The Buffalo Springfield
- 05 Hold On - Sharon Tandy
- 06 At The Third Stroke - The Picadilly Line
- 07 Slim Jenkin's Place - Booker T & The MG's
- 08 The Music Goes Round My Head - The Easybeats
- 01 Danse A La Musique - The French Fries
- 02 Wonderboy - The Kinks
- 03 I Say A Little Prayer - Aretha Franklin
- 04 Rain - Kak
- 05 Lord Of The Manor - The Everly Brothers
- 06 Train To Nowhere - Savoy Brown
- 07 Kick Out The Jams (Preview Pressing) - MC5
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