Set the controls for the heart of the sun, for on 10 August 2018, USM are releasing the motherlode of all Psych vinyl comps: A Kaleidoscope Of Sound (Psychedelic & Freakbeat Masterpieces). A beautifully-presented artefact including 7 two-sided 7”s housed in a splendid presentation box, the package also features an extensive booklet and rare photos and the pressing is limited to only 1,000 numbered copies.
Compiler Phil Smee has unearthed some truly extraordinary and highly sought-after weird & wonderful recordings for this collection. Drawn from some of the great UK labels Decca, Polydor, Philips, Mercury, Deram and Fontana, we’re talking music of a kaleidoscopic quality – scorching guitars, feedback, magic mellotron, staccato drumming and some brilliantly deranged vocals. Delights that include The Fairytale ‘Guess I Was Dreaming’, The Wimple Winch ‘Save My Soul’, Tintern Abbey ‘Beeside’, The Longboatmen ‘Take Her Any Time’, the great Fleur-De-Lys with ‘Mud In Your Eye’ and The Poets ‘In Your Tower’.
Two tracks of particular interest are Birds Birds ‘Say Those Magic Words’ and Caleb ‘Your Phrasing Is Dead’. Birds Birds is really mod legends The Birds – featuring one Ronnie Wood – on a 1966 single they cut for Robert Stigwood’s Reaction label. Caleb is Caleb Quaye and ‘Baby Your Phrasing Is Dead’ his only single which, according to folklore, sold in single figures. Quaye had previously been in the band Bluesology with Reg Dwight aka Elton John. Rumour has it that the young Elton is playing keyboards on ‘Baby Your Phrasing Is Bad’ making it a very significant entry in the history of UK psych.
The A Kaleidoscope Of Sound box offers fantastic value for money. If you were to source and buy original copies of the 14 tracks in this collection, it would set you back in the region of £11,500. The most valuable 7” being Caleb’s ‘Baby Your Phrasing Is Bad’ which now commands an asking price of £2,000 alone.
Over the past few years there’s been a huge uplift in psych ranging from the rise of bands such as King Gizzard, Goat and Ty Segall through to psychedelic festivals being held all over the world drawing huge numbers. This collection takes things back to the original alchemists who have helped shape a burgeoning genre that continues to burn brightly. And rightly so.
A Kaleidoscope Of Sounds (Psychedelic & Freakbeat Masterpieces) is released on 10 August. Scroll down to read the full tracklistings and pre-order here.
A – Jason Crest – ‘Black Mass’
B – Caleb – ‘Baby Your Phrasing Is Bad’
A – The Fairytale – ‘Guess I Was Dreaming’
B – The Poets – ‘In Your Tower’
A – Tintern Abbey – ‘Beeside’
B – The Virgin Sleep – ‘Secret’
A – The Wimple Winch – ‘Save My Soul’
B – Kaleidoscope – ‘Flight From Ashiya’
A – Les Fleur De Lys – ‘Mud In Your Eye’
B – The Longboatmen – ‘Take Her Any Time’
A – Birds Birds – ‘Say Those Magic Words’
B – Sands – ‘Listen To The Sky’
A – The Eyes – ‘When The Night Falls’
B – The Open Mind – ‘Magic Potion’