INSANE TIMES-21 BRITISH PSYCHEDELIC ARTYFACTS FROM THE EMI VAULTS.

Insane Times-21 British Psychedelic Artyfacts From The EMI Vaults.

With 2017 the tenth anniversary of Record Store Day, it was no surprise that there were a record number of releases available. This ranged from luxurious limited edition box sets to reissues of classic albums, singles soundtracks and compilations. One of the compilations that was released was Insane Times-21 British Psychedelic Artyfacts From The EMI Vaults. It was released by Rhino Records as two LP set, and is a reminder of Britain’s psychedelic past.

Insane Times-21 British Psychedelic Artyfacts From The EMI Vaults feature contributions from old friends, familiar faces and new names. This includes  Kevin Ayers, July, The Idle Race, Orange Bicycle, Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, The Hollies, The Lemon Tree, The Parking Lot, The Koobas and The Yarbirds. There’s also more than a few hidden gems on 21 British Psychedelic Artyfacts From The EMI Vaults. It’s guaranteed to bring back memories for connoisseurs of psychedelia…in more ways than one. 

For collectors of psychedelic compilations, the title might bring back memories. That is no surprise. Back in 2007, EMI released a similar compilation on CD, Insane Times-25 British Psychedelic Artyfacts From The EMI Vaults. Thos compilation it seems was the inspiration for Insane Times-21 British Psychedelic Artyfacts From The EMI Vaults. However, only twenty-one sides make their way onto this two LP set.  The omissions included Ipsissimus’ Hold On, Paul Jones’ The Dog Presides, Mike Proctor’s Mr. Commuter and Syd Barrett’s No Good Trying. These omissions will disappoint some people,  especially fans of Syd Barrett.  Despite these omissions, there’s plenty more to discover on Insane Times-21 British Psychedelic Artyfacts From The EMI Vaults.

Opening 21 British Psychedelic Artyfacts From The EMI Vaults is Kevin Ayers’ Songs For Insane Times. This Kevin Ayers composition was taken from his 1969 debut album Joy Of A Toy, which was released on Harvest Records. Songs For Insane Times is best described as a carefully crafted ruminative ballad, that’s a fusion of psychedelia, progressive rock and jazz. It showcases the considerable skills of the late, great great Kevin Ayers.

In 1968, Tomorrow released their eponymous debut album on Parlophone. One of the songs the featured on Permanent Dream was written by Keith Hopkins, who had shot to fame thanks to the infamous Teenage Opera. It had been created by Mark Wirtz, who arranged and produced Permanent Dream. It’s an oft-overlooked psychedelic hidden gem, that although is slightly reminiscent of The Kinks, is a progressive and oft-overlooked hidden gem.

When The Gods were formed in 1965, their lineup included Greg Lake, Mick Taylor, John Glascock and Ken Hensley. Given The Gods featured such an impressive line-up, it was no surprise that they signed to Columbia, and released two albums during the late sixties. This included Genesis, which featured the Joe Konas’ composition Towards The Skies. It’s regarded as one of the finest British psychedelic songs of the late sixties, and is a tantalising taste of The Gods debut album Genesis.

Just like The Gods, The Idle Race featured another giant of British music,..Jeff Lynne. The Idle releases a trio of albums, including two for Liberty. Their swan-song for Liberty was The Idle Race, which featured Hurry Up John a melodic, dreamy and lysergic song.

Orange Bicycle is another band that will be familiar to connoisseurs of sixties psychedelia. On the ‘18th’ of July 1969, Orange Bicycle released a cover of Bob Dylan’s Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You as a single. Hidden away on the B-Side was the John Dove’s Last Cloud Home, which is one of the psychedelic hidden gems in Orange Bicycle’s back-catalogue.

The Brain only every released the one single, Kick the Donkey, which was released on Parlophone in mid-1967. On the B-Side was Nightmares in Red, an ambitious and lysergic release that was very different to the music that most British psychedelic groups were making. That was no surprise, as The Brain featured Peter Giles, his brother Michael Giles and Robert Fripp. After recording as The Brain, they recorded as Giles, Giles and Fripp, which later, became the basis for King Crimson.

Another short-lived band was Rainbow Ffolly, who were signed to Parlophone. They released their debut album Sallies Fforth in 1968, which featured their one and only single Drive My Car. When the single failed to find an audience the band split-up. However, Sallies Fforth is a underrated and overlooked album, which features Sun Sing which is a reminder of short-lived but talented psychedelic band.

Tales Of Justine were a London based band led by David Daltrey. Their recording career amounts to just one single and their 1967 album for Tenth Planet, Petals From A Sunflow. It featured Monday Morning, which is a carefully crafted and orchestrated song that’s a memorable and melodic reminder of Tales Of Justine, who sadly, never fulfilled their potential.

By 1968, The Hollies had been around since the early sixties, and were one of the British Invasion groups that enjoyed commercial success in America. In 1967, The Hollies released On A Carousel as a single, and on the B-Side was All The World Is Love. Its psychedelic sound is very different to the pop and rock that The Hollies released earlier in the sixties. However, the reinvention of The Hollies and songs like All The World Is Love ensured that their music stayed relevant.

Keith Smart and Mike Hopkins recorded two singles for Parlophone as The Lemon Tree during 1968. This included William Chalker’s Time Machine which was written by Christopher Kefford, and produced by Andy Fairweather-Low and Trevor Burton. Alas, neither William Chalker’s Time Machine nor It’s So Nice To Come Home troubled the UK charts. Despite that William Chalker’s Time Machine became a favourite of compilers and epitomises everything that is good about British psychedelia.

Herbal Mixture is another band that only released two singles during 1966. Their debut was A Loves That’s Died, with Machines following later in 1966. Hidden away on the B-Side was Please Leave My Mind, which had been written by Herbal Mixture’s guitarist and vocalist Tony McPhee. He plays an important part in this psychedelic hidden gem, that deserved that was too good to be relegated to a B-Side.

The Yarbirds’ Think About It closes Insane Times-21 British Psychedelic Artyfacts From The EMI Vaults. Think About it was penned by Jimmy Page and produced by Mickie Most, and featured on the B-Side of Goodnight Sweet Josephine which was released on Epic in 1968. This was one of the final singles The Yarbirds released. Later in 1968 year, Jimmy Page founded Led Zeppelin who went on to make musical history. However, Goodnight Sweet Josephine and the ruminative sounding Think About It are a reminder of the music Jimmy Page produced before Led Zeppelin.

These twelve tracks are just a few of the highlights of Insane Times-21 British Psychedelic Artyfacts From The EMI Vaults, which was released as a two LP set by Rhino Records for Record Store Day 2017. It’s also one of the best compilations that were released for Record Store Day. Especially for anyone that is interested in British psychedelia.

American bands weren’t the only ones creating groundbreaking psychedelia. British bands old and new had embraced psychedelia, and were pushing musical boundaries as they created lysergic music. Sadly, some of this music failed to find the audience it deserved. It was only much later that they were heard by a wider audience. Partly, this was because of compilations like Insane Times-21 British Psychedelic Artyfacts From The EMI Vaults, and the compilation that inspired it.

That is Insane Times-25 British Psychedelic Artyfacts From The EMI Vaults, which was released in 2007, and seems to have provided the inspiration for Insane Times-21 British Psychedelic Artyfacts From The EMI Vaults. Due to the time constraints of vinyl, four songs werre omitted, including Ipsissimus’ Hold On, Paul Jones’ The Dog Presides, Mike Proctor’s Mr. Commuter and Syd Barrett’s No Good Trying. However, there’s much more to discover and enjoy on Insane Times-21 British Psychedelic Artyfacts From The EMI Vaults.

There’s contributions from old friends, familiar faces and what will be new names to many newcomers to psychedelia. Insane Times-21 British Psychedelic Artyfacts From The EMI Vaults is the perfect introduction to the delights of British psychedelia.

For connoisseurs of psychedelic compilations, Insane Times-21 British Psychedelic Artyfacts From The EMI Vaults will be worthy addition to their collection and a a reminder of Britain’s psychedelic past.

Insane Times-21 British Psychedelic Artyfacts From The EMI Vaults.

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