Various Artists – The Psychedelic Years Vol.1

I really love the period of music that is known as the Psychedelic era. No other time period of music (in my opinion) was so experimental, or interesting on the ear. This was because artists were keen to push the boundaries. The most famous of these is arguably The Beatles. Just look at their output between the 1962 and 1967. Their first single of ‘Love Me’ had the classic two guitars, bass and drums line up. I know there is a harmonica in there as well but the lyrics are not exactly earth shattering. Move forward to ‘Sgt Pepper’ and we have songs about parking meter ladies, victoriana and whatever ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ is about? The instrumentation includes sitars, tambours, swarmandals, piano, organs as well as combs and tissue paper.  

Where The Beatles led, others would follow. What we got was songs with modulations, influences from what we would now call World Music (especially India at this time), surreal or whimsical lyrics and extended instrumental passages. The studio also became an instrument in itself, with artists employing panning across the stereo spectrum, tape effects, reverb as well as employing early synthesisers. 

So here is my first of a year long set of compilations looking at this era with some of the most well know bands of the era rubbing shoulders with a good deal of those who did not make much headway at the time, but their contributions have been recognised and compiled since. There is even a well known act going under a different name (Idle Hands is really Supertramp).

Disc 1

  1. So Much In Love – McGough & McGear
  2. 10,000 Words In A Cardboard Box – Aquarian Age
  3. Granny Takes A Trip – The Purple Gang
  4. Dream On My Mind – Rupert’s People
  5. Imposters Of Life’s Magazine – The Idle Race
  6. Light Of Your Mind – The David 
  7. Shine On Brightly  – Procol Harum
  8. Strange Walking Man – Mandrake Paddle Steamer
  9. Mind’s Eye – Ramases & Selket 
  10. Life Is Short – Billy Nicholls
  11. Hurdy Gurdy Man – Dondvan
  12. Monday morning – Tales of Justine
  13. Am I The Red One – Mick Softly With The Summer Suns
  14. Subway (Smokey Pokey World) – Tickle
  15. Dr. Crippen’s Waiting Room – Orange Machine
  16. Talkin’ About The Good Times – The Pretty Things
  17. Screams In The Ears – Bill Fay
  18. Model Village – Penny Peeps
  19. I’m A Man – the Spencer Davis Group
  20. Relax – The Who
  21. Pools Of Blue – Barclay James Harvest
  22. I Can Take You To the Sun – The Misunderstood
  23. Sky Pilot – Eric Burdon & The Animals
  24. Reputation – Shy Limbs

Disc 2

  1. Path Through A Forest (Sound Effects Version) – The Factory
  2. London Social Degree – Billy Nicholls
  3. Peru – Chimera
  4. Shirley – Cliff Wade
  5. Painter Man  – The Creation
  6. Michaelangelo – 23rd Turnoff
  7. The Old Man’s Back Again (Dedicated To The Neo-Stalinist Regime) – Scott Walker
  8. Run The Night – Wicked Lady
  9. I’d Like To Walk Around In Your Mind – Vashti Bunyan
  10. Time Of The Season (Mono Mix) – The Zombies
  11. Red Chalk Hill – John Pantry
  12. Drop Everything & Run – Thame Russal
  13. The Otherside – Apple
  14. Smokey Wood – Peter & The Wolves
  15. She’s A Rainbow – the Rolling Stones
  16. Forty Thousand Headmen – Traffic
  17. I Don’t Know Where I Stand – Fariport Convention
  18. Julia Dream – Pink Floyd
  19. The Days Of Pearly Spencer – David McWilliams
  20. Hole In His Hand – Jesse Harper
  21. Meditations – Felius Andromeda
  22. Remember – The Idle Hands (Supertramp)
  23. The Bird – Nimrod
  24. The Green Manalishi (With The Two Pronged Crown) – Fleetwood Mac  

The cover is a stock photo, which I believe was on Microsoft Windows but given some effects to make it look a bit more psychedelic. 

Disc 1 is made up of tracks from the ‘Mojo Presents Acid Drops, Spacedust and Flying Saucers’ compilation from 2001.

Belly – Broken

I find it hard to fathom that this month is the 30th Anniversary since the release of Belly’s first LP, ‘Star’. I remember watching the video to their song ‘Feed The Tree’ on some late late music show and then going down to my local Virgin Megastore (which was in Cardiff at the time) and picking myself up a copy. I absolutely loved this album and was excited when, a couple of years later, they released the follow up which was called “King’. That was it though. Two albums, a few single B-Sides and the odd song that had appeared on soundtrack albums. I was gutted that they did not make another album (at the time) and even though I followed the solo career of Tanya Donnelly, it just wasn’t the same. There was a ‘Best Of’ album (which was really more of a compilation of single mix, B-Sides and rarities) in 2002 and then in 2018, there was a new album. I was also able to see the band live, which was something I missed out on the first time around.

However, it was in their initial spell that I was most interested so I wondered if there was enough material from the B-Sides and rarities to make a third album. Well, there was and on the whole it is pretty good. I did consider including a couple of cover version, as I particularly liked their version of ‘Hot Burrito #1” and ‘Think About Your Troubles’. These would have made the record a bit on the long side.  

As it is, the album includes a raft of B-Sides, including ‘Broken’ which was initially only available on a vinyl single and one previously unreleased song, (Lilith) which would see the light of day on the ‘Sweet Ride’ compilation in 2002.

As for the title, I picked ‘Broken’ as it symbolises that the band had split up and also because Belly have only ever had one word album titles. 

Side A

  1. Spaceman – Seal My Fate
  2. Dancing Gold – Slow Dust EP
  3. Lilith (Previously Unreleased) – Sweet Ride (The Best of Belly)
  4. Broken – Seal My Fate (7” Version)
  5. John Dark – Now They’ll Sleep

Side B

  1. Baby’s Arm – Now They’ll Sleep
  2. Sexy S – Feed The Tree
  3. Dream On Me – Feed The Tree
  4. Diamond Rib Cage – Seal My Fate
  5. Sweet Ride – Gepetto
  6. Thief – Now They’ll Sleep

The cover is adapted from the 7″ sleeve of the ‘Feed The Tree’ single.

Various Artists – Blood Records 2022 (Part 2)

The second and final sampler looking at all of the LPs Blood Records released in 2022, and this one does not have any exclusive releases so I was able to produce a Spotify playlist for you. 

Side A

  1. Goodbye Bluefish – Low Island
  2. Closer – The Kooks
  3. Dig! – Sports Team
  4. You (Just Looked Right Through Me) – Stanleys
  5. Make It Easy – Phoebe Green
  6. Nothing To Lose – The Howlers
  7. Ghosts (How Can I Move On) – Muse

Side B

  1. Alygatyr – Kasabian
  2. Wild Horses II – First Aid Kit
  3. Innocence & Sadness – Dermont Kennedy
  4. Phantom – Rona Sawayama
  5. Call Me By Your Name – Leah Weller
  6. The Hard Way – Pale Waves

Side C

  1. Strawberry Lemonade – Editors
  2. Ready For Something – The Amazons
  3. The Good Times – Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbot
  4. Bubble Wrap – Easy Life
  5. About You – The 1975

Side D

  1. St. George Wharf Tower – Jamie T
  2. Gary Ashby – Dry Cleaning
  3. Step Mum – Lauren HIbberd
  4. Hideous – Oliver Sim (feat. Jimmy Summerville)
  5. Memories – Yungblud & Willow
  6. Heart Filled Up – Paolo Nutini
  7. You’re Here That’s The Thing – beabadoobee

Various Artists – Blood Records Sampler 2022 (Part 1)

Happy New Year everyone. If I thought that Blood Records went into overdrive in 2021, then 2022 was something else. Last year, the label put out 57 records which is just five les than their entire output before then. It also means that this years sampler is going to be split over two separate releases with the first being a triple album and the second being a double. As with previous years, I have included one song from each of these albums. 

Due to the amount of releases this year and the likelihood of next year being about the same, if not more, this will be the last set of Blood Records samplers I will be producing. I am beginning to run out of space in the record room. 

The sleeve is one of the Blood Records logos taken from their Facebook page. 

Side A

  1. Free To Be Lost – Calva Louise
  2. Roman Holiday – Fontaines D.C.
  3. They Sing At Night – Sundowners
  4. Under The Radar – Foals
  5. You Thought I Was Dead – Holy Youth Movement
  6. More Pressure – Kat Tempest (feat. Kevin Abstract)

Side B

  1. The Grass – Michael Head & The Res Elastic Band
  2. Every Window Is A Mirror – Joywave
  3. Mecca – Nick Mulvey
  4. Moscow Rules – Liam Gallagher
  5. Throw Myself Away – Girl
  6. Short Ballad – The Coral

Side C

  1. If We Get Caught – Bloc Party
  2. All the Time – Fatherson
  3. I Can’t Drive – Crawlers
  4. Hand Of God – Gang Of Youths
  5. New Ways – Bear’s Den

Side D

  1. Cold Sweats – The Royston Club
  2. Payday – Yard Act
  3. Glow – Fickle Friends
  4. Sick – Sea Girls
  5. Get Better – alt-J

Side E

  1. Gold Rush Kid – George Ezra
  2. Always Ascending – Franz Ferdinand
  3. Don’t Let It Get You Down – Miles Kane
  4. Sunset – The Feens
  5. Surfacing – Larry Pink The Human

Side F

  1. Bad Summer – Spector
  2. Come Over (Again) – Crawlers
  3. If You Ever Leave, I’m Coming With You – The Wombats
  4. Visions – Blossoms
  5. Memento Mori (Live) – Architects

This playlist could not be reproduced as Spotify did not have all of the songs on its platform.