Thursday, December 5, 2013

Various Artists - Fairytales Can Come True (1966-72 europe, harmony pop with psychedelic feel, four discs set)



How many forgotten and “uncomped” European pop-psych gems from the late ‘60s can there still be? Judging by this excellent compilation from Nick Soloman’s (the one-man neo-psych band known as the Bevis Frond) imprint label Psychic Circle, the answer is: a lot. 

Following close on the heels of last year’s critically lauded Volume One in the “Fairytales” series, Fairy Cakes For Tea: Fairytales Can Come True delivers another 20 addictive morsels (mostly British) of melodic, and at times seriously danceable, “popsike” confectionary for your delectation without opening the door too wide to the wondrous world of whimsical “toytown” psychedelia. - (Which, let’s face it, is a acquired taste.) - But if you do take up the Youth’s invitation on the mellow “Meadow of My Mind” to “Come wading with me / In the babbling brook of my mind”, taken from the unknown crackle-and-hiss acetate version of a Deram-released obscurity, you won’ regret it. 

Further listening will unwrap candy-coated nuggets ranging from the Starlites’ poptastic “Good Morning Mr. Milkman” to the Hammond organ swinger “Look Out Girl”, a P.F. Sloan cover done by one Lloyd Banks or the almost Elizabethan madrigal of Scott Henderson’s “Saturday Night People” and a scintillating, beefed-up version of the much-covered classic “Spooky” by unknowns Sasperella. The real icing on this particular fairy cake, however, is provided by folk-rock duo Peter and Gordon wigging out on the groovy “I Feel Like Going Out”. The rest of the album pleasantly floats, skips and meanders through a cotton-candy universe without a dud tune. A rare treat indeed.
by Alan Brown

The idea of this compilation is to present obscure British recordings from the late '60s that had a definite psychedelic feel, but also had a lot of harmony pop influence at work as well. Often this led to a particularly precious branch of psychedelia dubbed (long after the fact) by some collectors as "toytown" music, in part because of a preoccupation with British character sketches, childhood nostalgia, and fantasy that was largely absent from American psychedelic rock.

There's some of that here, but fortunately this largely steers clear of excessively precious and twee material, though some of it does have the good-time bounce that leaked down to so many bands from the circa-1967 Beatles and Kinks. None of these were hits or anything close to it, of course, but some general '60s collectors might actually recognize some of the musicians, particularly the Searchers (represented by a fairly respectable, and seldom anthologized, late-'60s 45, "Umbrella Man");

Jackie Lomax, as leader of the Lomax Alliance; Los Bravos, of "Black Is Black" fame (here heard covering the Easybeats' song "Bring a Little Lovin'"); Ian Matthews, heard on the Pyramid's breezy "Summer of Last Year," recorded shortly before he joined Fairport Convention; and Hedgehoppers Anonymous and the Roulettes, both of whom had a little U.K. success on record in the '60s. 

What's most impressive about this compilation, however, is that there's a fair amount of variety in the selections, encompassing an obscure Troggs cover (Barry Benson's "Cousin Jane"), almost raw folk-rock (Hedgehoppers Anonymous' "Daytime"), sub-Walker Brothers balladeering (the Virgil Brothers' "Look Away"), and nearly baroque moodiness with influence from both classical music and Beach Boys harmonies (Fred Lloyd's "Kissed Him," Dreams' "A Boy Needs a Girl," and Dave Christie's "Penelope Breedlove"). If you want more singsongy sugary stuff, that's here, too, but not so much so that listening to the CD gets to be an overly sickly sweet experience. It's definitely an anthology for deep U.K. psych specialists, but likely one of the better ones in this subgenre to ever be compiled.
by Richie Unterberger
Tracks
Disc 1
Tracks - Artists
1. Summer Of Last Year - The Pyramid - 3:07 
2. Bring A Little Lovin' - Los Bravos - 2:25 
3. Kissed Him - Fred Lloyd - 2:04 
4. See The People - The Lomax Alliance - 2:14
5. Cousin Jane - Barry Benson - 2:35  
6. A Boy Needs A Girl - Dreams - 2:28  
7. Mary Ann She - Grisby Dyke - 2:56  
8. Fairy Tales Can Come True - San Francisco Earthquake - 2:29  
9. Trees - Gallagher & Lyle - 2:28 
10.Umbrella Man - The Searchers - 2:57 
11.Penelope Breedlove - Dave Christie - 2:37 
12.Nine To Five - Promise - 2:10  
13.Keeping My Head Above Water - Peppermint Circus - 2:36 
14.Look Away - The Virgil Brothers - 2:39 
15.Upside Down Inside Out - The Snappers - 2:51  
16.Pumpkin Mini - Katch 22 - 2:32  
17.Just Another Wedding Day - Brian Connell And The Roundsound - 2:46 
18.Saturday Town - Darlings - 1:55  
19.Daytime - Hedgehoppers Anonymous - 2:28 
20.Help Me To Help Myself - The Roulettes - 2:40
Disc 2 Fairy Cakes For Tea
Tracks - Artists
1. Honey Do - Crackers -  2:33
2. Mr. Smith - The Foresters -  3:00
3. Meadow of My Love - The Youth -  2:35 
4. Good Morning Mr. Milkman - The Starlites -  2:18 
5. Look Out Girl - Lloyd Banks -  3:02 
6. Never an Everyday Thing - Roek`s Family -  2:45  
7. Saturday Night People - Scott Henderson -  2:07  
8. I'm on My Way - Dave Andrews And The Sugar -  2:02  
9. Spooky - Sasperella -  3:24  
10.Driftwood - The Factotums -  2:45   
11.Listen to My Heart - The Bats -  3:06 
12.Unbrella - 14 -  2:12 
13.Fantastic Fair - The Guards -  2:50 
14.Holly Golightly - Fluff -  2:22 
15.Values - Peter -  2:06  
16.Fairy Cakes for Tea - Mike Quinn And The Breadcrumbs -  2:04  
17.I Feel Like Going Out - Peter & Gordon -  2:38
18.I Thought You Thought - Chuckles -  2:28
19.People People - Oliver Norman -  2:42 
20.Gotta Find You - Rescue Co. No 1 -  3:07
Disc 3 Let`s Ride
Artists - Tracks
1. Sight And Sound - Little Jackie Monday - 2:17
2. Winston G - Riding With The Milkman - 2:12
3. Hurbert Thomas Valverde And The HT`s - We Don`t Care - 2:31
4. Royalty - Let`s Ride - 2:51
5. Les Irresistibles - My Year Is A Day - 3:01
6. Stoics - Earth, Fire, Air And Water - 2:28
7. Grand Union - Slowly But Surely - 3:06
8. Barry Benson - I Can Wait - 2:21
9. Graham Bonney - Mixed Up Baby Girl - 1:44
10.Katch 22 - Don`t Bother - 1:59
11.My Kind Of People - Nobody Knows Why The Butterfly Died - 2:42
12.Mike Batt - Mary Goes Round - 2:15
13.The Chanters - Mississippi Paddleboat - 3:32
14.Des James - City Street - 2:24
15.Unit 4+2 - Booby Trap - 2:43
16.Tony Hazzard - The Sound Of The Candyman`s Trumpet - 2:38
17.The Newmens - What Ya Doin Down There - 3:01
18.Dave Christie - Love And The Brass Band - 2:36
19.White Lining - Back In the Sun - 3:22
20.Equipe 84 - 29th September - 2:26
Disc 4 We All Love the Human Race 
Tracks - Artists
1. The Blue Sound of Love - Alan Dell - 5:00
2. Changes in Our Time - Colin Giffin - 3:18
3. The Maze of Yesterday - Projection - 2:27
4. Lonely Man - Justin's Timepiece - 2:28
5. Hiding Behind My Smile - Iberos - 2:46
6. Little Maid's Song - Sasha Caro - 2:54
7. Makin' Love to Him - Tim Andrews, Paul Korda - 2:10
8. Letter to Josephine - Haystack - 2:49
9. Heart Trouble - Eyes Of Blue - 2:33
10.I Feel No Pain - Newby - 2:34
11.Movie Star - Cherry Smash - 3:14
12.We've Got a Groovy Thing Going - Ola And The Janglers - 2:15
13.Latisha - Dave Berry - 2:31
14.Maker of Mistakes - Chris Andrews - 2:37
15.Wish You Were Here - Darlings - 3:03
16.Six Angels & Three Girls - Modus Vivendi - 2:34
17.We All Love the Human Race - Wayne Fontana - 2:02
18.She Does - Plastic Penny - 3:05
19.I Don't Want You (Any More) - John Burness - 2:06
20.Morning - Jack Carter - 2:17

Psychic Circle compilations
1961-64  Phantom Guitars: A Cool Collection of Twangin' Instrumentals
1966-72  With The Sun In My Eyes
1968-72  White Lace And Strange
1968-72  The Room Of Loud Sounds
1964-69  Realistic Patterns Orchestrated Psychedelia
1965-69  Wednesday Morning Dew 
1965-70  The Electric Coffee House 
1965-70  The Golden Road The Electric Coffee House Vol.2
1966-72  We Can Fly
1969-73  Cosmarama
1969-74  Blow Your Cool: 20 Prog Psych Assaults
1969-74  Lovin’ Fire 20 Obscure Gems
1970-77  A Visit To The Spaceship Factory

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3 comments:

  1. Marios the last 4 posts on Plain And Fancy are great. I have the german albums but with this compilation you made my day. Thanks a lot from Bozen - Sudtirol (Italy) - Ugo

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