Monday, September 22, 2014

One In A Million - Double Sight (1967 uk, awesome mod beat psych)

"One In A Million were a Scottish mod/blues band who turned psych sometime in 1967. They featured precocious guitarist Jimmy McCulloch (14 years old, looks nine in the photos) and released second single, the ambitious 'Fredereek Hernando', on MGM that December. Their famous rarity's B-side provides the title for Double Sight: The Complete Recordings (Wooden Hill), which gathers their January '67 single for CBS and a bunch of acetates, including the unreleased putative third 45, 'No Smokes'. Good punchy stuff with street-level edge. 'Double Sight' itself sounds like The Jam, 10 years earlier."

"Chocolate Soup For Diabetics was the greatest ever UK psych comp - splintering tunes, ultimate quality control, maximum danger - and only one band got both sides of their forgotten drugged genius 45 included on Volume One. One In A Million lived up to their name, in that they boasted the curious psych-out gimmick of a 14-year-old guitarist called Jimmy McCulloch, along with the extreme-fire attack of that 1967 MGM single, 'Double Sight'/'Fredereek Hernando'. If they could've kept it up, they'd have been bigger than The Who. They didn't. They imploded. "One real weird-out is a group called One In A Million", Julian Cope said of Chocolate Soup in 1983. "Both their featured songs are The Jam if they hadn't 'Souled-Out'. Gruff Weller voice, identical Foxton harmonies, how I wished they'd gone in this direction." There are plenty of other sparks among the other nine tracks - a crunchy mod strut in 'Goin' Places'; the Troggs-ish pounder 'Something On Your Mind', a snippet of Peel - but Little Jimmy and the lads must still be most proud of that one insurmountable 45." 
Record Collector

"In recent years the Tenth Planet/Wooden Hill label has been synonymous with noteworthy reissues of English psychedelic beat music, invariably tastefully and imaginatively presented, which would otherwise have remained the province of those sinister purveyors of shoddy illegal merchandise with whom cognoscenti are depressingly familiar. And fuck my old boots if they haven't gone and done it again. What a pleasure it is to hear this wonderful compilation of the official releases and demos of Glasgow's One In A Million, one of the most sacred Chocolate Soup combos. 

It kicks off in some style with their momentous MGM 1967 45 'Fredereek Hernando' b/w 'Double Sight', which retains all its poisonous psychotropic potency and then some. Does anyone still have the cheek to proclaim that this historic recording "sounds like a psychedelic Jam"? Lazy journalism just doesn't cover that. What a great single. As if that wasn't enough, you get the sublimely paranoiac 'No Smokes' (the planned "Summer of Love" 45 which some may have encountered on various releases of dubious origin), several fascinating demos such as 'Man in Yellow' and 'The Trial of Elmer Fudd' which, while owing their debt to The Who's halcyon 1966 period, have a unique charm and edge, both in the songwriting and playing, and both sides of their debut 'Use Your Imagination' b/w 'Hold On', which are more poppy but feature some agreeably crunchy fuzz-tone guitar in an Ian 'Tich' Amery style. 

This courtesy of the sadly departed Jimmy McCulloch, a mere babe in arms at the times of these recordings; see the liner photos and gawp. David Wells provides detailed, informative and entertaining sleevenotes, including reminiscences from lead singer Alan Young (whose soulful singing is yet another highlight of this release) adorned with the aforementioned photos of the wee lads in all their finery. Indeed, such is the overall quality of this release that I really can't be bothered to end this review with some witty remark, secure as I am in the knowledge that you've all stopped reading this review by now as you're off out to buy your own copy. Quite right too.
1. Double Sight (Alan Young, William Scenters) - 2:35
2. Fredereek Hernando (Alan Young, William Scenters) - 3:18
3. No Smokes - 2:32
4. Man In Yellow - 2:28
5. The Trial Of Elmer Fudd - 3:40
6. Goin' Places - 2:44
7. Something On Your Mind - 2:28
8. We Don't Want Nobody Around - 2:57
9. Lament In 'A' - 3:13
10.Hold On - 2:59
11.Use Your Imagination (A. Wayne) - 6:38
All songs by Alan Young except where stated

One In A Million
*William Scenters - Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals
*Jack McCulloch - Drums
*Jimmy McCulloch - Lead Guitar
*Alan Young - Lead Vocals, Guitar

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  1. Wow, the first two songs are awesome! I haven't heard the rest yet, but already a big thank you for this excellent share, Marios!

  2. Heard them only from Chocolate Soup comp. Thanks for sharing it