Various Artists' Side Effects

The prog label and friends take a sidelong look at some classic epics.

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The accountants at any sensible record label would recoil in horror at Fruits De Mer’s latest: eight of their favourite acts each covers a single track on either side of four LPs, all in one lovingly boxed set. Thankfully, Fruits De Mer have more passion than sense.

That’s why the world has been graced here, among other delights, by Finland’s Superfjord turning The Byrds’ CTA-102 into a bleeptastic, Hawkwind- style Space Rock apocalypse, and FdM stalwarts The Luck Of Eden Hall taking a scruffier, trippier look at Yes’ Starship Trooper. Psychedelic evergreens The Bevis Frond further wig-out their 2010 version of Electric Sandwich’s China, and The Soft Bombs’ take on Pink Floyd’s Echoes lends a harder edge to the original stoned groove. Just as enjoyable are the less obviously prog-inspired affairs: Wreaths’ shoegazy, somnambulant vision of Gordon Lightfoot’s folk classic Sundown, Julie’s Haircut’s beefed-up take on Miles Davis’_ Shhh_… Peaceful and, best of all, Sendelica’s lysergic overhaul of Donna Summer’s I Feel Love, the pseudo- orgasmic vocal melody replaced by woozy clarinet. None of this will trouble the charts, but it’ll thrill heads with £40 spare for the whole barking shebang.

Johnny is a regular contributor to Prog and Classic Rock magazines, both online and in print. Johnny is a highly experienced and versatile music writer whose tastes range from prog and hard rock to R’n’B, funk, folk and blues. He has written about music professionally for 30 years, surviving the Britpop wars at the NME in the 90s (under the hard-to-shake teenage nickname Johnny Cigarettes) before branching out to newspapers such as The Guardian and The Independent and magazines such as Uncut, Record Collector and, of course, Prog and Classic Rock