The year is 1967 and psychedelia has entered the cultural vernacular. The previous year, The Beatles had signalled the musical change with Revolver; everyone took note and licked the acid tab. Let’s Go Down & Blow Our Minds: The British Psychedelic Sounds of 1967 profiles that heady period with 80 tracks spread over three CDs. Housed in a clamshell box with a 44-page booklet, it is a comprehensive snapshot and social document. The breadth of material is incredible.
There are a handful of big names including The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, Procol Harum and The Moody Blues represented with lesser known tracks from their canon; the parodying flip Give Him A Flower, an extended stereo mix of album track Kaleidoscope, flop 45 Life’s Not Life respectively. We also get a round up of the ‘greatest hits’ of Brit psych – The Purple Gang’s Granny Takes A Trip, John’s Children’s Desdemona, Rupert People’s Reflections Of Charles Brown, The Attack’s Magic In The Air, Dantalion’s Chariot’s The Madman Running Through The Fields – and some genuine lost gems, like the Bath-based five piece TJ Assembly’s Ginger, a lo-fi slice of delicious pop, taken from their 25 copies only self-released Travellin’ Round album.
Elsewhere The Move and Sands, previously Richmond R&B group The Others, bring a political dimension; the first named with scrapped B-side Vote For Me, a poke at the establishment, the last named with Listen To The Sky, a potent anti-war song, with a heart-palpitating coda featuring air raid sirens and a freaked out rendition of the Mars section of Holst’s Planets suite played on electric guitar. Another curio comes courtesy of The QPR Supporters. Rumoured to be July (but not so), they deliver a football song like no other with Supporters – Support Us, their ode to ‘Rod The Mod’ Rodney Marsh, which is pure cosmic fuzz.