I see this volume as the third in a trilogy that started with You Take Me For Rides and Walrus being the second.
And this set is a grower. I've been listening to it a lot, and all the songs benefits from repeated listening.
As I have stated many times before: just like psychedelia, moody garage needs a good setting. You need to let it breath. You need to invite it into your home, and you need that home to ready for all the moody gloom and doomy despair.. You can't just yank it out, slap it on and go about your day. Think of it as an occasion.
Because this set is super-depressing. If you are into that kinda stuff you will be happy. Happy-sad.
So get some napkins, pour yourself a big glass of your poison of choice, close the door, shut the blinds, curl up in a fetal position and hit that play button. And get ready to cry..
MICHEL & THE FRENCH CANADIANS - CAUSE I BELIEVE
"ever since I was a boy I've given my life to you.."
"..vvvats why I say..." yeah Michael, vvvat is that you were sayin? Super-tight 50s-ish rocker. Totally irresistible.
I think this was the only 45 this canadian band put out. On the flip you can find "Comfort Him"
I don't know where in Canada they resided, when this was released or the actual number.
Below represent the meager information I gathered. Sorry bout that.
(Canada) '65? Danco 302?
CONTEMPORARIES - FOOL FOR TEMPTATION
"I remember everything you said, everything you used to do.."
Oh GAAAWD this is heavy.. The Contemporaries suck us down into a maelstrom of guitars, organs and cymbals. The flip is a so-so instrumental.
(Wilmington, DE) Nov '66 Richie 672
TEMPOS - TWO TIMER
"breaking hearts is the only thing you know how to do.."
First time I heard this, I fell off my chair! It is that good. The sound is huuuuuge. I bet this is one of those one-mic-in-the-middle-of-the-room recordings.
(Sylacauga, AL) '66 Justice LP
JUST TOO MUCH - COME BACK
"and then I find that she's not coming back, now my whole world is painted black.."
The flip to the insane She Gives Me Time! Fan-duckin-tastic downer grinder. I has a little Heart Full Of Soul about it. So fucken cool. I heard this for the first time ever just a month ago! It was for a long time a very hard 45 to track down - I think the flip She Gives Me Time that appears on Back From The Grave was mastered from an old mixtape. I don't know how many there is in existence but the last I heard was 1 confirmed beat-up copy and maybe two more. Actually I think the rip on this is not from the beat-up cooy so there should be at least two copies.. But don't ever take my word for anything, ever. K? K..
(Los Angeles, CA) Jul '66 M-Gee 002
WILD THINGS - LOVE COMES, LOVE GOES
"they said love was a lie.."
Here come the tears. The flip to this 45 is moody too, but this one is the winner. Or, loser.
(New Castle, IN) Jul '66 Showboat 1516
SHADES OF DARKNESS - SHE AIN'T WORTH ALL THAT
"you think I'm gonna cry over you, you think I'm gonna die over you, you think I'm gonna mess my mind over you.."
Ooooh, yes baby! I hear one guitarist diggin hard on McGuinn's solo in So You Wanna Be A.. and goes flying on unchartered territory.
Great girl put-down.
(Dunkirk, NY) Oct '67 Shades 71031
MIDNIGHT SHIFT - NEVER GONNA STOP LOVIN' YOU
"I'm gonna try to find somehow, try to make you love me now, cause I'm never gonna stop lovin' you.."
Believe it or not, but these guys could very well have bumped into The Psychedelic Stooges since both resided in Ann Arbor, Michigan and performed in 1967.
And even if there's no vacuum cleaner on this 45 (The Ig used to play one in '67), it is still a stark performance. It feels very Michigan-y. Great chorus. The flip She's Gone Far Away is great too.
(Ann Arbor, MI) '67 M-S-I 126220
PALACE GUARDS - BETTER THINGS TO DO
"why should I trouble myself for a girl who never be mine.."
This was not the only cool song released 45 by the Palace Guards. The flip is equally cool and I suspect you've already heard No Comin' Back.
All in all they released 4 singles from 66 to 69.
I haven't been listening much to Beau Brummels, but it feels like they might be an influence here.
(Metarie, LA) Jun '66 U-Doe 104
COUNTS - NOW YOU'RE GONE
"give me one reason.."
Super-heartfelt and very cool song. Flip is Old Man River which I strongly suspect sucks very hard.
Still wanna hear it tho..
(???) Oct '65 Teen 900
BEDLAM'S OFFSPRING - THE THRILL IS GONE
"the thrill is gone and I can't go on.."
Awesome kiddie-garage featuring the most precocious lyrics I've ever heard. I wouldn't be surprised if it was his dad who wrote the lyrics, probably with the kids mom in mind without the kid knowing it. Fantastically ironic if that was the case. One can only hope.
(New Rochelle, NY) '66 Bruno-Dean Rec. Studio
SHADOWS - SHE'S LIKE THAT
"every young man in town has had his poor heart broken.."
Aaah, dig that falsetto on the chorus! So cool! Nice jazzy guitar too.
(Hazelwood, NC) Apr '66 Gold Standard 189
REDWOODS - TELL ME
"do you want my love?"
Redwoods are ready to do anything to keep their love by their side. Azum jingly-jangly moody teen beat.
They shared label with a bunch of other cool acts, but I don't know jack-shit about Phalanx Records. You google.
(???) Dec '66 Phalanx 1030
TRUTHS - WHY
Not too shabby flip on this, but Why is whadditz all about. I feel a Byrds-y influence, especially in the bass-department and the guit-solo. But I don't know.
I have to say that it feels a little, just a tiny bit, ahead of its time - this is 1965 and they still sound soo soo bitter and cynical.
(Riverside, CA) Aug '65 Circle 953
TIDAL WAVES - SHE LEFT ME ALL ALONE
"what can I do?"
Tidal Waves released 3 45s on HBR, two in 66 and one in 67. This is their best.
(Detroit, MI) Jul '65
ESQUIRES - LONELINESS IS MINE
"I wish that I had a love of my own, a love that will never ever die - loneliness is mine.."
Ok, this time I can't say that this is better than the flipside because the flip is this. But I can tell you that this 45 has total playability. Both sides are totally awesome, even if the flip is godhead.
Esquires put out 4 45s on Glenvalley from 65 to 66.
(Irving, TX) Sep ' 65 Glenvalley 103 SHADOWS FOUR - YOU'LL BE THE BLAME
Let's wrap this up with the ultimate downer track. We're not talking the usual depresso here, no we're talkin "one of these day you'll be the blame I took a nose-dive into this gas-oven" kinda track. Some heavy shit here goin on. The whole song reads like a suicide letter and the swamped honking saxophone doesn't help.
Subtitled The Ultimate Journey Through Late 60s Psychedelia
This is the precursor to The Psychedelic Experience-series that spanned over four volumes.
Seemingly compiled by a bunch of freaky Stockholmanians, Patrick the Llama being one. I think Stefan Kery could have had a finger in it too. I don't really know.
Could be a world-wide effort.
I get a little bit frustrated with this, I have to tell you.
This could have been in the Psychedelic Disaster Whirl category. And Psychedelic Disaster Whirl is one of the greatest comps in the world! (Psychedelic Experience even repeat What Good Is Up which is strange. They should have had access to other, uncomped, 45s..)
Instead they choose to take that odder way, the bizarre path of Relics or Echoes In Times or Endless Journey even, by mixing exquisite acid punkers with yawn-ish psychedelic album cuts.
I had much more preferred a thematic, chronological approach as that of the first 3 volumes of Highs In The Mid Sixties.
If they had put all acid-punkers from all four albums on one set - that had burned a hole in your speakers and your mind.
But! This is an excellent album and has this very special atmosphere about it and I love it - even if it has a way too many repeats on it och and even if there's some party-poopin' snore-chedelic cuts on it.
I thanks the repeats - I wouldn't have heard them if it wasn't for this! And the party-poopin' snore-chedelic cuts create that certain anything-can-happen feel. Then again, you have to have an open mind to take it all in.
The original album has some uncredited trippy tidbits but not on my version - I didn't even want to try to start to replicate that.
You can buy it now for the ridiculous price of 75 bucks over here.
Says the Llama: "From Lysergia's music department comes this conceptual garage psych comp in a mindblowing dayglow sleeve and a ltd ed of 300. Since reviewing this may seem like tooting our own whistle, let's just say the response to it has been truly great and all copies went quicker than a paycheck. Incidentally, the title is to be taken in a literal, chemical sense."
Highs In The Mid Sixties Vol. 19: Michigan Part Three
This would be the last of the Michigan Highs. It starts out strong with the racing high-energy frat-tastic Look Away but then we have to ride through the Dylan-esque snooze-fest This Mornin', the awkward Tears Tears (the flip is 10000000 times better) and the obligatory turd - Be Careful With Your Carful.
After that we have a real smooth ride, and even if I'm not that crazy about Times Passed I know a lot of others who are.
I had to use vinyl rips from the original HITMS on two tracks; This Mornin' and Be Careful With Your Carful.
"Better sound, weaker selection. Still, this could pass as a sort of guide to the mid-60's Michigan scene since many of the big local acts and labels are represented. But the music isn't very good."
The Llama speaks the truth. It's not even bad, it is just boring.
Not all, of course. We have 4-5 great tracks who are really great - Yorkshires is a steady rocker, Blokes is the "killer" on this set and Jimmy Gilbert's Believe What I Say is swingin' teen beat supreme.
But we have these obligatory fratty covers (why.. just why..? what is it with these fratty covers?) and then we have a real stinker - the folk-rock turd If You Treat Me Bad Again with the Masters Of Stonehouse. And we have some other questionable material here and there.
Michigan was a way cooler scene than what we hear on this sorry comp.
By the way, I couldn't find better sounding versions of Bed Of Roses and the Chocolate Pickles so what you hear is what the actual vinyl comp sounds like. Nice, huh..?
I don't know what's up with Hey You (by the Chocolate Pickles) but it seems as if the 45 itself is supposed to have that bizarre mix. Obnoxious.
"Michigan had a strong scene, with some fine bands such as the Unrelated Segments, Terry Knight & the Pack, the Fugitives, and of course, ? & the Mysterians. Past Michigan comps have tended to focus on the later groups: MC5, Amboy Dukes, SRC etc.these two volumes are commendable for showcasing, for the most part, an earlier, and more exciting scene. Unfortunately though, these two albums suffer from the same problems as the AIP Chicago collection; some mediocre selections, repeats from other comps, and fluctuating sound quality.
Volume One is definitely the best of the two, with some really fab cuts from the likes of the Underdogs, the Rationals, and the Run-Arounds. Included too are some of the best Fenton label 45s, like the Quests' "Shadows In The Night," the Mussies' "12 O'Clock July," and the brain-stunning "I'll Come Again" by the Legends. With only a few weak tracks, this one's definitely worth getting.
Volume Two is less appealing, despite good tracks by the Yorkshires, the Underdogs (again), Jimmy Gilbert, the Pleasure Seekers, and a great, raw, live rendition of "Wine, Wine, Wine" by Renegades V. Most of the album is merely "O.K.," and with so many good comps coming out, that just ain't gonna cut it. Oh well."
- Mike Stax (Originally published in Ugly Things #3, 1984)