Friday 6 January 2023

Psychedelic Sixties

Side 2 of a cassette compilation, released on the Select label in Australia in 1988. Purchased in Perth, Western Australia for a few dollars circa 1990/91.

This is the blurb from the back cover of the cassette cover:
It all came together around 1967 - the Gathering of the Tribes and the realisation that rock music was actually rock culture. Musicians, the Young Gods of the Age of Aquarius, identified themselves with the romantic figures of the past - poets, painters, writers, philosophers and mystics. They (and we) truly believed the world could be changed for the better with noble ideologies and free-flowing music. And from this overwhelming optimism emerged a strain of rock unlike any heard before or since; songs employing a new range of terminologies - psychedelia, transcendental meditation, inner consciousness, mind expansion. It was a time that, most certainly, will never come again.
Admittedly, I wasn't around for the first era of psychedelic music but even in 1988 most of the above statements were a bit hokey. I can only assume the writer was living in isolation and the sounds of Spacemen 3 and Primal Scream, to give just two examples, had not reached their ears. I'm also guessing that there was a record label edict that the sleevenotes should in no way explicitly mention drugs.
As I wrote when I posted Side 1 in December 2021, the track listing had some (to me) odd choices and the connection to psychedelic music seems even more tenuous on this side. 
Yellow Balloon by Jan & Dean was the only single released from the album Save For A Rainy Day. Whilst credited to the duo, it was in fact solely Dean Torrence's creation as partner Jan Berry was recovering from severe head injuries incurred from a car crash in April 1966. Things didn't go well for Torrence: Columbia refused to release the album and he was forced to release it on his own label in the US. The single made little impact in the UK or US. Ironically, Yellow Balloon was a greater success in the US when co-writer Gary Zekley recorded new vocals over the original backing track and released it under the band name The Yellow Balloon, scoring a Top 30 hit. A shame as it's a good song. Sunshine pop? Yes. Psychedelic pop? I'm not so sure.

It's a fun compilation though and formed part of my soundtrack to my time travelling around Australia. Nice to rekindle those happy memories during such a dull, dark and wet month in England!

1) Barabajagal: Donovan ft. The Jeff Beck Group, Lesley & Madeleine (1969)
2) Run, Run, Run: The Third Rail (1967)
3) Changes: The Zombies (1968)
4) Yellow Balloon: Jan & Dean (1967)
5) Family Way: Chad Stuart & Jeremy Clyde
6) Kozmic Blues: Janis Joplin (1969)
7) Renaissance Fair: The Byrds (1967)
8) 1984: Spirit (1969)

Side Two (23:31) (Box) (Mega)
Side One here


  1. There is some good stuff there but I agree, not much I personally would describe as psychedelic. But that's the Australians for you, never hidebound by convention.

    Somewhere on the shelves I have a compilation of Australian 60s psychedelic pop. I will try to find it and share a couple of tracks.

    And remember: love is hot, truth is molten.

    1. Thanks, Ernie. All I really say in response to your closing line is goo-goo, goo-goo. I obviously haven't had enough sleep!