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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Various Artists - Piccadilly Sunshine Part Two (1966-71 uk, pop psych and more flavours)

"British pop-psych" can be defined in so many different ways that one approaches judging the value of a compilation described as such with some trepidation. It's fair to say, however, that the 20 rarities here are not all that similar to what some listeners might think of as British pop-psych, whether they're thinking of giants like the Sgt. Pepper's-era Beatles, respected cult bands like Tomorrow, or even more pop-inclined exponents of the genre like the early Bee Gees. 

This is truly more pop at its core than psychedelic, and that might also be said of the early Bee Gees -- but, alas, the quality (and even the strangeness factor) is not on par with vintage Bee Gees. These items are more like late-'60s-era U.K. pop with some mild psychedelic dressing in the arrangements (often of the orchestral variety) and lyrics. Only this era could have generated a song titled "The Fantastic Story of the Steam-Driven Banana," to take the most egregious example represented on this anthology (on a 1968 single by Legay). 

That angle isn't necessarily a drawback, except that the material here is usually fairly mediocre, to be blunt, and below the standard even of the usual rarity CD comps on this theme, let alone the hits and cult classics of the genre. The lack of too-catchy tunes or overly clever lyrics can't compensate for the more imaginative and sometimes odd arrangements, but some of the more noteworthy tracks include Peppermint Circus' pleasing pop-soul-psych mixture on "Keeping My Head Above Water" (though this cut in particular seems not to have been transferred to CD at a consistent speed); the aforementioned "The Fantastic Story of the Steam-Driven Banana," which slightly recalls some of the wackier electric keyboard-driven pop-psychedelia of U.S. bands like the Mystery Trend; Alexander Bell's "Alexander Bell Believes," which is, even by this style's lofty standards, a quite fey and precious observational narrative based on a vintage historical character; and Bill Kenwright & the Runaways' fairly good cover of a little-known Motown song, "I Want to Go Back There Again" (originally done by Chris Clark). 

Collectors looking for obscure connections to stars might want to hear the Cat Stevens-penned, sardonic "Never Play a B Side" (a 1968 single for Sasha Caro); Perfect People's Manfred Mann-written 1969 single "A House in the Country"; and Bubblegum's 1968 45 "Little Red Bucket" (written by Harry Vanda and George Young of the Easybeats), though none of these songs is up to the caliber of the more renowned work of the composers. 
by Richie Unterberger

Artists - Tracks
1. K.G. Young - Spider - 2:52
2. Sasha Caro - Never Play A B Side - 2:48
3. Gentry - Sing Me A Sad Song - 2:44
4. Peppermint Circus - Keeping My Head Above Water - 2:38
5. Legay - The Fantastic Story Of The Stream-Driven Banana - 3:00
6. George Bean - The Candy Shop Is Closed - 2:32
7. Wishful Thinking - I Want You Girl - 2:39
8. Suspect - Belinda - 2:45
9. Perfect People - House In The Country - 1:58
10.Barbara Ruskin - Pawnbroker, Pawnbroker - 2:13
11.Chris McClure - Hazy People - 2:11
12.Bubblegum - Little Red Bucket - 3:11
13.Kool, The - Step Out Of Your Mind - 2:38
14.Alexander Bell - Alexander Bell Believes - 3:06
15.Roger Denison - She Wanders Through My Mind - 2:05
16.George Bean - Smile From Sequin - 2:23
17.Gervase - Pepper Grinder - 2:42
18.Bill Kenwright And The Runaways - I Want To Go Back There Again - 2:41
19.Mike Raynor And The Condors - Turn Your Head - 2:58
20.Zuider Zee - Provocative Child - 1:56

The Piccadilly Sunshine flavours 
1968-70  Piccadilly Sunshine Part 1

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  1. Thanks so much for the second volume!

  2. Many thankx for the two vols. fantastic.

  3. Thanks for the continuation of the saga Various Artists - Piccadilly Sunshine..... Part 2

  4. Wonderful, wonderful. This is one of the CD's, which I have bought for my own. I had searched after the track 'Spider' more than 30 years. Marios, you're wonderful. Any chance for Part 3 of Piccadilly Sunshine? Would be famous!

  5. Πολλά ευχαριστώ Μάριε για αυτή την καταπληκτική συλλογή!

  6. Marios, it seems that I'm the only one who is having trouble unraring the file. File downloaded in full (153.912.350) and password (xara) do not work. Any idea what might be the problem? Any chance of update?

  7. Contaminator,
    your file is incomplete,
    total is 216.412.160 bytes, just checked
    everything is working fine.
    Thank you.

  8. Hi Marios,

    Thank you for checking the link and for your swift reply.

    I did not specify that I was downloading .mp3 version from DepositFiles. So, I downloaded again from DF (same .rar filesize, (153.912.350) and unrared with "xara" password with no problem.

    I don't know what might have been the issue, but everything is okay with the file.

    * * *

    Once again, BIG THANKS for your efforts and generosity. I found your blog yesterday, and it definitely is a paradise. I'll be sticking around for a long, long time.

    Keep it up with your fantastic work. I really can't thank you enough for all of your work. Much appreciated.

  9. One more question: is it allowed to post some of your stuff on other share sites? If I was to do that, I'd surely do it with a note that the credit goes to you.

    If the answer is no, I'll understand and respect your decision, and will not share your posts elsewhere.

  10. Contaminator,
    yes, it's ok, music is for sharing.
    Peace, Love and Happiness.

  11. Duly noted, and thank you for taking the time to reply.

    May you live long and prosperous. You are doing a truly wonderful work here.

  12. Finished listening to Pts. 1 & 2, currently halfway through Pt. 3. These compilations are a m a z i n g. Kudos to compilation curator(s) for bringing this treasure to life.

    Another big thanks to you, Marios. Amazing work. Peace, Love and Happiness indeed.

  13. Thanks for reposting Piccadilly Sunshine Part 2.