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Monday, July 23, 2012

Magi - Win Or Lose (1975 us, high energy guitar rock, with Tom Stevens of Long Ryders fame)

This north Indiana outfit ruled the roost in the “Michiana” region in the mid-’70s, attracting huge crowds whenever they played live. Often compared with Led Zeppelin, this 5-piece outfit rocked the area with a tight and raw sound that combined in-your-face hard rock with undisguised psychedelic tendencies and lashings of fuzz. 

It must be said the boys didn’t do themselves any favours by issuing their only known album with a cover reminiscent of a Journey photo shoot, but regardless of their dubious hair and sense of dress, Magi certainly deserved more than the obscurity into which they ultimately lapsed. 

Win Or Lose, recorded at Uncle Dirty’s Sound Machine studios in Michigan in 1976, and which boasts a series of solid songs propelled by a tight rhythm section and some more-than respectable vocals, is always reviewed enthusiastically: “superb heavy rock fuzz spectacular with some psych feel” “ rare Led Zep-like masterpiece of killer rock ” “hard ro c k i n ’ with a psych edge that makes it totally unique” In another place or time this band could have been huge. 

As it is, we only have this one incredibly rare album to judge them by, but based on the evidence, Magi definitely receives an unqualified thumbs-up.  About a decade later Tom Stevens became one of the Paisley Underground's most active musicians, forming the Long Ryders and been a part of  Danny and Dusty's outfit.

1. Win or Lose - 5:13
2. Undecided Man - 5:11
3. I Didn't Ask You - 5:51
4. Steven Jam - 4:48
5. Fryin' Away - 6:56
6. Snow Bound - 4:56
7. Runnin' Low - 5:43
8. Everytime I'm with You - 4:42

*Tom Stevens - Bass, Vocals
*Steve Vanlaningham - Guitar
*Larry Stutzman - Guitar, Vocals
*Jerry Wiggins - Drums
*John Gaut - Vocals

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The Open Mind - The Open Mind (1969 uk, splendid psych freak beat, 2006 bonus tracks remaster)

The band was formed in the mid 1960s by four musicians from Putney, South London.Initially named The Drag Set, they released a little-known single in February 1967, "Day and Night"/"Get Out of My Way". Shortly thereafter, they changed their name to The Open Mind and in July 1969 released a self-titled LP which has since become a highly sought-after collectible.

The Open Mind produced one of the finest UK psychedelic albums, which is excellent throughout and hardly contains a bad track. The music is characterised by some particularly strong psychedelic guitar work and good vocals. It's impossible really to pull-out particular tracks as highlights - they're almost all equally good.

Fortunately this album was re-released and this has made this classic piece of 60’s Freakbeat much more accessible to collectors of 60’s psychedelia. The reissue includes their second rare 45 release, which unlike the first wasn't taken from the album and is superb. A blistering 45 with tasty psychedelic fuzz guitar work. The band, however, is best known for its druggy August 1969 single, "Magic Potion", which did not appear on the album.

1. Dear Louise - 3:11
2. Try Another Day - 2:41
3. I Feel the Same Way Too - 5:02
4. My Mind Cries (Mike Brancaccio, Terry Schindler) - 3:08
5. Can't You See? - 2:57
6. Thor the Thunder God (Mike Brancaccio, Terry Schindler) - 2:46
7. Horses and Chariots (Mike Brancaccio, Terry Schindler) - 3:35
8. Before My Time (Mike Brancaccio, Terry Schindler) - 4:06
9. Free as the Breeze - 5:37
10.Girl I'm So Alone (Mike Brancaccio, Terry Schindler) - 3:19
11.Soul and My Will - 2:56
12.Falling Again (Terry Schindler) - 3:08
13.Magic Potion - 3:24
14.Cast a Spell (Mike Brancaccio, Terry Schindler) - 2:12
15.Day and Night (Terry Schindler, Mike Brancaccio) - 2:15
16.Get out of My Way (Terry Schindler, Mike Brancaccio) - 2:19
All songs by Mike Brancaccio except where stated
Tracks from 13-16 are 45'  single releases

The Open Mind
*Mike Brancaccio - Guitar, Vocals
*Timothy De Feu - Bass
*Phil Fox - Drums
*Terry Martin Schindler - Guitar, Vocals
*Jon Anderson briefly sang in the band but left before the recordings to form Yes.

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