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Music gives soul to universe, wings to mind, flight to imagination, charm to sadness, and life to everything.


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Various Artists - Phantom Guitars: A Cool Collection of Twangin' Instrumentals (1961-64 uk, sharp spooky garage beat 'n' roll, Psychic Circle release)

One of England's first noteworthy rock group was the Shadows, and their polished instrumental style, with Hank Marvin's twanging Stratocaster leads way out in front, set a template that a great many U.K. bands would follow until the Beatles and the Rolling Stones upended everything in 1963. 

Nick Saloman of the Bevis Frond delivers another enjoyable look back at the history of U.K. pop with Phantom Guitars: A Cool Collection of Twangin' Instrumentals from the UK 1961-1964, which collects 25 rare selections from the days when Duane Eddy, Jorgen Ingmann, and Lonnie Mack were still forces to be reckoned with on the pop charts. If you're looking for startling originality, there's little to be had here, but if you dig ringing single-note leads with plenty of string bending and whammy-bar action, this disc is 56 minutes of aural manna from heaven. 

Dennis Newey's "Title Unknown" gets high marks for wit, familiar melodies get a workout on "Temptation" by Bobby Taylor and "Bizet as It Were" by the Players, "Circlorama" from the Champions salutes a little-remembered innovation in motion-picture technology, and the Violents and Group X both deserve to be cited for their remarkably cool names, even if their music didn't quite live up to the billing. As with the lion's share of releases from Saloman's Psychic Circle label, this set includes well-written liner notes that pass along what's known about the artists, and the mastering is good despite these rare recordings being sourced from vinyl discs. 

The instrumental rock scene was a vitally important part of the rise of homegrown British rock, and if this deals in obscurities rather than hits, Phantom Guitars documents how pervasive this sound once was, and how many great pickers were making the rounds in the early '60s. 
by Mark Deming

Artists - Tracks
1. The Falcons - Stampede - 2:23
2. The Krew Kats - Jack's Good - 2:28
3. The Phantoms - Phantom Guitar - 2:32
4. Bobby Taylor - Temptation - 2:20
5. The Hunters - The Storm - 2:10
6. Dennis Newey - Title Unknown - 2:29
7. The Executives - No Room For Squares - 2:21
8. The Nu-Notes- Fury - 1:58
9. The Cougars - Fly-By-Nite - 1:44
10.The Champions - Circlorama - 2:11
11.The Fentones - The Mexican - 2:30
12.The Gimmicks - Am I Worth It? - 2:42
13.Dunhill And Weiser - Red Leather Jacket - 2:19
14.The Packabeats - The Traitors - 2:34
15.The Planets - Jungle Street - 2:25
16.The Johnny Howard Group - Mind Reader - 2:13
17.Rhet Stoller - Big City - 1:58
18.The Players - Bizet As It May - 1:54
19.The Violents - Ghia - 2:03
20.Group X - Crossbeat - 2:24
21.The Barons - Cossack - 2:44
22.Bob Miller And The Millermen - Trouble Shooter - 2:00
23.The Vengers - Shakedown - 2:02
24.The Gladiators - Tovarich - 2:08
25.The Royal Showband (Waterford) - The One Nighters - 2:00

Psychic Circle compilations
1966-72  With The Sun In My Eyes
1968-72  White Lace And Strange
1968-72  The Room Of Loud Sounds
1964-69  Realistic Patterns Orchestrated Psychedelia
1965-69  Wednesday Morning Dew 
1965-70  The Electric Coffee House 
1965-70  The Golden Road The Electric Coffee House Vol.2
1969-74  Blow Your Cool: 20 Prog Psych Assaults
1969-74  Lovin’ Fire 20 Obscure Gems
1970-77  A Visit To The Spaceship Factory

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