Listen to the Colour of Your Dreams: Part Five


Haight Street hippies, San Francisco, Oct. 26, 1967. From the Charles W. Cushman Photograph Collection.

Continuing the psychedelic mega-mix based on Jon Savage’s list of “100 mind-expanding masterpieces” (see this post). The fifth of the six mixes is the second visit to the USA, and features songs from the years 1967 to 1968 arranged in chronological order. As before, the selections from the Savage 100 are in bold, and I’ve added notes about my additions or amendments.

Savage’s selections for the USA can be more arguable than those in the UK list. As I noted earlier, UK singles are easily identifiable for being effects-heavy studio creations. The US scene evolved out of the dance halls of San Francisco, the same halls that also fuelled the demand for all the trend-setting psychedelic poster art. Some of the bands could be just as adventurous in the studio but the sound at this point is more a transcription of the live performance. In other songs the “psychedelic” quality is a result of context, as with Otis Redding who played at the Monterey Pop Festival, and is singing here about the San Francisco Bay, but isn’t really a psychedelic artist.

US Psychedelia, Part Two by Feuilleton on Mixcloud

Radio ad — The Trip
The Glass Family — House Of Glass (The first song on the group’s only album.)
Kaleidoscope (US) — Egyptian Candy (The multi-generic multi-instrumentalists recorded a number of Middle Eastern-style pieces. This is one of the more obscure ones.)
Park Avenue Playground — The Trip (The wildest trip song of them all.)
The Red Crayola — Hurricane Fighter Plane (One of the few actual songs in the psychedelic soup of the group’s first album. This version is from a compilation.)
Jefferson Airplane — White Rabbit
Tim Buckley — Hallucinations
The Chocolate Watchband — In The Past (The Savage 100 has Are You Gonna Be There (At The Love-In). This replacement is by the “fake” Watchband assembled by producer Ed Cobb to fill out a side of the group’s second album. Real or fake, I always liked the song.)
Big Brother and the Holding Company — Piece Of My Heart (The Savage 100 has Ball And Chain.)
The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band — Smell of Incense (A great song by a group who never sound as experimental as their name implies.)
The Third Bardo — Five Years Ahead Of My Time
Painted Faces — Anxious Colour
The Beau Brummels — Magic Hollow
Buffalo Springfield — Broken Arrow
The Strawberry Alarm Clock — Incense And Peppermints
Love — The Red Telephone
The Byrds — Change Is Now
Otis Redding — (Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay
The Balloon Farm — A Question Of Temperature
Sly & The Family Stone — Dance To The Music
Quicksilver Messenger Service — Pride Of Man
The Monkees — Porpoise Song (The Monkees at their most tripped-out. A song by Goffin & King that plays over shots of Micky Dolenz swimming with solarised mermaids during the opening of their feature film, Head.)

Previously on { feuilleton }
Listen to the Colour of Your Dreams: Part Four
Listen to the Colour of Your Dreams: Part Three
Listen to the Colour of Your Dreams: Part Two
Listen to the Colour of Your Dreams: Part One
What Is A Happening?
My White Bicycle
Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake
Tomorrow Never Knows
The Dukes declare it’s 25 O’Clock!
A splendid time is guaranteed for all

6 thoughts on “Listen to the Colour of Your Dreams: Part Five”

  1. I guess White Rabbit does qualify for a multitude of reason, and it’s just thh fact that it’s so overplayed that makes me recoil when it shows up – and US psych did often tend to be bluesy rock with some freaky noises, but Piece of My Heart?

    If that’s psychedelia, I obviously hate psychedelia, because there are few songs in this world that push all my revulsion buttons at once as much as that thing does (my wife went “You’re going to want to skip that!” as soon as it started).

    Maybe I’ll have more luck with the Brit mixes.

    (that said, I stumbled onto this blog in my bookmarks, having no idea when or why I bookmarked it, but it covers a lot of my obsessions and interests in very intriguing and enlightening ways – I’d be here all day if I didn’t have urgent work)

  2. …and BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD? Hack, cough…

    And while I don’t mind Otis Redding at all, I don’t quite get what SotDotB is doing on a list of psych songs.

  3. Wow I feel silly that I didn’t realize Alien Sex Fiend’s Hurricane Fighter Plane was a cover. Especially since the original seems like it is a classic. Thanks for the compilation, really amazing stuff on here.

  4. There’s a pretty nifty version of ‘In the Past’ on Youtube by Delphine, a belgian Ye Ye girl : It’s illustrated with a clip from ‘Daisies’ a piece of Czech psychedelic iconoclasm which I, to my shame, only got to see all the way through for the first time this weekend. Apart from this clip’s obious influnce on ‘Wonderwall’, there’s a psychedelicized sequence on a train which suggests that Kubrick may have had paid attention to this along with Ikirie XB-1 whilst making 2001

  5. Teaflax: You should read the Savage’s list for the rationale behind his choices:

    I made the compilations originally to see how all the songs would sound together, and also to discover what the less familiar material sounded like. I did note on this post that Savage’s selections for the US are often debatable, he also includes a long Bob Dylan song which for me was a step too far. I have the Big Brother & the Holding Company album but I’ve never liked the group or Janis Joplin’s voice very much but in this instance I was deferring to the original list. Big Brother were also enough a part of the San Francisco scene to appear as themselves in the opening scene of Richard Lester’s Petulia in 1968.

    As for White Rabbit, whatever you think of it personally it’s indelibly connected to the time. It was a top 10 hit, and its lyrical concerns–the Lewis Carroll books and drugs in general–had attained a peak of popularity as a subject for pop music at this point (I’ve written a little about the Alice influence on the psych scene before now). Given all that it’s presence is unavoidable.

    Paul: Also covered by The Cramps when playing live.

    Modzilla: Thanks for that, I’ve seen Daisies (keep intending to buy the DVD) but I didn’t know there was another version of the song. Makes sense, it’s a catchy number that I always thought would be good for a reworking. Searching around it seems that the original was by US garage band We The People in 1966. Delphine’s version was the same year.

  6. I’m not the biggest fan of Big Brother etc, but once you get past the polite intro this is suprisingly like Syd’s Floyd considering they probably hadn’t heard them at that point and possibly vice versa: h
    However, for me, this will always be the best version: (It really is worth digging out headphones for this)

Comments are closed.

Discover more from { feuilleton }

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading