Celebrating Psychedelia: Six Relatively Unknown GEMS

by Roz Bruce 2 years ago in 60s music

Mind Expanding Nuggets!

Celebrating Psychedelia: Six Relatively Unknown GEMS

It's been 50 years since 1967: the year when Pink Floyd released The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, Jimi Hendrix released Are You Experienced? and The Doors brought out The Doors. However, there are a lot of relatively unknown psychedelic masterpieces, known by their fans as “nuggets,” which are totally worth a freak out to!

1) Psychotic Reaction – The Count Five

Opening with a storming, fuzz-tastic riff which will get you moving right away, this song will dive into your head and stay there. The elation that the music brings has an amusing contrast with the lyrics (“I feel depressed, I feel so bad...”), which just adds to the wonderful strangeness yet inexplicable familiarity of this song. Truly groovy.

Released in 1966, and considered in 2014 to be one of the “500 songs that shaped Rock and Roll” in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, this will be your new favourite tune for a while!

2) Spazz – The Elastic Band

COMPLETELY outrageous, this song would be considered extremely politically incorrect today, but they got away with it in 1968, and I think its political in-correctness adds an exciting guiltiness to this pleasure. To be honest, I don't even feel that guilty; it's BRILLIANT. It carries a feeling of freedom in its chaotic structure and bizarre lyrics about how “People gonna think you're a spaz!” but it is tightly put together and clearly well considered in its craziness! A gem that, however politically correct you are, you'll struggle not to love.

3) Magic Potion – The Open Mind

You know how some songs really make you feel fiiiiine?! Well, this one: “Take a drink from my magic potion, soon you're gonna really feel fiiine!” does just that!

Released in 1969, this heavy, echoey, hypnotic masterpiece is just that: a masterpiece.

Another feel-GOOD tune: “How do you feel? I feel fine!” It's catchy, you can't help but to sing along and is amazingly heavy in its guitar parts with fuzz and wah-driven lead and rhythm guitar parts.

You'll catch yourself singing it every time you feel good.

4) Rollercoaster – Thirteenth Floor Elevators

This tune, for me, SUMS UP psychedelic and LSD. Although Thirteenth Floor Elevators are more known for their hit, "You're Gonna Miss Me" and the lesser known "Reverberation," this song, lyrically, is more significant.

“After you trip, life opens up,You start doing what you want to do!And you find out that the world that you once fearedGets what it has from you!”

It's practically SELLING LSD, in 1966, in popular music, and getting away with it. But more than this, it is obviously authentic, non-pretentious and enthusiastic. They were LSD advocates and the music they made, as a result, was wonderful. More fuzzy guitar, more echoes, more interesting song structures AND this band even played the jug!

5) Green Mellow Hill – Angel Pavement

Probably the least known of the bunch, this is completely different to the others in that it's English and a lot more poppy. From 1969, the guitars in this song aren't particularly heavy, the singing is more melodic and the song feels more "silly," oh and the lyrics:

“Come with me,I know you want to seeThe purple alligatorSwimming in his cup of tea!”

Tell me you don't want to sing along with that? And dance around in circles, pretending to be an alligator swimming in his cup of tea? Tell me you don't want to now!

A catchy, memorable tune with an unusual sense of urgency to it which makes it all the more hilarious.

6) I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night) – The Electric Prunes

You might know this one. It carries a sense of pain and anguish which makes it less feel-good than the others, but still impossible to not enjoy. Wonderfully echo-ey, flange-tastic guitars and definitely 'trippy' in its huge contrasts between verses, bridges, and choruses, this song will MOVE you.

And the lyrics. The heartbreaking lyrics:

“I touched your golden hair and tasted your perfume,Your eyes were filled with love the way they used to be,Your gentle hand reached out to comfort me...Then came the dawn!And you were gone.You were gone, gone, gone.I had too much to dream last night...”

Hurts, doesn't it?

I hope you enjoy your tuneful trip, back in time!

60s music
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Roz Bruce

Musician / teacher / writer / thinker

See all posts by Roz Bruce