turned on, tuning in
When the titans of Brit R&B got their freak on
THE WHO The Who Sell Out TRACK, 1967
More popart playfulness than psychedelic japery, The Who’s third long-player saluted the pirate radio stations, its imaginary ‘Radio London’ interleaving fake adverts with killer pop songs, not least eradefining hit “I Can See For Miles”. Bits of closing miniopera “Rael” were recycled for 1969’s Tommy.
THE ROLLING STONES Their Satanic Majesties Request DECCA, 1967
Much mocked as a hokey Sgt Pepper, the Stones’ ‘will this do?’ cosmic voyage is massively out of character. However, if their idea of a Soft Machine-style freakout is pretty tame, brilliant songs lurk in the patchouli fog: the moody “Citadel”, “The Lantern” and “2,000 Light Years From Home”.
THE SMALL FACES Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake IMMEDIATE, 1968
Like the Pretty Things, the Small Faces spent 1967 escaping an onerous record contract (with Decca). Their celebratory knees-up, Ogdens’ offered a side of modpop and a side-long evocation of Mad John’s quest for the lost side of the moon, with links from gobble of masterygook Stanley Unwin.
THE KINKS The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society PYE, 1968
Married with children, Ray Davies was no psychedelic voyager; 1967’s Something Else By The Kinks is great but strait-laced. The following year’s wistful elegy to the old ways was even more at odds with its time and sold poorly, but is now regarded as The Kinks’ finest hour.
MIGHTY BABY Mighty Baby HEAD, 1969
The Action went moderately cosmic with 1967’s “Shadows And Reflections”, but took it further with two sturdy albums of Trafficstyle ultra-rock as Mighty Baby. The pinnacle is the jazz-tinged “Egyptian Tomb”, the opener from their debut – a thrilling fusion of West Coast psych and NW5 smarts.