turned on, tun­ing in

When the ti­tans of Brit R&B got their freak on

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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.

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