Stegzy's Music Project

A commentary on Stegzy's album collection

Insane Times – Various Artists [#634]


61FhX7u36eLInsane Times: 25 Psychedelic Artyfacts from the EMI Vaults is a compilation album of really odd music. I’d say completely odd but the inclusion of Bonzo Dog, Yardbirds and Kevin Ayres kind of bring the oddness down a bit. It is though, very much the Psychadelic Rock version of the folk anthology Gather in the Mushrooms

Amongst the bands appearing in this compilation are Mandrake Paddle Steamer, Simon Dupree & the Big Sound, The Lemon Tree and The Orange Bicycle with some oddly familiar yet new to many songs. I saw this compilation as a gateway to new-to-me and interesting acts from the psychedelic era, about the time when the Beatles were farting about with Sergeant Pepper and lots of drugs and indeed, there are subtle beginnings of some huge prog acts within this album and bands in which young prog stars cut their teeth.

Very much an interesting selection.

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Dawn of the Piper – Pink Floyd [#342]

Dawn+Of+The+Piper+1967More Barrett era recording studio off cuts shoved onto yet another CD for die hard fans of the Floyd’s psychedelic phase.

One for the Floyd anoraks.

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Crazy Diamond – Syd Barrett [#319]

CrazyDiamondSticking with bearded half mast corduroy wearing hipsters; there was a time in the noughties when Syd Barrett was cool. Long after the weird guy had left or been ejected from Pink Floyd, albums showcasing some of the never heard before work circulated on the internet and were snaffled by fans of both the band and the tragic genius that was Barrett.

Of course at that time in his life, Barrett was too mad and daft to even know that this was happening. At least that was the story. I recall seeing a picture of Barrett in the press around that time showing him as a Tesco bag carrying, anorak wearing odd ball. Which I thought was sad.

One guy I worked with claimed that he knew more about Barrett than Barrett. Some said he was Barrett’s secret love child. Others whispered about him being a bit weird and how he had a peculiar musty smell that came from the Tesco carry bag he kept his anorak in. I suspect it was he that gave me this album. Whatever the origin of the album, no doubt I gathered it in my Tesco carry bag, put on my anorak and rushed home to listen.

Crazy Diamond is a triple CD comprised of recordings of Barrett from his recording sessions during his moments of clarity. There are lots of out takes and lots of tracks where he is clearly not all there. Outside of Piper at the Gates of Dawn, Barrett is not an easy choice to just wander up to and listen to. You have to know about the tragedy, the pain, the madness  and the mythos behind the man and the band. It’s all well and good to approach the album with musical ears and listen, absorb the sounds and the lyrics, but there’s an extra flake to the music. A flake that sticks out like some sort of musical 99 with raspberry topping and nut sprinkles. A flake that people without the knowledge dismiss and thus misinterpret the whole album.

And if that sounds like a load of guff. Maybe it was.


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