Various ‘Love, Poetry and Revolution: 1966-1972’ 3CD box set (Cherry Red/Grapefruit) 4/5

Love Poetry RevolutionThis is something of a treasure trove for the psychedelic music fan and with sixty-seven tracks in total, the majority of which have never seen the light of day on CD previously, it is a wonderfully presented compilation with a mammoth thirty-six page booklet full of informative notes on individual songs, evocative era posters and record labels/covers. With so many tracks on offer, the anthology will be worth its weight in gold to collectors in search of even a fraction of the songs. While a good deal of this music falls outside the usual remit of the review section, there is still enough of interest for the broad-minded listener who wishes to be taken on a journey into the psychedelic music scene. For example the modish sounding ‘Am I glad to see you?’ by the In Crowd from 1966 which was originally planned to figure on the Antonioni ‘Blow Up’ film soundtrack (Bobby Hutcherson covered the title track), or the melodic folk hues of ‘Rosemary Bluebell Day’ by the Piccadilly Line who sound as though Simon and Garfunkel were their inspirations. For fans of acid-folk there is a definitive slice on Mark Fry’s ‘The Witch’ from 1972 complete with flute, sitar and vocals while there is a real surprise in store on ‘Hurry on’ by Hawkwind Zoo, a delicate folk-rock number from 1969 that was a precursor to heavy metal band Hawkwind. Jazz devotees will be intrigued by the cover of a Jim Pepper original ‘Whitchi Tai To’ (Jan Garbarek would attempt a version on ECM) from Taiconderoga that is completely different from either of the mainly instrumental interpretations. Among other delights, the Spencer Davis Group perform ‘Morning Sun’ with keyboards that are straight out of the Santana school of playing while the Deviants’ ‘You’ve got to hold on’ features the saxophone of Dick Heckstall-Smith and is a number in a blues-rock vein. A candidate for most informative and cohesive compilation of the year. Tim Stenhouse