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Rhino Handmade

various artists CD

Hallucinations CD coverThe companion collection to Come to the Sunshine, Hallucinations: Psychedelic Pop Nuggets from the WEA Vaults on Rhino's Handmade label is the second in a continuing series which digs into the vaults of great lost 1960s music. Both collections spotlight the pop side of the collector's realm, but where Come to the Sunshine spotlighted the lighter, harmony pop side of things, Hallucinations takes a look at the psychedelic side of the 60s pop. Once again, Rhino has unearthed an excellent collection that even vinyl collector's will covet.

Hallucinations has more of a hard hitting sound than Come to the Sunshine, with more fuzz guitars and twisted melodies, so I have a feeling that this compilation will appeal more to people. I think the compilation veers towards the psychedelic folk sound and away from the psychedelic pop sound a couple of times, so a downside I can see is the lack of psychedelic girl group sounds. This may or may not have to do with the labels spotlighted here.

There are some groups and singers that we heard already on Come to the Sunshine that are also included here. They include The Monkees, The Association, Lee Mallory, The Tokens, The Bonniwell Music Machine, The Salt, The Holy Mackerel, and The Coronados. We also get to hear more productions from Lenny Waronker, Joey Levine, Curt Boettcher, Richard Perry, and The Tokens' BT Puppy production team.

With Hallucinations we are treated to more goodies by many other obscure but interesting acts. These include the likes of

  • Baker Knight & The Knightmares - produced by Jimmy Bowen, who is also known for producing for Dino, Desi & Billy, The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, and Jack Nitzsche's Lonely Surfer in the 1960s
  • The Misty Wizards - produced by Harvey Brooks, who's also known for playing bass on Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited, The Doors' Soft Parade, Mama Cass' Dream a Little Dream of Me and Miles Davis' Bitches Brew
  • The Collectors - produced by Don Addrisi and Barry de Vorzon - Don also did arrangements on The Harpers Bizarre's Anything Goes album and co-wrote The Association's hit Never My Love with his brother Dick - and Barry produced the The Association's version of Bob Dylan's One Too Many Mornings
  • Adrian Pride -produced by The Everly Brothers, whom also were featured on the Come to the Sunshine compilation in a recording made in the late 60s after their heyday
  • The World Column - a favorite of Northern Soul collector's like Paul Weller, heard here in psych mode
  • John Wonderling - John wrote Midway Down that The Creation covered, as well as worked with John Cale and appeared on Jimmie Haskell's crazy pot inspired rock opera California '99); Jeff Thomas (produced by Dan Dalton, known for his production with The Peppermint Trolley Company and Paul Parrish
  • M.C.² - produced by Lenny Waronker
  • The Brass Buttons - produced by Gene Cornish, member of The Rascals
  • Kim Fowley - produced by his buddy Michael Lloyd, whose work also included The Smoke (not the UK band) The Cattanooga Cats and October Country, the last of which was recently reissued on Rev-Ola
  • The Electric Prunes - produced by David Hassinger, producer for The Poor, recently reissued on Rev-Ola as well, The Mojo Men, and Brian Hyland, and whose production work also showed up on Come to the Sunshine
  • The Glass Family - produced by Richard Polodor, who also worked with Three Dog Night and Steppenwolf
  • The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band - produced by the enigmatic Bob Markley and Jimmy Bowen - who of course also produced the lead off track by Baker Knight & The Knightmares

Baker Knight is better known for working with the likes of Rick Nelson and Carl Perkins than his psychedelic work - but Baker Knight & The Knightmares set starter Hallucinations has a fuzzed out, hallucinogenic vibe not unlike Donovan's work siphoned through a Beatles' vibe.

It's Love by The Misty Wizards has appeared on Arf! Arf!'s Heavy Dose of Lyte Psych which was an attempt from 1997 to focus on the more melodic and well-produced Psych material and mined a similar territory to this Rhino Handmade collection. Harvey Brooks elicits a sitar mantra from The Misty Wizards which combines a Hollies like rhythm with harmony vocals.

A sitar tune that doesn't work so well for me was Your Love Belongs to Everyone by The Coronados (The Coronados are also heard on Come To The Sunshine and they didn't do much for me there either).

The Next Exit's Break Away is another Brute Force composed oddity produced by The Tokens' production team. it would've fit nicely on Rev Ola's Night Time Music: The B.T. Puppy Story and been a definite highlight.

I first heard The Collectors' Looking at a Baby on Collector's Choice Buried Treasure: Lost Gems From Deep in the '60s Vaults. It's definitely odd tune in a Cat Stevens' themed Traffic inspired psych pop mode.

Adrian Pride is really Bernie Schwartz, one of the guys behind The Comfortable Chair (who had an album produced by Robbie Krieger and John Densmore from The Doors in 1968). Here Bernie is heard singing the raga rock tune Her Name Is Melody.

Pandora's Golden Heebie Jeebies by The Association was produced by Jerry Yester (from The Modern Folk Quartet and The Lovin' Spoonful when he replaced Zal Yanovsky, and who also worked with his wife of the time, singer Judy Henske on the cult fave Farewell Aldebaran album) for a mind bending harmony pop gem highly influenced by Curt Boettcher type tones.

The World Column are best known by Northern Soul collectors, but are heard you on the harrowing frat organ dirge Lantern Gospel, which sounds like the Doors evil twin.

My Mind Goes High is heard here by the M.C.², but this song was also performed by The Poor and Nino Tempo & April Stevens (as Little Child on the All Strung Out album) both of which were recently reissued on the Rev Ola level. The M.C.² version has a Mamas and Papas groove.

The Salt have one of the more interesting Lennonesque Beatles inspired tunes in their song Lucifer which was helped by Joey Levine's work. The devil's music could be heard in soft pop too.

The Brass Buttons continue on a Beatles style, this time it's the angst Dylan influenced Beatlesque sound as they sing Hell Will Take Care of Her.

Jeff Thomas plays the straight man a few years before Jonathan Richman did it on Straight Aero, which is sung in a laidback Donovan style with a native American type of break.

Kim Fowley worked with the amazingly prolific Michael Lloyd on his tune Strangers from the Sky which is it's own little psych pop masterpiece. Anyone who digs Michael Lloyd's other psych pop nuggets from this time period should check out this great song (October Country, The Smoke, The American Revolution).

The Electric Prunes are helped along by the oblique songwriting skills of Annette Tucker and Nancie Mantz on Antique Doll an album track from their 1967 album Underground. It's got that early Syd Barrett/Pink Floyd sound in a hushed kind of way.

The Tokens offer up yet another weird piece of harmony pop with How Nice? - a tune which drips and slithers along with backwards rhythms and buttery vocals.

House of Glass the Glass Family could well be something off of a Teardrop Explodes album, but it actually was released on the A Electric Band album in 1967. Organ led garage pop buried on this disc, but well worth the hunt.

The Holy Mackerel offer up a tabla drenched Wildflowers with mutated vocals by a young Paul Williams. Anyone who has been hopelessly hunting down The Holy Mackerel album like I have will love this piece of psych pop.

The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band are definitely one of the stranger bands from the 1960s who were able to release 3 albums which jump wildly around somewhat inconsistently in style. Michael Lloyd and co. definitely got it right on Smell of Incense though from the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, Vol. 2 album from 1967. Smell of Incense was also covered by Southwest FOB.

Monkees fans will rejoice to hear the rare alternate mono version of The Porpoise Song from the psychedelic movie Head - one of the few popular names which grace this compilation.

One of the greatest highlights here has to be Lee Mallory's treatment of the Phil Ochs/Bob Gibson tune That's the Way It's Gonna Be which is given the Curt Boettcher touch. Lee Mallory was also featured on Come to the Sunshine, and both songs featured are wonderful soft pop gems - with heavy Curt Boettcher participation.

Some tracks which didn't really do much for me:

Astrologically Incompatible - Bonniwell Music Machine - Bonniwell himself even says he's embarrassed by this dated tune.

Who Planted Thorns in Miss Alice's Garden - Tom Northcott - this song starts out interesting enough with a clock-like rhythm and some buried woodwinds, but Tom Northcott comes off as a more obnoxious Paul Parrish.

Man of Straw - John Wonderling - this song has a similar vocal mutation to The Holy Mackeral tune, but besides its Beatlesque feel, this song didn't do much for me.

The White Pony - Ellen Margulies - this song comes close to matching the folk psych magic of such lost classics of Michele's Saturn Rings album on ABC, but honestly this is really a pale comparison of that style. This song was was eventually covered 10 years later on Paul Parrish's Song for a Young Girl which was promoted by Seals & Crofts management team, but I've never heard his version.

---Patrick, June 22, 2004