Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Seeds - Travel with Your Mind (1965 - 67)



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Rick Andridge: Drums

Daryl Hooper: Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Liner Notes, Executive Producer, Compilation Producer

Jan Savage: Guitar

Sky Saxon: Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals

Biography by Stephen Thomas Erlewine Best known for their rock & roll standard "Pushin' Too Hard," the Seeds combined the raw, Stonesy appeal of garage rock with a fondness for ragged, trashy psychedelia. And though they never quite matched the commercial peak of their first two singles, "Pushin' Too Hard" and "Can't Seem to Make You Mine," the band continued to record for the remainder of the '60s, eventually delving deep into post-Sgt. Pepper's psychedelia and art rock. None of their new musical directions resulted in another hit single, and the group disbanded at the turn of the decade.
Sky Saxon (born Richard Marsh; vocals) and guitarist Jan Savage formed the Seeds with keyboardist Daryl Hooper and drummer Rick Andridge in Los Angles in 1965. By the end of 1966, they had secured a contract with GNP Crescendo, releasing "Pushin' Too Hard" as their first single. The song climbed into the Top 40 early in 1967, and the group immediately released two sound-alike singles, "Mr. Farmer" and "Can't Seem to Make You Mine," in an attempt to replicate their success; the latter came the closest to being a hit, just missing the Top 40. While their singles were garage punk, the Seeds attempted to branch out into improvisational blues-rock and psychedelia on their first two albums, The Seeds (1966) and Web of Sound (1966). With their third album, Future (1967), the band attempted a psychedelic concept album in the vein of Sgt. Pepper's. While the record reached the Top 100 and spawned the minor hit "A Thousand Shadows," it didn't become a hit. Two other albums — Raw & Alive: The Seeds in Concert at Merlin's Music Box (1968) and A Full Spoon of Seedy Blues (1969), which was credited to the Sky Saxon Blues Band — were released at the end of the decade, but both were ignored. The Seeds broke up shortly afterward.
During the early '70s, Saxon led a number of bands before retreating from society and moving to Hawaii. Savage became a member of the Los Angeles Police Department. A collection of rarities and alternate takes, Fallin' off the Edge, was released in 1977.

01 - Satisfy You - Savage, Saxon - 2:0402 - The Wind Blows Your Hair - Bigelow, Saxon - 2:3003 - Pretty Girl - Johnson - 2:0304 - Chocolate River - Hooper, Saxon - 3:1005 - Out of the Question - Saxon, Serpent - 2:1606 - March of the Flower Children - Hooper, Saxon - 1:4807 - The Other Place - Saxon - 2:2208 - Fallin off the Edge (Of My Mind) - Cerf, Fowley - 2:5309 - Travel With Your Mind - Hooper, Savage, Saxon - 3:1010 - Flower Lady and Her Assistant - Saxon - 3:2911 - Daisy Mae - Saxon - 1:5512 - Pushin Too Hard [Rehearsal] - Saxon - 2:3713 - 900 Million People Daily All Making Love - Seeds - 10:2014 - A Thousand Shadows [New Mix] - Hooper, Savage, Saxon - 2:3015 - Nobody Spoil My Fun - Saxon - 3:5016 - Wild Blood - Cerf, Fowley - 2:2417 - Now a Man - Hooper, Savage, Saxon - 3:2018 - Sad and Alone - Hooper, Saxon - 2:5019 - Fallin - Hooper, Saxon - 7:4520 - Pushin Too Hard [Original Version] - Saxon - 2:34

In garage rock, a little often goes a long way, especially when it comes to the rehearsal tapes, demos, and alternate versions so beloved by trainspotting collectors. Those who memorize matrix numbers and session lists will absolutely adore this 1965-1967 collection of odds and sods by L.A.'s psychedelic-garage heroes the Seeds: 66 minutes' worth of ephemera, ready to be pored over. More casual listeners might find it rather slow going; despite the inclusion of several great songs, like the phenomenally powerful "Satisfy You" and a weirdly stripped-down alternate take of the trippy "March of the Flower Children," there's much here that's only of interest to die-hard fans, like the plodding ten-minute-plus jam "900 Million People Daily" and a chaotic rehearsal take of "Pushin' Too Hard." Complete novices in particular should avoid this album because it presents too skewed a picture of the group; better to start with one of the more traditional compilations and work up to this should you get hooked.

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