Friday, March 27, 2009

The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band - Volume one (1967) (expanded)

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The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band was an psychedelic band of the late 1960s, based in Los Angeles, California. Recorded and released in 1967, "Volume One" was a more ambitious and coherent album, with all of the tracks credited either in whole or in part to members of the band.
Former Members:Bob Markley (vocals) Shaun Harris (bass) Danny Harris (guitar, vocals) Michael Lloyd (guitar, vocals) Ron Morgan (guitar)
In 1965, Fowley arranged a private party in Markley’s house at which the Yardbirds performed, and which the Harris brothers and Lloyd also attended. Markley was impressed by the large number of teenage girls attracted by the band, and the much younger musicians were impressed by Markley’s financial resources and potential ability to fund good quality equipment and a light show. Fowley encouraged them to join forces and, with the addition of drummer John Ware, The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band was formed. The general approach was intended to parallel that being developed on the east coast by Andy Warhol and the Velvet Underground. Markley used his legal background to ensure that he held all rights to the band’s name.... Read More...
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1. Something You Got 2. Work Song 3. Louie, Louie 4. Don't Break My Balloon 5. You Really Got Me 6. Don't Let Anything!!! Stand In Your Way 7. I Won't Hurt You 8. If You Want This Love 9. Insanity 10. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue 11. She Belongs To Me 12. She Surely Must Know (Previously Unissued) 13. Sassafras 14. She May Call You Up Tonight 15. One Day (Previously Unissued) 16. Funny How Love Can Be (Previously Unissued) 17. Obviously Bad 18. Endless Night (Previously Unissued) 19. Tell Me What You Want To Know(Previously Unissued) 20. Just You & Me (Previously Unissued) 21. Chimes Of Freedom (Previously Unissued) 22. Scuse me Miss Rose (Previously Unissued...)
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Raw, sometimes sloppy material by this enigmatic psychedelic cult band appeared on an extremely rare debut album in 1966 (their first LP for Reprise, Part One, is usually considered their first recording). This 22-track compilation reissues that first album on CD, adding 11 other rare tracks from the 1965-1967 era, most previously unreleased. West Coast Pop Art were always a strange act, and this collection does nothing to tarnish that perception. It's not so much the weirdness of the sound -- they could be plenty weird per se on Zappaesque freakouts like "Insanity" (co-penned by Kim Fowley), but only occasionally. It's more the sheer unpredictable range of the material. One minute they're attacking "Louie, Louie" and the classic jazz instrumental "Work Song" with all the finesse of teenagers in their bedroom; the next they're doing pretty psych-pop tunes with a bizarre edge, like "I Won't Hurt You"; then there are the Dylan covers, which are approached as if they are Yardbirds tunes, with splashes of feedback and hard rock/R&B arrangements. And then there's an original baroque pop number worthy of the Left Banke or late-period Zombies ("She Surely Must Know"), a sharp, witty country-tinged rocker ("Sassafras"), and covers of the Left Banke's "She May Call You Up Tonight" and the mawkish "Funny How Love Can Be." No stylistic consistency whatsoever, in other words, but plenty of wacky energy, and occasional actual inspiration. Which makes this hard to recommend to anyone other than psychedelic junkies. But if you fit under that umbrella, it's not bad at all, though wildly erratic. Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide
The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band's first album for Reprise was the best of the group's career, in large part because it was the most song-oriented. It was still plenty weird, almost to the point of stylistic schizophrenia, but when you got down to it, much of the record was comprised of fairly catchy songs in the neighborhood of two and three minutes. ... Read More..
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