Saturday, April 3, 2010

V.A. - Nuggets II

Nuggets, Lenny Kaye's original 1972 compilation of garage and psych, loomed large in the record collectors consciousness, canonizing a portion of rock that was originally laughed off while setting the standard for reissues.

Rhino's 1998 box set of the same name expanded the scope of that record, replicating most of the original while gloriously spilling forth over three additional discs — and, in doing so, it spurred a minor revolution, becoming one of the most talked-about reissues of the last half of the '90s. Rhino knew there was an audience thirsting for a sequel, and they gave them one in 2001, but they didn't take the easy way out. Instead of offering another round of American garage rockers, they decided to take the road less traveled, compiling four discs of hidden treasures from non-American garage and psych bands. Most of these cuts are from British bands, but there are also selections from a pre-fame Guess Who, the New Zealand act the Smoke, the Brazilian psychedelia of Os Mutantes, the exceptional Merseybeat stylings of Uruguay's Los Shakers, and the extraordinary Peruvian combo We All Together, among other non-Brit acts. It's a brilliant, even necessary, move, since most of these bands and songs have been only heard only by the most dedicated collectors — the kind that are willing to risk money based on just hearing a band mentioned, not to hear the group themselves. Let's face it — apart from the Status Quo's "Pictures of Matchstick Men," the Small Faces' "Here Comes the Nice," and the Pretty Things' "Rosalyn," the most familiar song here is the opener, the Creation's "Making Time," simply because it provided the indelible soundtrack to Max Fischer's yearbook in Rushmore. That's four songs out of 109 — a ratio that should simply entice most die-hard rockers and record collectors, especially since the familiar names (the Move, Them, the Easybeats, the Troggs) are represented by songs that aren't heard all that often. So, the big question is, does Nuggets, Vol. 2 deliver and is it worth spending the money for 100-plus songs you've never heard before? Well, if you're even slightly interested in this, the answer is yes. That doesn't mean this isn't without its faults — like any garage rock, if it's listened to in once concentrated burst, it becomes a little samey, which is also a by-product of its biggest flaw, namely how the compilers favor songs that sound like American garage and downplaying the delirious, precious frutiness of British psych. Still, that's a minor complaint, because the simple fact of the matter is this — there's no better way to fall in love with this music, not just because it does its job so well, it just simply doesn't have any peers. Furthermore, a lot of this stuff is pretty hard to come by (personally, I spent about 150 dollars on a complete Idle Race collection, and it's much better to get their two best songs here). Also, much of the bands here are best heard in this context, since they have a song, maybe three, that were stunners — and all of these stunners in one place is stunning.
Disc 1

01. Creation - Making Time

02. Fire - Father's Name Was Dad

03. Move - I Can Hear The Grass Grow

04. Smoke - My Friend Jack

05. Tomorrow - My White Bicycle

06. Action - I'll Keep Holding On

07. Eyes - When The Night Falls

08. Easybeats - Sorry

09. Idle Race - Imposters Of Life's Magazine

10. La De Das - How Is The Air Up There

11. Les Fleur De Lys - Mud In Your Eye

12. Motions - Everything (That's Mine)

13. Mickey Finn - Garden Of My Mind

14. Sorrows - Take A Heart

15. Q'65 - Life I Live

16. Pretty Things - Midnight To Six Man

17. Marmalade - I See The Rain

18. Koobas - First Cut Is The Deepest

19. Mockingbirds - You Stole My Love

20. Haunted - 125

21. Small Faces - My Mind's Eye

22. Los Bravos - Going Nowhere

23. Thoughts - All Night Stand

24. Masters Apprentices - War Or Hands Of Time

25. We All Together - It's A Sin To Go Away

26. Kaleidoscope - Dream For Julie

27. Tages - I Read You Like An Open Book
Disc 2

01. Misunderstood - Children Of The Sun

02. Wimple Witch - Save My Soul

03. John's Children - Desdemona

04. Morrison, Van - I Can Only Give You Everything

05. Troggs - Lost Girl

06. The Craig - I Must Be Mad

07. Birds - Say Those Magic Words

08. Caleb - Baby Your Phrasing Is Bad

09. Golden Earrings - Daddy Buy Me A Girl

10. Burns, Ronnie - Exit Stage Right

11. Timebox - Gone Is The Sad Man

12. Eyes - I'm Rowed Out

13. Jones, Davy - You've Got A Habit Of Leaving

14. Rupert's People - Reflections Of Charles Brown

15. Mascots - Words Enough To Tell You

16. Poets - That's The Way It's Got To Be

17. Syn - 14 Hour Technicolour Dream

18. Pretty Things - Walking Through My Dreams

19. Primitives - You Said

20. Lost Souls - This Life Of Mine

21. Action - Shadows & Reflections

22. Easybeats - Friday On My Mind

23. Love Sculpture - In The Land Of The Few

24. Motions - For Another Man

25. Move - Fire Brigade

26. Boots - Gaby

27. Creation - Biff Bang Pow
Disc 3

01. Cuby & The Blizzards - You Body Not Your Soul

02. The Twilights - Caty, Come Home

03. Les Fleur De Lys - Circles

04. The Matadors - Get Down From the Tree

05. Q'65 - Cry In the Night

06. Los Chujuas - Changing the Colors of Life

07. The Bluestars - Social End Product

08. The Syndicate - Crawdaddy Simone

09. The Sound Magics - Don't You Remember

10. The Guess Who - It's My Pride

11. The Open Mind - Magic Potion

12. The Missing Links - You're Driving Me Insane

13. The Jury - Who Dat

14. John's Children - Midsummer's Night Scene

15. Sands - Listen to the Sky

16. The Mokingbirds - How to Find a Lover

17. The Indie Race - Days of the Broken Arrows

18. The Elois - By My Side

19. The Factory - Path through the Forest

20. Episod Six - Love Hate Revenge

21. Status Quo - Pictures of Matchstick Men

22. The Voice - Train to Disaster

23. The (Australian) Playboys - Sad

24. The Slaves - Slaves Time

25. The Red Squares - You Can Be My Baby

26. Scrugg - I Wish I Was Five

27. The Downliners Sect – Glendora
Disc 4

01. Pretty Things - Rosalyn

02. Atlantics - Come On

03. Dantalion's Chariot - Madman Running Through The Fields

04. Creation - How Does It Feel To Feel

05. Mops - I'm Just A Mops

06. Downliners Sect - Why Don't You Smile Now

07. Ugly Ducklings - Nothing

08. Los Shakers - Break It All

09. Timon - Bitter Thoughts Of Little Jane

10. Outsiders - Touch

11. Tintern Abbey - Vacuum Cleaner

12. Thor's Hammer - My Life

13. Wheels - Bad Little Woman

14. Pandamonium - No Presents For Me

15. Os Mutantes - Bat Macumba

16. Winston's Fumbs - Real Crazy Apartment

17. Smoke (NZ) - No More Now

18. Birds - No Good Without You

19. Zipps - Kicks & Chicks

20. Acid Gallery - Dance Around The Maypole

21. Fairies - Get Yourself Home

22. Chants R&B - I'm Your Witchdoctor

23. Boots - But You'll Never Do It Babe

24. Majority - One Third

25. Kaleidoscsope - Flight From Ashiya

26. Small Faces - Here Comes The Nice

27. Rattles - It's My Fault

28. Blossom Toes - When The Alarm Clock Rings
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