Voyages Into – Rock Vol. 1
Voyages Into – Rock Vol. 2
Voyages Into – Folk Rock Vol.1
Voyages Into – Folk Rock Vol. 2
Voyages Into – Pop Psych Vol. 1
Voyages Into – Pop Psych Vol. 2
Voyages Into – Garage Vol. 1
Voyages Into – Garage Vol. 2
Voyages Into – Psychedelia Vol. 1
Voyages Into – Psychedelia Vol. 2
Lovingly compiled by musicologist and all-around 60’s music guru Ben Chaput, these ten comps feature some of the best obscure sides late ’60’s music has to offer. For the past ten years or so, rare psychedelic rock, garage and freakbeat have occupied the hearts and minds of music collectors everywhere as well as helping to empty their wallets. Scores of labels have popped up in the last decade dedicated to nothing but digging up and re-issuing rare private press releases as well as long-forgotten records put out on major labels. Think about how popular and noteworthy the Nuggets boxsets are and the Pebbles compilations and some of the other boxsets seeking to give listeners the best music of the ’60’s. Then, think about this great series of sets featuring some of the best music of the ’60’s all geared towards the collector and music freak, with rare songs never used on any other compilation. Truly, with this set of well-put-together comps, fans of this kind of music have hit the motherlode.
Though the info on each of the ten comps in this set could fill a book, let’s examine them briefly enough to whet your appetite but not too much as to keep you hungry enough to purchase this fantastic set.
Rock Vol. 1 features great lost bands like Primitive Man, Floating Bridge, The Bone, The Branch Estate, Elephant’s Memory (the same band who later backed John Lennon and Yoko Ono), Plant Life, The Holy Mackeral (featuring Paul Williams of Evergreen and Rainbow Connection fame) and many, many more. Anyone into the brain-searing sounds of 60’s rock is going to love this volume. The guitars sturm, the drums drang and the bass keeps the bottom end covered while the Mellotrons, farfisas and other instruments spice up the proceedings. Why aren’t these artists famous today? It’s a question I asked myself after listening and one which you will ask yourself as well. Better yet, grab some doobage and listen to this comp (and this whole set) with a couple of like-minded, music freak friends. They’ll be jealous of you, for sure.
The second volume of the rock set follows up the great sounds of the first volume by featuring cuts from such obscure groups as Noah (produced by Randy Bachman of BTO and The Guess Who – he also contributes guitar), Think, Wrong Black Bag (featuring Saturday Night Live’s beehive queen Christine Ohlman), Adam Wind (produced by Booby Hart), Morning Rain (featuring guitarist Dean Parks) and many, many others. If you want to rock out, this is the CD of the set you want to listen to!! Again, very cool hard rocking sounds as good as most of the stuff done by artists who ended up as household names. These are not songs best left unheard. This is some of the best work done in the ’60’s, obscure only because the stars didn’t align properly for these artists. A big part of success is luck, some have it and some don’t. These artists unfortunately had very little – but their music is still top notch as this whole ten CD set will prove to you.
Anyone who loves the jingle-jangle of twelve string guitar and introspective lyrics will love the first volume of the folk-rock set, which features bands like The Unknowns (a Paul Revere and The Raiders side project), The Bows and Arrows, Messengers (the first white band to be signed to Motown), The Tweeds, The Sages, The Underground and many, many others. Talk about your twelve-string jangle! Seems every band was trying to take a page from either the Beatles or the Byrds on this CD, though more often than not the derivativeness is more than made up for by the sheer energy and passion of these artists. This is the best of the best here, uncomped and fresh as a daisy to your ears yet lovingly retro at the same time! So you wanna be a rock and roll star…..
Taking it’s lead from the first comp of folk-rock, the second dives in with some even deeper cuts from the likes of The Jokers, Mystics, The Striders, The Moonrakers (who later evolved into the band Sugarloaf), The Ill Winds (actually the surf band The Chantays of “Pipeline” fame under a different name), The Good Time Singers (showcased on the Andy Williams show for three years and featuring soap actor Michael Storm), and many, many more. Let me tell you, if you love folk music spiced up with a little jingle-jangle, this second volume is for you. Byrds-ian moments abound and it is just cool to hear this great stuff for the first time. Again, the questions must be asked: why didn’t any of these songs or groups hit the big time?
The late 60’s were teaming with bands who wanted to meld the melodic with the psychedelic to create mind-blowing rock which would break new ground. Though we all know the classic bands who made the most impact, the first volume of the Pop-Psych set gives seekers of the obscure some really tasty offerings from Stained Glass, Central Park, Poe, Five by Five (featuring Muscle Shoals vet Eddie Hinton), Underground Sunshine and many, many others. Some of these selections are a little more pop than psyche but you can tell something is in the water as all of these songs are showing trippy influences. This is great stuff and my personal favorite volume of the whole set. Do you see the trails? I do, I do!
For true believers, the second volume of the Pop-Psych set gives lovers of mind-bending melodic rock even more acid-tinged songs. Featuring artists such as Knack (not the group who did “My Sharona”), Six O’Clock News, Proposition, Jennifer’s Friends (produced by Vanda and Young of the Easybeats and, later, the people who produced rock band AC/DC’s first few albums), English Setters, Truth, and a heaping helping of other bands all trying to push the boundaries of how pop music should sound by injecting some psych into the brew. I am amazed at how great this music sounds. It’s no wonder there are so many great psych masterpieces being unearthed all the time. There’s a wealth of stuff here and hopefully the volumes will keep coming.
Thanks to The Beatles’ and the other British Invasion bands’ simplistic yet supremely catchy songs at the beginning of their careers, millions of teenagers decided to pick up guitars and drumsticks and passionately bash out their own catchy brands of rock and roll in their garages. Hence, the term garage rock! So many great artists started this way and so many great songs were brought to life, it is just a great visceral thrill to hear the songs on Garage Vol. 1 for the first time and pretend I am listening to a great radio station in the mid ’60’s and hearing this guitar revolution as it originated. Garage rock gave birth to punk and now is all the rage again in the ’00’s! Long live rock. Great bands featured on Volume 1 of the Garage set are the Uniques (featuring Joe Stampley who later became a chart-topping country singer), The Reactors, The Eastside Kids, Shannon Cannon (produced by New Orleans legend Allen Toussaint), The Five Sounds, The Contrasts and many, many others. Listening to this set makes me want to strap on a guitar, call some buddies and start a band of my own. Great stuff.
As good as Volume 1 of the Garage set is, the second volume of the Garage set is even better! Filled to the brim with more great obscure songs by some of the best unknown bands ever, the second volume takes the visceral thrills of full-throttle garage rock to new heights. Anyone into balls-out rock and roll needs to get this pronto. Groups featured on this volume include The Distant Cousins (produced by Bob Crewe), The Hombres, The Wild Ones (featuring the original version of the classic hit “Wild Thing”), The Spotlights (featuring Leon Russell), The Street Corner Society and many more! If listening to the unfettered power unleashed by this primal rock and roll doesn’t give you a thrill, you simply have no soul. This is killer stuff!
By the late ’60’s most young adults had begun experimenting with drugs, be it pot, pills or an hallucinogen of some sort. The effects of the drugs opened minds and many musicians who experimented with these ingestibles started to create a form of rock seeking to mimic in sound what they felt in their minds while they were tripping. The results were called psychedelic rock and the music became a fad once the Beatles recorded Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, the first major release featuring this sort of trippy version of ’60’s rock. Part and parcel of the ’60’s musical experience, psychedelic rock cannot be left out of any musical set seeking to encapsulate the music of this time period. With that in mind, Volume 1 of the two volume psychedelia set features some trippy rock from the likes of Boston Tea Party, The Raves, The Believers (a group connected to singer Joe South, who produced and wrote the song featured here), Glass Family (record label honcho Mike Curb and Davie Allen of the Arrows were connected to this band), The Folkswingers (featuring Glen Campbell on guitar) and many, many others that will leave you tripping for days and wishing it was the ’60’s all over again.
The second half of the two volume set is just as trippy and wild as the first. It features bands such as American Express, Martin Martin, Mass (featuring Billy Joel on piano), The Mission as well as a passel of other artists trying to take rock and roll into the stratosphere. Many songs are on this CD but there isn’t a bad trip in the bunch and at least every other song had me scratching my head and wondering why these songs and these artists didn’t reach more of an audience. Pass the windowpane!
Fans of ’60’s music are just going to go apeshit over this set. Not only are most of the songs included on these volumes incredibly obscure yet still fantastic, but most of these songs have never been comped before, so they are totally fresh and not the same songs appearing on the Pebbles and Nuggets ’60’s sets. A definite bonus are the liner notes. Brief yet informative, the notes manage to squeeze in just enough info on the bands to get you hooked and often include an anecdote about which bandmember eventually went off to work with this famous musician or what other groundbreaking band they joined. Very fun to read and informative as hell for being so brief. Also great are the annotations for which label it was recorded and the serial numbers on the original records. Great info for the collectors and music geeks such as myself. The vintage radio commercials spliced in between the songs are VERY cool. Featuring major bands and artists from the period and in line with the particular volume they are featured, these “commercial breaks” help make each of these CDs seem as if they are being beamed in by the coolest radio station ever. If you can only buy one “boxset” this year – this is the one to get.
You could previously get these comps exclusively at: http://members.aol.com/voyagescd/voyages.html but the site is no closed so you may have to search around to find these comps but it is well worth your time!