Yes, I’m that bored.
Next up, despite the fact that Prince is now dead just hit the headlines, is another obscure psychedelic classic, the ‘Tangerine Dream‘ album by Kaleidoscope (not to be confused with the US band of the exact same name).
Seriously, what was the world like without YouTube (click HERE).
Well, first off, the album cover definitely has that look and feel of “Early Psychedelia” to it, doesn’t it? The weird, swirly text, and a bunch of guys dressed in the outlandish fashion that was popular during those acid-fueled days.
‘Tangerine Dream’ is Kaleidoscope’s debut album released on Fontana Records in November of 1967 – the infamous “Summer of Love”, before it all went to hell in hand basket.
Though not as popular as the U.S. this British band was also from the U.K. psychedelic movement with only moderate domestic success, and just enough international exposure to have this album recognized in the genre’s catalogue and regarded as one of the best in the same, right up there with Pink Floyd‘s legendary ‘Piper at the Gates of Dawn‘ and the Zombies ‘Odyssey & Oracle‘ (two of my Desert Island albums as it happens). Peter Daltry’s fairytale lyrics and the groups exquisite playing with beautiful harmonies and memorable hooks simply captivate the listener transporting them into a colorful kaleidoscopic dream.This totally demonstrates what was so great about the fertile U.K.pop psych scene of ’67 thru ’69.
The opening title track, makes it clear that this is most certainly 1967 British psych: a driving piano riff backs harmonizing vocals as they describe a vibrant perception of busy streets. Yep, we’re definitely in trip-land now, guv’na, and if thou don’t fancy that kind of music, thou ‘re probably in the pete tong gaff, because Tangerine Dream is catchy, trippy rock from start to finish.
The rest of the album is chock full of accessible moments, but also the British quirk and charm that makes this type of music resonate so well with some people. The creatively-titled ‘Please Excuse My Face‘ is a tender, vulnerable heartbreak tune set to nylon-stringed acoustic. ‘Dive Into Yesterday‘ might be my favorite track, with staccato morse-code-sounding guitar, shifting tempo and dynamics, snaky vocal harmonies, and a blissed-out, swirling bridge. Many of the songs have the dark themes of isolation commonly found in British psych, like ‘Mr. Small, The Watch Repairer Man‘, ‘Flight From Ashiya‘ (about a doomed airline flight), and ‘The Murder of Lewis Tollani‘. ‘In The Room of Percussion‘ has edgier echoes of the Byrds, and the album’s closer, the epic ‘The Sky Children‘, is absolutely sublime, dreamy, and perfect.
Only another 90 minutes here in Ground Zero of Corporate Hell left to go and then it’s bike time!