Magic Mushroom Band

Singles and Rarites

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Released in conjunction with Voiceprint's reissue program of the Magic Mushroom Band's catalog, Singles and Rarities culls tracks from four singles released between 1991 and 1994 on the group's own Magick Eye label. A collection of classic Mushroom psychedelic pop songs, ambient remixes, and rare cover versions, this album is for the completist -- newcomers are better off starting with Spaced Out or RU Spaced Out 2. The "Pictures in My Mind" single has little new to offer, except for a decent cover of "Eight Miles High" (the title track and "Squatter in the House" are taken from Spaced Out). The B-side of the "Magick Eye" single boasted a delightfully mad take on Pink Floyd's "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun," replete with spacy screams and a frightening, 15-minute-long escalation, it provides one of two major incentives to acquire this album. Released at the time of RU Spaced Out 2, the "Freshly Picked" single included "Life Is So Strange" (with only the 30-second intro edited, out of six-and-a-half minutes, which doesn't solve that song's issue with duration) and remixes of "Turban Paranoia" and "Astralasia," two of the group's most dance-oriented tunes. The other major reason to invest in this CD comes at the very end, in the form of a remix of "Slap Tongue Squeaky Bonk" (released on the single "The Fungus Amongus") credited to Astralasia and Swordfish: the 13-minute track is a class act in ambient/space rock/dance fusion. If only the Magic Mushroom Band had released more singles and compilation tracks, it would have been possible to flush out the material already available on the albums and come up with a thoroughly interesting collection of rarities, but as it stands, Singles and Rarities is hardly more than a mixed bag .

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