Various Artists

The Psychedelic Salvage Company, Vols. 1-2

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This compilation gathers up two CD's worth of ultra-obscure ("rare" would imply that someone was looking for them) tracks from the U.K. psychedelic and progressive rock scenes of the '60s and '70s. Much of the material comes from long out of print singles and albums of library music (instrumental stuff intended for TV productions and movies to grab up and use as cheap scores), but a few tracks are from unissued private tapes and acetate recordings. The two songs someone might actually seek this out for would be "Horse" and a cover of "Back Door Man" by Sam Gopal. Gopal was a tabla player whose band featured a pre-Hawkwind (and very pre-Motörhead) Lemmy Kilmister on vocals and guitar, and their songs offer a basic hard/heavy blues sound with the sole surprising element being the presence of tablas in place of drums. There's not much else here that's really innovative or interesting -- the library music, courtesy of the Roland Kovac Set, has some nice fuzz guitar and rhythm work, but the two semi-progressive tracks "Birth of a Saint" and "The Master Said, Pts. 1 & 2" -- the former over ten minutes long, the latter nearly 18 -- just go on and on. There are also two early examples of Christian rock in Nick Carter's "Prayer to St. Peter" and Narnia's "Agape," and they're just fine. But ultimately, the word "Salvage" in the title of this compilation really says it all -- this is third-tier stuff at best that really didn't need rescuing from obscurity.

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