Various Artists

A Slight Disturbance in My Mind: The British Proto-Psychedelic Sounds of 1966

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Another lovingly curated rock & roll gem from Cherry Red's archival Grapefruit Records imprint, A Slight Disturbance in My Mind is an expansive three-disc set entirely devoted to the opening phases of Britain's budding psychedelic movement. By late 1965, the American underground, particularly San Francisco's LSD-inspired drug culture, had begun to infiltrate popular music. The Byrds and other West Coast groups began to adopt a more experimental attitude while in the U.K. bands like the Yardbirds and, more prominently, the Beatles forged their own new directions away from rock's more easily digestible conventions. The inventive flourishes on the latter's Rubber Soul LP set the table for a paradigm shift, and by April of the next year, they were at Abbey Road building the bones of their pioneering psychedelic opus, "Tomorrow Never Knows," which would later blow minds upon its August release. Although outright psychedelia was a concept still bubbling below the mainstream, 1966 was poised for a revolution, and throughout that crucial year, it arrived in paroxysms of creative possibility. At a whopping 84 tracks -- all released in 1966 -- A Slight Disturbance in My Mind deftly captures a diverse swath of what it bills as "British Proto-Psychedelic Sounds," ranging from current stars finding new sounds (the Kinks' droning jewel "Fancy") to future stars finding their footing (David Bowie's indelibly groovy "I Dig Everything"), and an array of young acts bringing fresh ideas to what seemed like a new dimension of music. The potential danger -- and appeal -- of mind-expanding drugs begat dangerous sounds, like the menacing undercurrents of the Creation's masterwork "Making Time" and the snaky darkness of the Misunderstood's "I Unseen." The latter were a mercurial quartet of Californians moonlighting in London at the behest of John Peel, and their influence among the British scene that summer was considerable. Elsewhere are some wild cuts by the 'N Betweens -- whose members later became glam greats Slade -- jazzy freakbeaters like the Artwoods, and lush early baroque-poppers the Ivy League, all adding to the pot their impressions of what would loosely become psychedelic rock. A lot of ground is covered here, and peppered in among the knowns and well-knowns is a nice spread of previously unreleased nuggets and demos from cult favorites and curious one-offs. As with all of their box sets, the label provides extensive song-by-song liner notes, scads of intriguing ephemera, and a genuine love for the source material.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 02:58 Amazon
2 02:26 Amazon
3 03:12 Amazon
4 03:03 Amazon
5 02:42 Amazon
6 02:38 Amazon
7 02:56 Amazon
8 02:25 Amazon
9 02:04 Amazon
10 02:54 Amazon
11 02:37 Amazon
12 02:44 Amazon
13 03:01 Amazon
14 02:48 Amazon
15 02:40 Amazon
16 02:41 Amazon
17 03:27 Amazon
18 02:53 Amazon
19 02:28 Amazon
20 02:07 Amazon
21 02:43 Amazon
22 02:53 Amazon
23 01:56 Amazon
24 02:48 Amazon
25 02:26 Amazon
26 02:11 Amazon
27 03:39 Amazon
28 03:19 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 03:12 Amazon
2 02:43 Amazon
3 02:53 Amazon
4 02:08 Amazon
5 02:54 Amazon
6 03:05 Amazon
7 03:13 Amazon
8 02:42 Amazon
9 02:17 Amazon
10 02:22 Amazon
11 03:12 Amazon
12 02:31 Amazon
13 02:46 Amazon
14 02:22 Amazon
15 02:55 Amazon
16 02:18 Amazon
17 02:01 Amazon
18 02:41 Amazon
19 02:28 Amazon
20 03:30 Amazon
21 02:31 Amazon
22 03:32 Amazon
23 02:33 Amazon
24 02:50 Amazon
25 02:55 Amazon
26 03:42 Amazon
27 03:32 Amazon
28 02:04 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 03:01 Amazon
2 03:06 Amazon
3 02:44 Amazon
4 02:46 Amazon
5 03:06 Amazon
6 02:15 Amazon
7 02:08 Amazon
8 02:33 Amazon
9 02:30 Amazon
10 02:11 Amazon
11 02:36 Amazon
12 02:14 Amazon
13 03:02 Amazon
14 02:53 Amazon
15 02:30 Amazon
16 02:30 Amazon
17 03:00 Amazon
18 02:21 Amazon
19 03:18 Amazon
20 02:44 Amazon
21 02:46 Amazon
22 02:52 Amazon
23 02:14 Amazon
24 02:17 Amazon
25 02:17 Amazon
26 02:37 Amazon
27 02:37 Amazon
28 02:50 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick