Various Artists

Backtrack, Vol. 7

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The third in the Backtrack series collections of archetypal U.K. psych 45s, all drawn from the Track Records archive, Backtrack 7 was released in November 1970, just six weeks after the death of the label's biggest name -- Jimi Hendrix, of course -- and well placed to soak up some of the attendant grief. Three Hendrix numbers appear, the album cuts "The Stars That Play With Laughing Sam's Dice" and "Long Hot Summer Night," and the Curtis Knight collaboration "How Would You Feel," a skillful rewrite of Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" that crept out as a Track 45 during 1967. The remainder of the set, too, seems intent on giving great value for the money. No less than three of its tracks had been summertime hit singles: the Who's "The Seeker" (present with its non-LP B-side, "Here for More"), Thunderclap Newman's "Accidents" (shorn and edited from the nine-minute drama that highlighted their album, but nonetheless astonishing for all that), and Marsha Hunt's version of Paul Simon's "Keep the Customer Satisfied." Less successful offerings from Arthur Brown and the absurdly underrated Bent Frame join another cut by Thunderclap Newman, while the collection wraps up by acknowledging Marc Bolan's recent rise to fame and throwing in a little nugget for his fans to drool over -- an (uncredited) appearance alongside Marsha Hunt on her spellbinding version of his own "Hippy Gumbo."

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