Various Artists

Electric Sugar Cube Flashbacks

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When AIP upgrades its catalog to CD, there's a lot of confusion; the same title is usually kept as the vinyl edition, but the tracks are taken from various volumes of a series, and lots of previously uncompiled bonus tracks are tacked on. The CD version of Electric Sugar Cube Flashbacks draws from a few volumes of the multi-LP series of British '60s psychedelic rarities that went under that name, especially volume four. About a dozen of the cuts, though (over half the CD), didn't appear on any of the vinyl compilations. There are a few moderately well-known groups among the 21 tracks (the Smoke, Family) and rarities by big-time artists (the Dave Clark Five, Sweet). But mostly these are no-names who caught the lightning for a track or two on hopelessly obscure singles. Not everything here's great, but a lot of it's good, or better than that, fusing melodic pop crunch with experimentation better than virtually any other subgenre of rock. Highlights are the contributions by the Smoke, Big Boy Pete, Andy Ellison, Svensk, and Mike Stuart Span (represented by a rare BBC version of their glorious flop single, "Children of Tomorrow").

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