Glitterhouse, a name Mark "Moogy" Klingman mutated from a '40s sci-fi flick The Amazing Dr. Glitterhouse, was a tremendously wonderful psychedelic band featuring future Utopia member Klingman, along with Carole King/James Taylor sideman Joel OBrien, among others backing the songs, and the great vocal work and lead guitar of Mike Gayle. The 23 tracks on this long overdue 2002 compilation are pure '60s, featuring early fairy tale 45 rpms like "Rumplestiltskin" and "Alice in Wonderland," from 1966 and 1967, to the group's audition tape, in-house demos, and material from the soundtrack to the film Barbarella. There's also music from the Bob Crewe-produced debut LP, and unreleased recordings from their 1974 reunion at the studio owned by Klingman and Todd Rundgren, Secret Sound. For those who adore the U.K. group Kaleidoscope and Connecticut's the Fifth Estate, there is much delight in these impressive grooves. The highly informative eight-page booklet raves about songwriter Mike Gayle's musical contributions, and it is impossible to disagree. Bob Crewe was hot at the time and, as the three tunes from the 1968 film Barbarella included here prove, there was attention focused on the band that should've given them the necessary and essential boost. Glitterhouse just didn't get that "Incense & Peppermints" or "In A Gadda Da Vida" calling card that they truly deserved, and the world is the worse for it. "Princess of the Gingerland" is cosmic and ominous, but "I Lost Me a Friend" is just tremendous pop-soul that could have brought a different atmosphere to the Top 40 radio of the day. Lots of influences can be felt, from Pink Floyd to the Beatles, and even glimpses of the music of a band touring at the same time, Todd Rundgren's the Nazz. Then there's a complete turnaround on "Grandma, Why Do You Live in Harlem?" which could be the Band if you close your eyes and don't look at the album cover. The historical liner notes are almost as much fun to read as the music is to hear, all housed in a magically colorful package. Sublime and worth seeking out. Try www.moogymusic.com.
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AllMusic Review by Joe Viglione