Frumious Bandersnatch

Golden Songs of Libra

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Most of the known Frumious Bandersnatch studio recordings appear on the lengthy (and good) Big Beat CD A Young Man's Song, and the three songs they put on the one record (an EP) they released during their lifetime are on the Big Beat various-artists compilation The Berkeley EPs. The Golden Songs of Libra LP (on purple vinyl), which has just six songs, must be considered as something of a luxury item for vinyl purists and completist collectors, since only three of the tracks were previously unissued, and all of them are different versions of songs that appear on previous releases. Those otherwise-unavailable items include an alternate version of "Hearts to Cry" and full-length versions of "Cheshire" and "Can-a-Bliss." Nor are those alternate versions much to get excited about: this "Hearts to Cry," their best song, isn't as dead-on as the take included on their EP, with extraneous over-emotive vocals during the instrumental break, while "Can-a-Bliss" is dampened by a very late-'60s overlong drum solo. Extensive liner notes (with lengthy quotes from most of the bandmembers and some material not used for the similar liner notes on A Young Man's Song) are a nice feature, but this is only for the most dedicated psychedelic specialists.