Oxford Circle

Live at the Avalon 1966

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Fourteen of the 18 tracks on this disc were recorded live in San Francisco in 1966, in fidelity that was good even by the standards of 1997. As such, it's a godsend for psychedelia fans, as the band released only two official tracks, which were themselves hard to find on reissue. That said, the music doesn't quite live up to the legend, though one can see that it was sufficiently exciting for live audiences of the era. It's split fairly evenly between British Invasion covers of groups like the Yardbirds, Them and the Animals, and group originals in a similar style. Though there are flashes of psychedelic mayhem in the guitar work particularly, it isn't as weird as the B-side "Mind Destruction" (a largely formless instrumental built around feedback) might have led collectors to expect, and the original tunes aren't so memorable. The set is embellished by both sides of the "Foolish Woman"/"Mind Destruction" single, as well as a couple of unreleased studio tracks from 1967 that have sessionman Mac Rebennack (aka Dr. John) on organ.

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