Various Artists

Mindrockers, Vol. 7

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For a major label that, according to some accounts, didn't have much of an idea of how to record rock & roll, Columbia sure issued a lot of interesting, little-known rock records in the 1960s. This has 14 cuts from 1965-69 and contains some good music, although the best of it has been subsequently issued on CD. That includes the early dreamy psychedelic cuts by the Sparrow (who would evolve into Steppenwolf); the blues single by the Rising Sons (with both Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder); and the inspired R&B/psychedelic fusion of Larry Williams & Johnny Watson's "Nobody," and with backing by Kaleidoscope. More interesting to the collector are the cuts that are hard to find otherwise: the Playboys of Edinburg (who sound like the Younger Than Yesterday-era Byrds with a more country influence), the propulsive garage punk of the Denims' "I'm Your Man," and the Dylanish folk-rock of the Bad Seeds' "King of the Soapbox." Future Pure Prairie League member Mike Reilly even makes an appearance on a 1966 garagey single by the Mark IV. Considering that Columbia seems in no hurry to issue vault compilations of no-name acts such as these, this LP is worth picking up if you can find a copy.

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