Various Artists

Not Just Beat Music 1965-1970

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As individual items, these 20 tracks -- all recorded for British EMI, except for the two by the Idle Race -- might have some appeal to collectors, depending upon one's special interest. Throwing them all together makes about as much sense as putting Thai, Mexican, and Greek dishes into the same stew. A lot of these groups contained members that became more famous with future projects -- Davy Jones became David Bowie, the Idle Race had Jeff Lynne, Love Sculpture had Dave Edmunds, Tomorrow had Steve Howe, Kippington Lodge had Nick Lowe, etc. The cuts by Tomorrow and the Pretty Things were among the finest psychedelia of the 1967-68 era. But over a decade later, you can get most of the interesting cuts on better, more coherent reissues (usually devoted to single artists), rather than a compilation that goes all over the map. That's the best place to hear nuggets like Tomorrow's "My White Bicycle," and Keith West's "Excerpt From a Teenage Opera," the Pretty Things' "S.F. Sorrow Is Born," Davy Jones' (Bowie's) "You've Got a Habit of Leaving," and Simon Dupree's "Kites," to cite the most worthy examples.