The Freak Scene

Psychedelic Psoul/Hard Rock from the Middle East

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Far out -- like wow, the colors.... Seriously, the Psychedelic Psoul portion of this two-LPs-on-one-CD package (the Freak Scene's album is paired on the same CD with Hard Rock from the Middle East by the Devil's Anvil) is a complete period piece -- it is also one of the spacier psychedelic records to come out of Columbia, a label that didn't exactly jump into the Summer of Love headfirst. Some of the songs aren't much more than audio montages -- "'...When in the Course of Human Events'" and "The Subway Ride Thru Inner Space" aren't much more listenable than David Crosby's "Mind Gardens," which at least had the excuse for its existence that Crosby was doing lots of drugs. Most of the rest is surprisingly engaging mid-1967 psychedelia, some with nice tunes ("Butterfly Dream," "Rose of Smiling Faces"), and even one outing with a Bo Diddley beat ("The Center of My Soul"). Most of what's here is listenable, but not terribly important as music -- the Beatles, the Byrds, the Rolling Stones, the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, the Who, the Small Faces, and half a dozen other acts were doing stuff that could be taken more seriously, even at the time. Today, it sounds closer to the Monkees' psychedelic ventures than to, say, Jefferson Airplane (though they try for the latter's sound on "Red Roses Will Weep"). Other than David Bromberg and producer Rusty Evans, no other musicians are identified. It's still far out, even heavy, man.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:40
2 3:36
3 4:16
4 2:17
5 2:43
6 1:38
7 2:49
8 2:25
9 2:34
10 2:18
11 2:27
12 1:37
13 2:41
14 2:59
16 2:26
17 5:56
19 2:48
21 2:49
22 2:21
23 3:00
24 3:02
blue highlight denotes track pick