Various Artists

Rock Generation, Vol. 8

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The Rock Generation series presents marginalia by '60s rock groups that went on to become famous via more widely distributed recordings; this is an odd compilation of material by the Soft Machine, eclectic folk/jazz/blues guitarist Davey Graham, and the super-obscure British R&B combo the Mark Leeman Five (represented by only one cut). The Soft Machine material is just half of the 1967 demos that have been packaged under numerous titles, such as Jet Propelled Photograph; they're good, but it's far more advisable to seek out a disc that has all nine songs, and not just the five on offer here. The two Graham cuts on the other side are a different matter. These are not available anywhere else, and "Blues Raga" (which he would re-record on a 1968 LP as "Blue Raga") is a noteworthy lengthy excursion into folk-raga, a territory few others explored in the '60s. The album is now hard to find and should only be sought by hardcore Davey Graham fans, but that track alone makes its acquisition worthwhile.

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