Various Artists

The Psychedelic Sixties [Varese]

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The cover doesn't look promising, but a quick scan of the track listing reveals that The Psychedelic Sixties is a heavy dose of heavy psych -- an excellent collection of period rarities by several of the decade's most talented groups. Excepting only a few classics very familiar to Nuggets fans (including the 13th Floor Elevators' "You're Going to Miss Me" and the Yardbirds' "Shapes of Things"), many '60s fans won't have heard these tracks: "I Should Have Known," an unreleased version of a jam routine from the first Soft Machine record; "Tell Me (Have You Ever Seen Me)," a Small Faces cover by the Apostolic Intervention; "Hurricane Fighter Plane" by Texan psychedelics the Red Crayola; a grandiose, organ-driven version of "America" (from West Side Story) by the Nice with Keith Emerson; and blues nuggets from the early Fleetwood Mac and John Mayall, as well as ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons' early band, the Moving Sidewalks. The addition of a few pop-based hits, such as "Romeo & Juliet" by Michael & the Messengers or "Lies" by the Knickerbockers, won't appeal to psych fans or '60s collectors, but nearly everything else here has much to recommend it.

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