Various Artists

Who Will Buy These Wonderful Evils

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This is a superior double-CD compilation of Swedish psychedelic rock, well worth digging up. It has been released on an imprint of Virgin Records Sweden and is available as an import. Disc one presents 16 tracks (for a total duration of 51 minutes) from the early 2000s, while disc two is comprised of 17 cuts (61 minutes) from the '60s and early '70s. The listener is left with the task of finding how the former were influenced by the latter. The collection is wide-ranging, touching to psychedelic pop, garage rock, even a bit of proto-punk together with many psychedelic rockers. Some of the '60s songs have been lifted off vinyl, but the transfer quality is more than acceptable (the needle skip in Annabee-Nox's "Always on My Mind" is an exception) and in general, despite relying heavily on Virgin's back catalog, is quite representative of the scene. The "oldies" disc includes key tracks by Hansson & Karlsson, Mecki Mark Men, Pugh, the Jimi Hendrix-influenced Outsiders, and the Shakers, whose excellent "Who Will Buy (These Wonderful Evils)" provided the title of this compilation. The "newbies" disc includes tracks from Caesars Palace, Broder Daniel, the stranger than strange Silverbullit, and the Soundtrack of Our Lives, by far the best-known group outside of Sweden on this album. The track list could have offered a smoother, more comfortable ride. For example, sandwiching the dreamy organ melodies of Sagor & Swing (a delightful track from their second album) between two hard rockers limits the impact it could have. These details aside, Who Will Buy These Wonderful Evils provides a first-rate initiation to Swedish psychedelia past and present. The 24-page booklet includes detailed notes for each song.

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