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Jim70 (Tokyo)

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The Psychedelic Sounds Of...
The Psychedelic Sounds Of...
Price: £12.24

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finally, they have done it right., 10 Dec. 2010
The Thirteenth Floor Elevators are one of the great cult bands; shared around by generations of knowing music fans without ever taking a place in the limelight. If you've reached this page you probably already know that, so what more is there to say? Well, after years of having their (admittedly slim) musical archive asset-stripped by poor quality reissues, this is the proper, and properly remastered, edition of the album we have been waiting for. As far as I can tell this is the restored version of the album from last year's wilfully exclusive 'Sign of the 3 eyed men' box-set, now made available at a reasonable price for us regular punters who couldn't afford that luxury. For the first time, we can hear the dynamics of the band through the gloom and reverb of the original production. That was always part of their sound, to be sure, but now it sounds like a deliberate quality of shade and menace to the album rather than the mere murk of poor recording. The guitar lines are spikier, the bass runs are much clearer and Tommy Hall's jug still sounds like nothing else in rock. When all the psychedelic philosophy of the sleeve-notes was said and done, the Elevators were a strange meeting of pretty, Buddy Holly-style song structures with urgent modal riffing and, above it all, Roky Erickson's spectral vocals. Completists will appreciate the original stereo mix and some early, sharper studio mixes on the bonus disc ('Roller Coaster' being especially interesting) but it's the chance to hear the original album afresh that will make this most desirable for listeners.

Chocolate Soup For Diabetics
Chocolate Soup For Diabetics
Offered by jim-exselecky
Price: £29.99

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The first is not always the best, 12 Oct. 2010
There are only 1000 of these on sale, so this is directed to at least 997 people out there, as well as my 2 fellow posters. You already know I'm sure that this is a reissue of the legendary bootleg series from the early 1980s that resurrected obscure UK mod/freak/psych as a musical genre and so is a minor piece of record collector history.And as tracklists go, it is superb, with some now very well known tracks (Tintern Abbey, One in a Million) and some still under-anthologised pieces (Alan Avon, Australian Playboys, Boo & Boo Boos, Sons of Fred). Very much on the 'hard' garage-pop side of things, rather than the Fading Yellow school.

However...Chocolate Soup was always a bit of a botched job, featuring some sped up and badly edited tracks and unfortunately this sounds like a straight master of those original discs.The Rubble comps, for example, have much better sound quality. Even worse, the opening tracks on CD 2 & 3 are miscued and missing their intros, which ruins Factory's 'Path Through the Forest'. To be honest, Past and Present can be a frustrating label for punters, as they have squandered some great reissue opportunities with misleading label information and shoddy production values. I'm sure this reissue is a well intentioned historical exercise and the packaging is well done in this case, but there are a lot of other anthologies to choose from.

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