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Acid Drops, Spacedust & Flying Saucers: Psychedelic Confectionery From The UK Underground 1965-1969 Box set

4.5 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (20 Aug. 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: EMI Music UK
  • ASIN: B00005NHHF
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 136,981 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

Amazon.co.uk

Lovingly compiled by those scholarly scribes at Mojo magazine (and with excellent sleeve notes from genre connoisseur Jon Savage), the 72-track, four-CD box set Acid Drops. Spacedust and Flying Saucers is a veritable encylopedia of British 60s psychedelic pop. Come, let us leave our monochrome 21st-century adult lives and climb the technicolour loft-ladder into an enchanted and forgotten childhood attic of benzedrine bedtime stories, liquorice allsorts, toy trains, rainbow trees and--in the case of Mandrake Paddle Steamer--strange men walking across the lawn. As Acid Drops correctly points out, American psychedelia was all about napalm guitars, carbon monoxide poisoning and "they're coming to take me away to Vietnam" psychosis. However, its cuddly, post-ration book British sibling was more concerned with sniffing the school chemistry set, eating sweets and something or other to do with gardening. Thus, beat-band blokes from such unlikely places as Scunthorpe, Hove and Hounslow set sail for new musical horizons--possibly on flying carpets made out of flutes and mellotrons--with the pioneering zeal of Victorian free-thinkers. Aside from cult cornerstone classics by The Poets, Timebox, Kaleidoscope, David McWilliams, Amazing Friendly Apple (whose "Magician" really does sound like the work of mysterious robed men with long white beards) and World Of Oz (although surely the pervy nursery rhyme "Muffin Man" would have been a better choice than "Peter's Birthday"), Acid Drops boasts plenty of familiar hit parade fare from The Move, Donovan, The Yardbirds. The Hollies et al, plus obscurities galore. Who, exactly, were proto-punk freak-beat exponents Allen Pound's Get Rich and how come they sounded like Adam and The Ants 11 years before the event? Bamboo Shoot? Nope, us neither--nor the compilers. With such notable absentees as Svensk and Dantalion's Chariot, a whole tangential area of weird-folk to explore and with EMI holding the magic key to the locked cupboard of early Floyd outtakes, here's hoping this essential, un-put-downable box set is the first in a very, very long series. --Kevin Maidment

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Format: Audio CD
Although dealing with the same period as volume two of the highly regarded Nuggets series, Acid Drops, Spacedust, & Flying Saucers, compiled by the self styled 'World's Finest Music Magazine' Mojo, is a very good introduction to British psychedelia. Acid Drops dissects and inspects the solely British mutation from beat/pop (signified by the Kinks' quasi-raga 'See My Friends') into full-blown psychedelia (from the most commercial to most underground of guises). For the hardened collector and avid fanatic of this period, Space Dust will bring few surprises, but is a good deal cheaper than trying to purchase all of the original vinyl. There's a hefty weight of British hits and a delve through the type of major-label material that missed the mark at the time but has since become legendary through contributor Phil Smee's '80s psychedelic compilation series, Rubbles. What will make purchase of this essential is the superior sound quality with all of the tracks having been remastered at Abbey Road. There is an interesting liner booklet, which is a little on the skimpy side, but it does feature a very good essay in which Jon Savage chronicles the evolution and devolution of British music's most quirky, imaginative, and brief of genres. It is a shame that the booklet was not like the ones contained in the Rubble box sets which had extensive notes as well as discographies. The people that this box set was aiming for would have appreciated having as much information as possible.
There are a few other grips that must be mentioned. Each CD has a short running time and it is a wonder why EMI held back to only 18 tracks per CD, whilst Rhino made the effort to fill their Nuggets set to spilling point. Also, why is the beginning of the psyche classic 'My Friend Jack' cut spoiling the impact of the track.
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Format: Audio CD
I must agree with the other reviewers about the terrible shoddiness of the package; how much extra could it have possibly cost to put the CDs in individual jewel cases? Nuggets II certainly gets higher marks for its packaging and liner notes, but I like how Acid Drops sticks (mostly) with British psychedelic treasures, which makes for a much more unified listening experience than Nuggets II. Face it, so much great music came out of this brief era, no one will ever be able to create the "perfect" psychedelic compilation. Yes, I wish MOJO's "panel of experts" had been more adventurous with some of their track selections, and the overlap with Nuggets II is a little annoying.
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Format: Audio CD
This excellent box manages to catch British psychedelia at its best. The music is charming, childish, weird, wonderful, kaleidoscopic and catchy.
It's impossible to review the "Acid Drops" box set without comparing it with Rhino's "Nuggets 2" compilation. The "Nuggets 2" set is more attractively packaged than this, and it also has more tracks on it. However, "Acid Drops" concentrates on British psychedelia, whereas "Nuggets 2" contains too many tedious and second rate 60's beat acts, and to me that makes "Acid Drops" far more interesting listening.
An essential box!
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Format: Audio CD
The perennial problem of these all-encompassing compilations is that you can end up pleasing nobody. If you go for the hits you'll be accused of a lack of imagination: go for the wilfully obscure and you'll be accused of self-indulgence. Ho and moreover, hum. So....top marks for The Poets, Tintern Abbey,Orange Bicycle, 23rd Turnoff & The Attack, all superb examples of the genre and all incredibly rare. Quizzical eyebrow slightly raised at Cook & Moore ( Happy Shopper jazz with a trendy title, Beatle involvement once mistakenly suspected) also Purple Gang ( only pysch connection being the boutique named in the title ) and Denny Laine ( wrong era, wrong style, wrong singer)The hits are what you'd expect ( Herd, Move, Hollies, Traffic, Kinks) and still very listenable. As a primer it's fine but Mojo aspires to greater things and the omissions (Dantalion's Chariot, Big Boy Pete, The Syn, Nirvana, Tyrannosaurus Rex,Svensk) are real disappointments. Also part of the fun was watching long established artistes making candy coloured berks of themselves in a desperate attempt to keep up. The first pysch compilation to include gems like Billy Fury's " "The monkey's in the jam jar " Matt Monro's "We're gonna change the world" or The Seeker's "Scene in green" will get my vote. By the way, I know the "Let it be " album packaging fell apart on exposure to the atmosphere but there was really no need to design this box to do the same. One can take authenticity too far, you know.
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By A Customer on 21 Aug. 2001
Format: Audio CD
This is undoubtedly the best compilation of British psychedelia that I've seen. While there are tracks here whose inclusion appears to be obligatory on any collection of this kind ('My Friend Jack', 'I Can Take You To The Sun', 'I Can Hear The Grass Grow', etc.) there's also a wealth of real rarities and obscurities. I'm particularly pleased to see David McWilliams' one shot classic 'Days of Pearly Spencer' here, and gratified that the compiler has eschewed 'A Whiter Shade of Pale' and 'Sunshine Superman' in favour of the less well known 'Shine On Brightly' and the gorgeous 'Celeste'. Sad omissions are Nirvana's 'Rainbow Chaser' and Pink Floyd's criminally unavailable 'Apples and Oranges', but this is still a superb selection.
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