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on 18 July 2011
Having listened to this boxed set a few times now I can only say that if you liked the Rubble and Perfumed Garden boxed sets then you'll probably enjoy this one too. The type of songs is generally quite similar, and the sound quality is roughly the same, not reaching the heights of sonic clarity that Real Life Permanent Dream has to offer, while definitely rising a long way up from the muddy depths of Chocolate Soup For Diabetics. As for the song selection, considering the flurry of psych boxed sets in recent years, there is surprisingly little overlap, and I'd only heard about 4 or 5 of these tracks before. The tracks lifted from vinyl are lifted well - none of the popping and scratching I hear on some other discs in my collection, and only distinguishable as originating from vinyl with headphones, again unlike the Chocolate Soup collection. So if you've got all the aforementioned sets, which I'd recommend getting before this one, then this is the logical next step if you're looking for more of the same.
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on 30 January 2012
This purchase is a really good listen, in places, great.

Nice booklet and notes accompany the cds, great cd sleeve artwork too.

Sound quality was better than expected
-this can be a bit of a gamble when going back into the mists
of space, time and let's face it, hi-fi history.

Overall, perhaps consider the Rubble 1-12 series first, then get this if you crave more psychedelia.
It's a good speculative buy at the right price.
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on 22 January 2013
The UK psychedelic scene produced a great many superb records. Few of them, however, are to be found on this collection.
I bought this after it being recommended to me by Amazon, based on the other items I had bought. Indeed, having read the customer reviews (some comparing it to the "Rubble" series), I thought it would be exactly my sort of thing. However, whilst the "Rubble" series served up nearly 300 tracks of prime psychedelia (with the odd duffer thrown in), this series seems to be scraping the barrel. A fair amount of the tracks were never released at the time, and have been rescued from acetates or demos; they really needn't have bothered.
On the plus side, there are a couple of great tracks I'd never heard before (namely "Moneylender" by Rhubarb Rhubarb and "Nobody Wants You Now" by Los Brincos), with the vast majority of this stuff not being compiled before, and, considering the obscure nature of the material, the sound quality is pretty good. It is also nicely presented with a well annotated and illustrated booklet. The collection runs the gamut of psychedelic sounds, from gentle folk to proto metal.
Despite this though (or maybe because of this), this is overall a very mediocre collection. If you like your psych with full-blown mellotron, reverb effects and wierd lyrics then you have come to the wrong place. A lot of these songs, whilst inoffensive enough, are barely psychedelic; they just happen to have been recorded in that period, and may mention flowers or Mrs Green's baker shop, or something equally whimsical. A fair number of the heavier ones are pretty awful; who on earth ever decided to waste valuable tape reels on the Wire Machine, or Green Scarab? Maybe this sort of thing sounds okay if you're stoned or high on acid, but in a sober state are best avoided.
If you want to know about the UK psychedelic scene, I thoroughly recommend the "Rubble" series; it is obviously the inspiration behind this collection, yet surpasses it one hundred fold.
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on 2 April 2013
There is a school of thought that goes something like this. Put the word 'psychedelic' on your description of the music to be found in your compilation/reissue of 60's non-hit makers and you will inevitably get some mugs to buy it. This tactic has been especially well deployed in the field of UK 'psychedelic' compilations. Bam Caruso/Voiceprint/Past & Present - whatever the current incarnation of the recycling machine that is out there has been particularly prolific in this regard. We have had (in no particular order), 20 volumes of Rubbles, 5 of We Can Fly, 6 of Circus Days and 6 or so of 'New Rubble'. Not to metion loads of others all promising mind expansion but rarely delivering on it.

Now I reckon that from these 40 volumes of compilations that emanate from Bam Caruso and related there contains probably 6/7 cds worth of great groundbreaking psych madness and 30 odd of pleasant but ultimately not remotely psychedelic beat music from the 60's.And maybe 2 cds worth of early prog.

In this regard Circus Days suffers accordingly. There isn't a huge amount of acid infused psych going on here and so from that perspective its at best a noble failure and at worst utterly dishonest (as was the Rubble series). I go with the former cos I hate cynicism.


The majority of the 60's beat/pop on offer is of a very good quality and worthy of repeated listens. Hence the 3 stars in this review. You can't help but be impressed by the reverb laden beat moves of Hat and Tie whose "Finding It Rough" is a bonafide pop classic. My 2 year old daughter loves the toytown nonsense of Clover and their eulogy to the 'Ice Cream Man' (she has good taste), and I am extremely partial to the likes of Stars, Nick Garrie, Summer Set and Thane Russell. All great tunes, all about as psychedelic as Bing Crosby.

There are probably no more than 20 psychedelic tracks spread over the 6 cds. A low return but there again there is a disclaimer in the title isn't there? And psychedelia is a difficult one to pin down. A lot of the songs on this box set sound like the Who, the Kinks, the Small Faces, Beatles or Stones and not in their own psych periods. A particularly jaw dropping moment is provided by The Mirage on Volume 3 who manage to turn Tomorrow Never Knows into a Freddy and the Dreamers style nightmare (presumably the acid was bad).

Still, I really like this box set and I would recommend it to people who are interested in 60's beat/pop/psych (in that order). Just don't expect to be astrally projected over your living room listening to it. Solid 3
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on 20 March 2015
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on 15 February 2011
This knocks spots off the old Voiceprint stand alone CD rissues. The sound is remastered and the chunky booklet is well annotated and illustrated. I've not heard the Past & Present label reissue set, but this box on the Otherside label has the official blessing of Phil Smee who compiled the Circus Days vinyl series originally.
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on 27 February 2012
So who is on it and what are they playing? A track listing would be very, very, very, very useful!
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