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The definitive English Kaleidoscope
on 3 August 2012
English psychedelic band Kaleidoscope - not to be confused with the American band of the same name - issued two albums and five singles on the Fontana label in the UK between September 1967 and August 1969. Cherry Red associate label Grapefruit have gathered all of this material together for the first time on this definitive two CD collection. Grapefruit is a label worth checking out if you like this type of material issued in comprehensive packages - this from their website:
"Managed by David Wells, Grapefruit is Cherry Red's bespoke psych/garage-era imprint, devoted to issuing single-artist career anthologies (The Herd, The Sorrows, The Knickerbockers) and definitive versions of rare and/or classic albums (Duncan Browne's debut, Skip Bifferty, Tinkerbell's Fairydust) dating from the 1966-70 timeframe, with all releases boasting sympathetic artwork, rare photos, detailed liner notes and from-the-masters sound quality."
David Wells has enlisted well-known CD compiler John Reed to help him co-ordinate this particular project and David has written and illustrated an informative booklet to accompany the two CDs. The booklet contains band history, discography, album sleeves, record labels and band photos in a true labour of love.
The two albums, "Tangerine Dream" and "Faintly Blowing", are presented here in their original stereo mixes, but the album tracks which were additionally released on 45s are also presented as the released 45 single mix. The stereo mix for "Tangerine Dream" is of its day - when probably greater effort went into the then more popular mono mix - and sounds a little dated now; the mono singles mixes having a more balanced sound. "Faintly Blowing", although only a couple of years later, has a much better stereo mix and a more dynamic sound. All the tracks are licensed from Universal Music - the current home of the Fontana label - and sound as if they are from the original Fontana master tapes.
Kaleidoscope went on to become Fairfield Parlour in the seventies, again without too much success, but this, their legacy from the late sixties still stands as a fine body of work. With lovely melodies, killer hooks and a good smattering of whimsy why the band never achieved greater fame is one of rocks enigmas. However, David Wells has done them proud with his "Further Reflections" and is the only compilation you need for the definitive English Kaleidoscope. Five stars and thanks to David and John for an excellent project.