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The Seeds - Bad Part Of Town (1993/2008)



Kolejny post poświęcony legendarnej garażowej grupie The Seeds. Tym razem przedstawiam bardzo ciekawe wydawnictwo, które zawiera nagrania dokonane przed powstaniem zespołu oraz po rozwiązaniu pod nazwą New Seeds. Długo jej szukałem. Oryginalnie ukazała się nakładem francuskiej wytwórni Eva, a teraz została wznowiona w limitowanymn nakładzie na kompakcie. Płyta kolekcjonerska

Sky Saxon & The Electra Fires - Do The Swim/Trouble With My Baby (1963)
Richie Marsh & The Hood - Baby Baby Baby/Half Angel (1964)
Sky Saxon & The Soul Rockers - They Say/Go Ahead & Cry (1964)
The Seeds - Bad Part of Town / Wish Me Up 1970
The Seeds - Love In A Summer Basket / Did He Die? 1970
The Seeds - Shuckin' And Jivin' / You Took Me by Surprise 1972

Pozostałe koncertowe nagrania są bonusami na CD, ale nic rewelacyjnego.




Sky is still doing the Seeds, still no "Sunlight" attached to his name, but getting increasingly concerned with the well-being of animals and vegetables, as well as astronomic phenomena. Andridge and Savage had been replaced with new members, but whether these new recruits stuck around for the MGM opening is unclear. One of the players Daryl Hooper recalls being named "Chip", while Sky has identified the other two as "Rob" (bass) and "John". Maybe some day their last names will be found on an Etruscan drinking vessel or something, for now that's what we have. Daryl Hooper recalls being on the first MGM 45 "Bad Part Of Town"/"Wish Me Up" (MGM 14163), and it appears that he's also on the second MGM 45 "Love In A Summer Basket"/"Did He Die" (MGM 14190).

Now if the Seeds had been just an ordinary 1960s band, and if Sky Saxon had been just an ordinary 1960s teen idol, then these two releases would have sucked royally, like Dick Dodd's "Guilty" or that Roy Orbison hippie-epic 45. But the incredibly strange aspects that seep into the Saxon legend like highgrade Owsley into an LA water reservoir produces something quite different: two real killer 45s, as good or better than anything the band did when they were selling out the Hollywood Bowl. The four tracks may be familiar to some of you as they made the rounds via two parallel Sky retrospectives in the early 1980s, one by AIP and one by France's Eva label; the "Bad Part Of Town" track also appeared on a couple of garage compilations. But this was all 20 years ago, and it may be time for a look at the tunes from the next millennium.

"Bad Part Of Town" is a 100% successful garage-hardrock transition number, the Saxon songwriting being instantly recognizable to the point of including rhymes on "day and night" like the band always utilized back in the charttopping days. Sky sings a blue collar coalminer's lament that could have been embarrassing but instead rings with authenticity, simply because he himself and the band as a whole sounds so damn angry! Not a whiff of burnout vibes here; they could have shared the bill with Boa or Mystic Siva at some local Detroit speedfreak club. The drummer has been put down elsewhere, but I think his frantic hardrock style improves the tune further. The flipside "Wish Me Up" is essentially a return to the teen crooner sounds that were the other side of the '66 era Seeds, apart from the two-chord punk manifestos. Daryl Hooper's electric piano is given a central place just like in the good old daze, while the lead guitarist plays it clean and simple like Jan Savage would. The lyrics are a bit more cosmic, and the overall mood is hippiesh rather than bobbysockish; the end result works pretty well.



After "Bad Part Of Town" died in the market, a few months passed before the band was allowed a second chance to compete with Three Dog Night or whatever it was that rode the charts in 1970. "Love In A Summer Basket" seems an honest attempt to make a commercial tune, except that the sentiment and sound it promotes had disappeared into a black hole between Altamont and the Tate-LaBianca residence the year before. It's not bad, especially if you enjoy the Scott McKenzie-on-PCP vibes of the "Future" LP, with a heavy guitar break in the middle aimed to lure hapless teens away from their Grand Funk and Led Zep albums and realize the genius of Sky. They didn't, which is a shame as it means they missed out on the stunning "Did He Die", which I'd rate as the best of all Sky's early 1970s tunes.

Opening with throbbing, uptempo bass we are thrown into a vicious acidfuzz variation on the old Seeds two-chord gospel, some ominous Vietnam-inspired lyrics lead the way into an unexpected good-timey interlude for a few bars, then it's whammo into a droning fuzz-fueled rant from Sky: "Did he die...Did he die... He shot him in the head... He killed his brother... torture, torture on the hill... thousand crosses mark the kill... ruuuuunnn... I'll protect you with my life..."; the whole thing plays like a haunted Viet Vet junkie flashback of the Dho Lung Bridge scenes from "Apocalypse Now". It's just amazing.

After the non-success of the 45s MGM dropped the band, and I must admit the story gets a bit hazy here. From various comments it seems that the "New Seeds" band remained more or less intact, except for the valiant Daryl Hooper who'd finally had enough. After a recording hiatus (although they probably played live) Sky & his merry men came back in 1972 with an atypical hardrock 45, released on their own Productions Unlimited label (# AJ-11/22). This one is probably too tough a pill to swallow for the average Seeds fan, but as far as local hardrock / guitarpsych 45s go it's very good. No burnout vibes audible as the band blows through a convincing interpretation of the sound that was played in a zillion suburban basements around the US at the time. Fans of things like Poobah or Ohio's Headstone are likely to nod in approval. The A-side "Shuckin' and jivin'" clocks in at almost 7 minutes and features some truly great playing, but the most puzzling aspect are the vocals, which several people have suggested isn't Sky. It really doesn't sound much like him but I can't imagine the guy abandoning his most important contribution, and think it's simply a case of a deliberate Robert Plant imitation achieved partly via the recording technique. The flipside "You Took Me By Surprise" is in the same vein but with shorter instrumental passages and a clearly recognizable Sky Saxon behind the microphone. Not bad, and proof of the man's enviable ability to identify and emulate the happening sounds of the moment. (lysergia.com)



Bad Part Of Town (2008 French pressed UK issue 'Édition Limitée' 13-track digitally remastered CD album, offering a fascinating collection of material which bookends the 'classic' Seeds material from 1966-68; featuring Sky Saxon's early 60s pre-Seeds singles [under his original name of Richard Marsh], which find him cast in an unlikely Bobby Darin-style teen heartthrob setting [although the trademark Saxon nasal whine is already in evidence!], plus, by way of anextreme contrast, the early 70s material from The Seeds, recorded for MGM [1970] and Unlimited Productions [1972] - if you can imagine classic Seeds with slightly more accomplished musicianship and a 'heavier' sound, you're there! These forgotten recordings are surprisingly good, with particular regard to 'Bad Part Of Town' and the manic 'Did He Die'; superbly packaged in a glossy mini LP-style card sleeve with 'vinyl look' disc.

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ankh pisze...

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reservatory pisze...
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reservatory pisze...

THANK YOU! I used to own the MGM 45s many MANY years ago and it's great to hear them again, as well as Sky's creepy solo singles!

Dziękuję! Zwykłem własny ten MGM 45s dużo DUŻO lata przed i to jest wielki wobec słyszeć im znowu , zarówno... Sky's pełzający solo przerywa!

(online translation)

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