Lost Classics of the 1960s, Vol. 4

A carefully curated selection of obscure musical wonders from an ex-disc jockey with a specialization in American and British psychedelia released between 1965 and 1972.

{Note: This series features ten lost sixties classics at a time, offered in no particular order but intended to be approximately the length of an LP. Among the genres and subgenres included in the series are rock, pop, folk, soul, funk, reggae, psychedelic pop-rock, psychedelic folk, folk-rock, folk-pop, proto-electronica, proto-punk, early prog, early glam, early trance, garage rock, art rock, and instrumentals. The reading of “60s” used here is what collectors call the “long 60s,” which ends in 1972. Dates are—to the best of my ability—recording, not release dates.}

This edition of the series offers our first reggae song, from Desmond Dekker & the Aces; one of the best songs from a band (Buffalo Springfield) now primarily known for “For What It’s Worth”, a great tune to be sure but unjustly the only one most people have heard from them; and a classic vocal performance by Terry Reid, who was mostly appreciated for his guitar-playing, otherwise. “Aries” is a wonderful, Beatlesque song by an iteration of the British band Kaleidoscope, which is one of my favorite bands of the sixties (besides that name, they also went by Fairfield Parlour and, for a brief time, I Luv Wight). Peter Daltrey and his crew were best known for twee psychedelia—not a pejorative if you love British psychedelia, as I do—but they also had some incredible ballads, an masterful album-length ode to Marilyn Monroe (White Faced Lady) and occasionally some more contemplative fare, like the song here. You’ll almost never get a bad song from The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, and the one below is no exception. Then we have some truly obscure sonic nuggets from SRC, Barclay James Harvest—a band much more obscure in the States than the UK—The Playboys of Edinburg (Texas), and Eclection, which was basically a poor man’s Association or The Mamas and the Papas, though of course neither of those comparisons are anything but a compliment. (The latter two bands are universally considered terrific, and the Mamas and the Papas among the best of the decade—see, e.g., “California Dreamin.’”)

{Note: I consider “Iron Maiden” one of the most accidentally misleadingly titled songs of the decade, as it’s about as beautiful as any song recorded in the 1960s. I hope you give it a listen! And “Up Up Through the Spiral” gets credit for having one of the most chill guitar solos ever.}

Let me know your favorites (or least-favorites) in the comments. Which of these songs were justly forgotten? Unjustly? Are the songs below proof of genius—or sheer folly?

1. Buffalo Springfield, “Rock & Roll Woman” (1967)

2. Desmond Dekker and the Aces, “Israelites” (1968)

3. The Clique, “Superman” (1969)

4. Terry Reid, “Without Expression” (1968)

5. Fairfield Parlour, “Aries” (1970)

6. The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, “As the World Rises and Falls” (1967)

7. SRC, “Daystar” (1968)

8. Barclay James Harvest, “Iron Maiden” (1969)

9. The Playboys of Edinburg (POE), “Up Up Through the Spiral” (1970)

10. Eclection, “Nevertheless” (1968)