Sunday, 9 November 2008

1968, Dive into Yesterday!

When i think of 1968, Kaleidoscope, July and Jason Crest come to mind, also it was then, early that year that Syd left the Floyds…and by the end of it The Pretty Things’ masterpiece “S.F. Sorrow” was finally released. Yes, it was 40 years ago.
Several of the early bands of the 60s were about to end, change or transform altogether, others were just about to start, some disappeared just as quickly as they appeared not before leaving us with some brilliant music.
About the latter I’m thinking of July’s self-titled album (guess when that was released), Rainbow Ffolly “Sallies Fforth” or Skip Bifferty.
While if we talk about some of the bands that had been around for a while most if not all, had already reached their peak the previous year, with the exception of The Kinks that would release “Village Green…”. By the time The Zombies "Odessey & Oracle" was out almost a year had passed since its recording and the band had effectively split up.In a similar fashion when the belated Tomorrow debut album hit the shops the group was history...
It was finally the year The Move made their debut LP too, it had been a long wait and there had been announcements about their first album already in late 1966.
The brilliant debut albums by The Soft Machine and their pals Caravan also saw the light of day in 1968, the former only being issued in the US…WHY???!
It was also the year that British Folk-Rock was making its debut, albeit with a distinctive American flavour...see Fairport Convention debut or the lone album by Eclection, that to be fair,while based in England, only one of the five members was English.

Definitely and unmistakably English was the debut album by Pentagle that nevertheless blended the British Folk idiom with the American Jazz and Blues, fantastic stuff!
The most magical Folk adventurers though were without a doubt The Incredible String Band that in 1968 reached their peak and released two astonishing albums (or 3 if you count “Wee Tam and the Big Huge” as separate albums).
Very prolific and somebody that anticipated certain sounds was Donovan, unfortunately its releases were often postponed or simply not issued in the UK.
Two of his best albums came out in the US only in 1968, "Mellow Yellow" and "Hurdy Gurdy Man".Still, there was enough for the British market too with a wonderful "In Concert" album and some singles that hit the charts.

There were many “Rubble” favourites that issued 45s during 1968, going by the wonderful names of Wild Silk, Bamboo Shoot or The Mirror ….better known bands like Kaleidoscope, Fire, The Koobas or Fleur-De-Lys all released great singles too.
Blossom Toes managed two 45s between their two very different albums, “Postcard”, their second, being a favourite of mine.
Scottish bands like The Stoics and My Dear Watson among others had singles issued and Marmalade were the most succesful but by far the best from Scotland was One in a Million brilliant two-sider “Fredereek Hernando / Double sight”.

And of course there were more and while I still think of 1967 as my favourite year, we could put together other similar comps from 1968 with a completely different tracklists…and of course there were more from other places besides the UK and I don’t even mean America…
The Outsiders from Holland followed the Pretties example in releasing their masterpiece, titled “CQ”. In Italy for the first time an album was released only in stereo, it was “Stereoequipe” by the Italian Beat favorites Equipe 84. Their close competitors The Rokes released a great English version of an Italian song called “Il vento”, for the English market only and one of their rarest and better sides, a great favourite of mine!
Talking of which, it was during 1968 that my personal favourite from Eastern Europe, Illes from Hungary, released their best album “Nehez az ut” and a bunch of marvellous 45s.
Many of the above have shown up in this blog, and I strongly recommend if you don’t know them, to check the albums above mentioned through other blogs too starting for example with the Peppermint Store!
A Collection of UK Psychedelights and Other Oddities

01 JASON CREST Turquoise tandem cycle (Jan debut single)
02 KALEIDOSCOPE A dream for Julie (Jan single)
03 ONE IN A MILLION Double sight (Jan B-side single)
04 JULY Dandelion seeds (Jun B-side debut single)
05 FACTORY Path through the forest (Oct debut single)
06 SKIP BIFFERTY Man in Black (Jul single)
07 PRETTY THINGS Talkin' About the Good Times (Feb single)
08 KOOBAS Walking Out (May single)
09 MOVE Kilroy Was Here (Mar album track)
10 KALEIDOSCOPE Jenny Artichoke (Sep single)
11 MIRROR Gingerbread Man (May first & only single)
12 TURQUOISE Tales of Flossie Fillett (Mar B-side)
13 MIKE STUART SPAN Concerto of thoughts (Feb B-side)
14 ECLECTION Another time another place (Sept single)
15 RAINBOW FFOLLY Montgolfier (May album track)
16 INCREDIBLE STRING BAND Witches hat (Apr album track)
17 FAIRPORT CONVENTION If i had a ribbon bow (Feb debut single)
18 PENTANGLE Let no man steal your thyme (May album track)
19 CARAVAN Ride (Oct album track)
20 BLOSSOM TOES Everyone's Leaving Me Now (Oct B-side)
21 SOFT MACHINE Why Are We Sleeping (Dec album track)
22 YARDBIRDS Think About It (Mar B-side)
23 TOMORROW Hallucinations (Feb album track)
24 PRETTY THINGS I See You (early version from "More Electric Banana")
25 PINK FLOYD Point me at the sky (Dec single)
26 ROKES When the wind arises (May B-side single)
27 ONE IN A MILLION Fredereek Hernando (Jan single)
28 FLEUR-DE-LYS Gong with the luminous nose (May single)
29 TIMEBOX Gone Is The Sad Man (Nov B-side)
30 JASON CREST Patricia's dream (Jul B-side) DIVE INTO YESTERDAY.rar DIVE INTO YESTERDAY part2.rar

Sorry if you had been looking for white albums or beggars banquets...


Pablo "Pochola" Cazorla said...

Aldo, deberias trabajar como compilador, de un Fuzz stand o algun otro!
Bueno, la verdad que es un setlist arrollador el que has colocado!
Has tratado de que no se te escape ninguno!
uff...ctos compilados se podrian armar ah? con todo el material dando vuelta a nuestro alcance. (via internet o legitimo va)

Felicitaciones viejo, gran seleccion.
Saludos desde Mendoza.
(con 38 grados actualmente)

aldo said...

Hola Pablo,

claro se podría armar otra recopilación con todos otros temas y sin salir del UK...facilmente!

La unica vez que estuve en Mendoza me enfermé de tanto calor...era enero y hubo algo como 48º!
Así pusieron en el diario (año 2003)...casi me muero!
un abrazo

Delinquent said...

Thanks for continuing to post, these are FANTASTIC posts! Hope to see more! -Delinquent

Tulloch said...

This fantastic comp just goes to show what a musically rich and inventive year 1968 was, all so often overshadowed by the iconic status of 1967. Many thanks for posting this, Aldo - "Strawberry monkeys are smiling for Julie!!"

Anonymous said...

Yes for 67-68 you could probably do a comp for each month (or even week!) I really like the Jason Crest tracks - new to me. Mike Stuart Span are/were quite well known but I've only heard a couple of other tracks by them. Any more from these two bands?
Thanks for the excellent blog by the way... HJ

aldo said...


I have both Jason Crest and Mike Stuart Span complete recordings and I strongly recommend both.
I try not to post stuff that's available in the shops or even simply in an another blog and in general terms I don't just put up a CD as it is....plenty of blogs are doing just that and you should check wings on dream (see links)for example for the above bands or just have a look around, i'm sure you'll find them!
I'm glad my post tickled your curiosity...that was the point!

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L said...

Fantastic compilation. I'm sure this took a fair amount of time to assemble. THANKS for it. Excellent commentary too.

crys said...

fantastic comp! thanks much for posting!

aldo said...

I'm glad people have been enjoying this comp and yeah "L",you're right, it takes a bit more of an effort...but I also enjoyed doing it.
This blog is about that and you'll find several other homemade jobs!

Glenn said...

Excellent comp-Thanks, much.

wilthomer said...

Brilliant stuff!!!

Baconbreath69 said...

Just finished listening to this comp, Superb!

cherylharrell (Mrs Harrell) said...

Just wondering who the group in the pic with the umbrella are? They look familiar...

aldo said...

Hi Cheryl,

maybe it's those McGuinn glasses, but the band on the pic is not a very familiar one...they were RAINBOW FFOLLY (see track 15) whose only LP was apparently a sort of Psychedelic Pop Pastiche not to be taken too seriously...they had great tunes nonetheless!