Dick’s Picks: Never one to rest on his musical laurels, this week our resident vinyl virtuoso has been seen dancing a (cosmic) jig whilst waxing lyrical about this seldom seen private press psych/folk LP by Scotland’s String Driven Thing…..
Mommy, what’s a private press?
Towards the tail end of the ’60s and throughout the ’70s, (and in an age before the recordable CD), aspiring groups/musicians had to be a little more creative in order to promote their band and get their music heard. One way to do this would be to book some studio time, record your music, create some hand-made sleeves and then pay for their record to be pressed privately. Usually the records were pressed in very small quantities of 99 or less, any press over this amount would result in a costly purchase tax bill.
Needless to say, in recent years some of these records have become some of the most collectable vinyl records, take for example Dark’s privately pressed ‘Dark Around The Edges’, only 12 copies made, one recently sold for £6,700!
String Driven Thing
Formed in the mid-sixties in Glasgow String Driven Thing were part of the UK folk revival, Scotland proving to be a particular hotbed of talent with artists like Donovan, Bert Jansch, John Martyn and Al Stewart all emerging from this potent milieu. Led by the husband and wife team of Chris Adams and Pauline Adams their 1969/70 debut LP was a markedly different dish to their 70’s releases on Tony Stratton-Smith’s Charisma label, recorded at Sutton Sound Studios in London it comprises several parts folk/rock, a dash of sunshine-pop-psych-lite, all rounded off with an ever-so-slightly hippy after-taste.
It’s a great period-piece and sounds not unlike a combination of The Byrds & The Pretty Things more psychedelic moments, with an injection of Australian era Bee Gees! Most of the album is acoustic, although fleshed out with flute, brass, Fuzz Guitar, strings, Sitar & even a Mellotron (in 1969 we think the inclusion of Mellotron was mandatory!). The three voices blend beautifully together & bind the compositions into something that is hard to believe is a self financed debut album. Here’s a taste…..
As you might imagine for an record pressed in such tiny quantities the album is normally found, when found at all, in fairly near to destroyed condition. Even then it might still cost you three figures! Needless to say, this is the first copy
of this that we have ever seen and it’s a beauty too, with the sleeve and vinyl showing very little trace of their 45 years in the wild! To view the full info please click here
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