Dick’s Picks: Swinging London – top Psychedelic cash-in-vinyl LP

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Dick’s Picks: This week our man Dick is sticking to familiar territory with this so-bad-it’s-good psychedelic cash-in from the always opportunistic Saga label…..

A Bit of background

The Saga label was a pioneering independent run by enigmatic Marcel Rodd; a business maverick that thought nothing of running a new record label and studio from his home just off the Finchley Road in London. Recordings were mostly made on a very tight budget with some, how shall we say, interesting cost-cutting ideas – how about the successful series ‘Best Loved Gems Of Piano Music’ which purported to be some much loved classical piano pieces played by the one and only Paul Procopolis? In fact it was a collection of recordings from the Saga archive all played by different players – what the heck, no-one noticed!

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With such a keen eye for marketing music it’s no wonder that come 1968 Marcel (and employees) tried to muscle in on that old Swingin’ London vibe, I mean it can’t be that hard to get right can it?

SW35158
Full info here

Okay so where do we start with the sleeve? Yup, it seems that every ’60s Swingin’ London cliche is well and truly ticked…sexy gals in mini-skirts-check, floral prints-check, a certain dandy-ism (well the chap on the right)- check, a psychedelicised mini (well if you can call a few painted scrawls psychedelic that is)-check, an all-round generally ‘happy’ vibe-check, and of course the London Mews location-check…unfortunately it looks like the no-expense spared budget had run out by the time they got to the reverse of the sleeve…..

SW235158_2
full info here

So, what about the music?

First of all only two bands appear, both with suitably convincing underground-freakout type names; The First Impression and The Good Earth. What’s it sound like? If you can get past the overly trebly sound, it’s actually a passable garage/psych-lite type affair that just about passes muster, infact trivia fans the Good Earth would later morph into Mungo Jerry (is that a good or bad thing?), as for the First Impression…answers on a postcard please…..

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