Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Freakbeat and Beyond- Rubble Volume 3: Nightmares in Wonderland & Related Albums

Rubble is a 20-volume collection of compilation albums originally compiled by Phil Smee for Bam Caruso Records throughout the eighties and early nineties. As its name suggests, it is best thought of as the British version of Nuggets, and similar to that legendary U.S. garage-rock comp, Rubble does an unparallelled job of digging beneath the surface of its subject, in this case, mid-to-late sixties British psychedelia, and uncovering a plethora of forgotten gems in the process. While often associated with "freakbeat," in actuality, Rubble also covers a good amount of beat, mod-pop, garage-rock, psych-rock and early prog-rock. It is an absolutely essential resource for discovering amazing late-sixties Brit-pop obscurities, that, for various reasons, never attained canonization but deserve, nonetheless, to be heard. I will be posting all 20 volumes as separate installments, coupled with a few full albums from artists featured on each compilation or artists that were overlooked by the Rubble compilers, so if you already have the volume featured in a given post, read on because there is much more to be found after the jump!

 Past and Present ~ 2003/1986

01. The Brain- Nightmares in Red  (2:17)
02. Focus Three- 10,000 Years Behind My Mind  (2:14)
03. The Pretty Things- Talking About the Good Times  (3:37)
04. Bamboo Shoot- The Fox Has Gone to Ground  (2:49)
05. Wild Silk- (Visions in a) Plaster Sky  (2:25)
06. Mark Wirtz- (He's Our Dear Old) Weatherman  (3:54)
07. The Lemon Tree- William Chalker's Time Machine  (2:31)
08. The Koobas- Barricades  (4:59)
09. Aquarian Age- 10, 000 Words in a Cardboard Box  (3:41)
10. The Pretty Things- Mr. Evasion  (3:20)
11. The Executive- Gardena Dreamer  (3:07)
12. The Chances Are- Fragile Child  (2:25)
13. Ipsissimus- Hold On  (3:31)
14. Edwick Rumbold- Shades of Grey  (2:31)
15. The Penny Peeps- Model Village  (2:49)
16. Tomorrow- Revolution  (3:43)

Part I       Part II


 The Koobas
BGO ~ 2000/1969

Despite the fact that The Koobas were among the most talented of the lesser known British beat bands, and were also fortunate enough to land an opening spot on the final British tour of fellow Liverpudlians, The Beatles, they were never able to turn these advantages into commercial success. In many ways, The Koobas followed a very similar trajectory to The Beatles in their early days, as the band had paid its dues playing the Star-Club in Hamburg, Germany and was signed by none other than Brian Epstein in 1964, eventually inking a recording contract with Pye Records (also home to The Kinks at the time). After releasing several solid R&B-tinged singles during the mid-sixties that went nowhere in the charts, The Koobas, now signed to EMI, decided to try their hand at psychedelia, recording their one and only album throughout 1968; however, the band fell apart just as their album was being released, a shame since The Koobas is a better-than-average psych-era concept album.

01. Royston Rose  (3:51)
02. Where Are the Friends?  (3:37)
03. Constantly Changing  (2:44)
04. Here's a Day  (3:10)
05. Fade Forever  (3:00)
06. Barricades  (5:02)
07. A Little Piece of My Heart  (2:42)
08. Gold Leaf Tree  (3:38)
09. Mr. Claire  (3:44)
10. Circus  (5:44)
11. Sweet Music  (2:42)
12. Face  (2:32)
13. Sally  (2:36)
14. Champagne & Caviar  (2:29)
15. Gypsy Fred  (3:05)
16. City Girl  (2:28)
17. The First Cut Is the Deepest  (3:06)
18. Walking Out  (1:48)

Part I       Part II


Steve Howe
Big Eye ~ 2001/1994

This is a first rate compilation of the musical journey of guitarist Steve Howe prior to joining Yes. Starting with his first band, the R&B-influenced Syndicats, then moving to the mod-pop of In Crowd, the vastly underrated psychedelia of Tomorrow, and the proto-prog of Bodast, Mothballs also serves as a virtual road map for the development of British Rock during the latter half of the sixties.

01. Syndicats- Maybellene  (2:09)
02. Syndicats- True to Me  (1:56)
03. Syndicats- Howlin' for My Baby  (2:52)
04. Syndicats- What to Do  (2:40)
05. Syndicats- Leave My Kitten Alone  (2:53)
06. Syndicats- Don't Know What to Do  (3:10)
07. Syndicats- On the Horizon  (2:50)
08. In Crowd- Stop Wait a Minute  (2:08)
09. In Crowd- You're on Your Own  (2:19)
10. In Crowd- Why Must They Criticise  (2:29)
11. In Crowd- I Don't Mind  (3:17)
12. In Crowd- Finger Poppin'  (2:03)
13. Steve Howe- So Bad  (2:30)
14. Steve Howe- You Never Can Stay in One Place  (2:39)
15. Tomorrow- Real Life Permanent Dream  (3:16)
16. Tomorrow- Am I Glad to See You  (3:01)
17. Tomorrow- Blow Up  (4:04)
18. Tomorrow- Three Jolly Little Dwarfs  (2:38)
19. Tomorrow- Revolution  (2:27)
20. Tomorrow- My White Bicycle  (2:17)
21. Keith West- The Kid Was a Killer  (2:30)
22. Canto- Come Over Stranger  (3:06)
23. Bodast- Beyond Winter  (2:52)
24. Bodast- Nothing to Cry For  (4:07)
25. Bodast- Nether Street  (3:00)

Part I       Part II


Tomorrow Featuring Keith West
EMI ~ 1999/1968

One of the initial psychedelic bands to appear on the British music scene in 1966, Tomorrow never attained the level notoriety or commercial success enjoyed by contemporaries such as Pink Floyd and Soft Machine, even though, in many ways, they were arguably the equals of these bands. Featuring a lineup that included vocalist Keith West, guitar-legend Steve Howe, and drummer John "Twink" Alder who would go on to form The Pink Fairies, Tomorrow enjoyed the distinction of recording the very first John Peel session in 1967. Tomorrow's eponymous 1968 debut, their sole album, while not as consistently brilliant as Sgt. Pepper or The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, is, nevertheless, one of the more focused, thus less self-consciously indulgent records to emerge from the British psych scene, and contains the cult classic, "My White Bicycle."

01. Tomorrow- My White Bicycle  (3:16)
02. Tomorrow- Colonel Brown  (2:51)
03. Tomorrow- Real Life Permanent Dream  (3:15)
04. Tomorrow- Shy Boy  (2:25)
05. Tomorrow- Revolution  (3:48)
06. Tomorrow- The Incredible Journey of Timothy Chase  (3:16)
07. Tomorrow- Auntie Mary's Dress Shop  (2:44)
08. Tomorrow- Strawberry Fields Forever  (3:58)
09. Tomorrow- Three Jolly Little Dwarfs  (2:26)
10. Tomorrow- Now Your Time Has Come  (4:51)
11. Tomorrow- Hallucinations  (2:38)
12. Tomorrow- Claramount Lake  (3:01)
13. Tomorrow- Real Life Permanent Dream (Alternate Early Mono Version)  (2:22)
14. Tomorrow- Why  (3:57)
15. Tomorrow- Revolution (Phased Mono Version)  (3:48)
16. Tomorrow- Now Your Time Has Come  (3:02)
17. The Aquarian Age- 10,000 Words in a Cardboard Box  (2:25)
18. The Aquarian Age- Good Wizzard Meets Naughty Wizzard  (3:43)
19. The Aquarian Age- Me  (3:04)
20. Keith West- On a Saturday  (3:11)
21. Keith West- The Kid Was a Killer  (2:29)
22. Keith West- She  (2:28)
23. Keith West- The Visit  (4:05)

Part I       Part II       Part III


RPM ~ 1998

This compilation groups together a number of rarities from Tomorrow, a band that only recorded one official album during its lifetime, but played an essential role in the rise of the British psych scene. The second half of the album is comprised of live recordings from "Christmas on Earth Continued," a psychedelic event held at London Olympia that also featured The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Pink Floyd, Traffic, The Move and Soft Machine. Apparently, The Who were also scheduled to play but never bothered showing up.

01. The In Crowd- Am I Glad to See You (Blow Up Film Demo)  (4:29)
02. The In Crowd- Blow Up (Blow Up Film Demo)  (1:53)
03. Tomorrow- Caught in a Web (Unissued Studio Recording)  (3:08)
04. Tomorrow- Revolution (Unissued Original Phased Version)  (3:48)
05. Tomorrow- Why (Unissued Studio Recording)  (3:57)
06. Tomorrow- Real Life Permanent Dream (Unissued Alternate Version)  (3:16)
07. Tomorrow- Three Jolly Little Dwarfs (Top Gear Radio Session)  (2:26)
08. Tomorrow- Revolution (Top Gear Radio Session)  (4:11)
09. Tomorrow- Caught in a Web (Live: December, 1967)  (3:22)
10. Tomorrow- Shotgun & the Duck (Live: December, 1967)  (5:53)
11. Tomorrow- My White Bicycle (Live: December, 1967)  (3:07)
12. Tomorrow- Real Life Permanent Dream (Live: December, 1967)  (2:32)
13. Tomorrow- Revolution (Live: December, 1967)  (3:32)
14. Tomorrow- Why (Live: December, 1967)  (3:22)
15. Tomorrow- Mr. Rainbow (Live: December, 1967)  (2:41)
16. Tomorrow- Strawberry Fields Forever (Live: December, 1967)  (4:08)

Part I       Part II

Tomorrow (Steve Howe in Foreground)


  1. Thank you for pointing out the history of what has become the forgotten music that is largely responsible for what became grunge and punk. I tip my hat to you!

    1. thanks Scurfie, we can't let the freakbeat die!