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The Verve's "Bittersweet Symphony" is a song that most people will know, the string arrangement is something that got them in to hot water with manager and producer of The Rolling Stones, Andrew Loog Oldham. The string arrangement was in fact arranged by Wilson Malone who back in the 60s was the keyboard player and occasional singer of a hippy band called Orange Bicycle.
Orange Bicycle definitely had a lot of psychedelia going on but they're closer to the progressive type than the garage bands, the closest band of all though have to be The Beach Boys, the higher pitched Beach Boys songs are very similar to Orange Bicycle but where as The Beach Boys generally wrote catchy pop songs, Orange Bicycle are more dreamy and poetic.
The occasional cover of a Rolling Stones or Beatles songs did little for the band's popularity and today there music is pretty hard to get hold of, singles on vinyl are worth a fair bit and even the more recent compilation albums are not to be found on E-bay and for sale for around £40 on Amazon!
Hyacinth Gardens is a track that earned them a number 1 hit in France and it's a good song with dreamy being the operative word and a lot of the lyrics actually being relatively hard to make out, my personal fave is "Dropping Out", it's probably no co-incidence that those are the first two tracks on the album, I guess who ever compiled it agreed with me! Dropping Out comes across like The Beach Boys meets The Famous Five with lyrics like:
Josh found a bottle so he wrote﻿ a note
He told the tax collector he could cut his throat
We had a great big luncheon in the deep blue sea
The bottle sailed off to eternity
Got so tired...
This album may claim to be "The Anthology" but it actually misses out on the Parlophone-era recordings which are available on a different album that consists of 33 songs and is even harder to come accross than this album. It's a pretty good album overall though with some excellent little hippy tunes, you can obviously find considerably better value but if you go for vinyl, the price will most likely only go up.