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Nuggets is often considered to be the holy grail of 60s garage and psychedelic music, and it's for good reason. On both vinyl and cd, the sounds and the remaining crackles transport you straight back to the late 60s, and it's impossible not to fall in love with the bands and tracks on this list. What makes it a truly great compilation, however, is the fact that it spurs on a need to search for other songs in the same vein. While a drain on the 'record buying budget' it's so worth it. From this album onwards it's all trawling through record shops for more of the same and other 60s genres that accompany it, but the opening of the mind to such great, classic music that was even highly overlooked in its time is worth the small price of this LP. A great starter point for 60s fans worldwide.
For anyone even slightly interested in sixties rock music beyond the household name groups, this cd will prove a godsend
Based on an early seventies single vinyl lp, that consisted of mostly minor US chart hits, it was expanded to a full four cds, including most of the original comp, plus a shedload of additional, sometimes VERY obscure local US records- and is now here reduced to one cd, that makes more stylistic sense than the full box
Stylistically, the only thing holding the box set together was the era- it jumped from the deranged wildness of obscure locally released tracks such as The Bee's deranged 'voices green and purple' to the poppy harmony beat of 'Lies' by The Knickerbockers- well this one cd version makes probably an easier entry point to the US garage sound, by concentrating more on the national one hit wonders, or semi hit tracks, which all have enough poppyness to bridge the gap from more well known sixties acts.
Try this cd- if you like it, it may well prove a slippery slope into the murky world of the largely local 'teenage shutdown' comps and staying up until 4am bidding on battered 45s, of which there are less than three copies known to exist
I warn you...this stuff can prove addictive!
This is just simply, a classic, and an utter joy to own. I borrowed my friends copy, after a few reccomendations from those in the know (i.e. mojo readers), and had to have it forcibly wrestled from my clammy paws when he wanted it back. It really is that good, no it really is. A basic history lesson is needed. In the 60's in America, due to the baby boom and the rise of sprawling suburban developements, a new phenomenon appeared. Kids formed bands. A huge proportion of people had a: a garage b: teenage children c: enough spare money to invest in a cheap guitar. Kids didn't wait to be taught, they just listened to blues, and the new british sound, and realised that it couldn't be too hard to do a passable imitation. So what resulted was hundreds of small bands in hundreds of small towns all over the usa, putting out records that were sometimes hits, and sometimes misses. Some songs would get national airplay, and some bands would be destined to only every be legendary in minnesota. Well this box set is an attempt to document the huge variety of talent that sprang up in every little suburb, whether or not they were ever heard from again. That's enough history for now. You know when you fall in love with an album, well try that four times over. I have had so much pleasure in owning this box set that if I could listen to nothing else for a year I would only be slightly annoyed. It has loads of classic garage (punk, kids, not dance, do some research), like "Louie Louie" etc, and loads of strange quirky little gems, like the charming "little black egg". All four make great party music,(at my parties anyway), and are perfect for booty shakin', movin and groovin. This is darn sexy music, and could easily teach any aspiring new rockers how to do the do.
Here's proof that the best music doesn't always make the charts. "Nuggets" a 4 CD Boxed set, and it's one of only a handful of CDs that I've ever paid full price for - and it's worth every penny. It's American psychedelic/garage pop from the 60s (lots of fuzzy guitars, lots of screaming, lots of testosterone...), and by and large they weren't hits. But I'm a big fan of this kind of stuff, and trusted the compilers (Gary Stewart and Lenny Kaye) and Rhino so much, I knew it would be essential listening. Let's see... which songs may be familiar? The Kingsmen's "Louie Louie", the Electric Prunes' "I had too much to dream (last night)"; the Castaways' "Liar Liar" (on the soundtracks of "Good Morning Vietnam" and "Lock Stock and two Smoking Barrels"); The Thirteenth Floor Elevators'"You're Gonna Miss Me" (first song in the movie "High Fidelity"); Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs' "Wooly Bully"; Sir Douglas Quintet's "She's about a mover"; Love's "7 and 7 is". There's "I want Candy" by The Strangloves (later covered by Bow Wow Wow). Okay, those are the (almost) famous tracks - if you like any of them, you'll LOVE this boxed set. But watch out, it could blow your mind - there's just so many gems? nuggets, in fact?. that you'll wonder how you managed before you'd heard them. Well, that's how I felt after listening to them, anyway. It's the rawness, and enthusiasm that comes over, first and foremost. The bands made these recordings for the love of it, maybe to impress the girls too, and no doubt with dreams of money and success - but you can tell they loved playing the music. There's a definite R & B influence to many of the songs, with fuzzy guitars galore evident in The Sonics, the Chocolate Watchband (amaz
ingly like the Rolling Stones) and the Standells, for example. "Oh Yeah" by The Shadows of Night is another song with a great blues riffs - but listening to this song you also realise that the same riff was used in David Bowie's "Jean Genie" too. There is undeniably the influence of drugs as well - most evident on songs like Kim Fowley's "The trip" and The Other Half's "Mr Pharmacist". Then there's the more beat influenced pop - the Knickerbockers were very like the Beatles. I have so many favourites that there is no point listing them. Well, maybe a few: The Brabarians' "Moulty" (song about overcoming adversity from a one-armed drummer); Fenwyck's "Mindrocker", sounding like 70s glamrock, ahead of its time? better stop, as I'll end up listing the whole set! There's only a couple of songs on here that I don't like (by the Amboy Dukes, who were just too experimental/ heavy metal for me), and out of 118 songs that's pretty unbelievable. Apart from this, the only other drawback I am aware of is that there are some not very PC lyrics - the to be expected (for the 60s) sexist things, and "Spazz" ("people gonna think you're spazz") is pretty bad too. There's an excellent booklet, with detailed information on all the tracks. In some cases the tracks are so rare that there are gaps, though (the band members of The Brigands are "unknown"). The original Nuggets double album, released in 1972, was followed by at least a dozen follow up selections, and there are some not included in this CD set, presumably for lack of space. I think they should have included Bobby Fuller's "Let her dance" and Boyce & Hart's "I wonder what she's doing tonight", but that's just a tiny niggle. It's wonderful that these songs have been so lovingly compiled and released for our enjoyment today.
This compilation contains 4 CDs of great music, mostly from the period 1964-1968, and all from the USA. This was a highly fertile period for the garage band concept in that country: inspired by British bands like the Beatles, every kid had a band or was in a band. This obviously produced it's fair share of unlistenable music, but these CDs are a compilation of some of the best music to come out of that era. Most of the tracks were regional hits, a few went national, but almost all have been forgotten, except perhaps for the ubiquitous Louie Louie by The Kingsmen. There are many stand-out tracks: the aforementioned Louie Louie, I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night by the Electric Prunes, You're Gonna Miss Me by The Thirteenth Floor Elevators (though frontman Roky Eriksson's previous band's effort is in my opinion far superior - catch that on the album 'The Best of Pebbles'), and many others. Fans of the Cramps or the Fuzztones may recognize a few tracks here and there - Primitive, Psychotic Reaction, Strychnine. All in all this is a great compilation of 1960's music - some punk, some unashamed pop. CD 1 is a personal favourite, perhaps no surprise seeing as this is in fact the original Nuggets album, with a glorious rendition of Respect which may well have become the standard, were it not for the fact that Aretha Franklin's label released her version first. There are a few weak tracks, and extended listening may get to you because the audio quality on some is well below par (these were after all mostly low-budget affairs), but all in all this should get you rockin'-and-a-rollin' all night long. Just don't touch any drugs, or the walls will start melting.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) - Electric Prunes
2 Dirty Water - Standells
3 Night Time - Strangeloves
4 Lies - Knickerbockers
5 Respect - Vagrants (1)
6 Public Execution - Mouse (1)
7 No Time Like The Right Time - Blues Project
8 Oh Yeah - Shadows Of Knight
9 Pushin' Too Hard - Seeds
10 Moulty - Barbarians
11 Don't Look Back - Remains
12 Invitation To Cry - Magicians (2)
13 Liar Liar - Castaways (1)
14 You're Gonna Miss Me - 13th Floor Elevators
15 Psychotic Reaction - Count Five
16 Hey Joe - Leaves (1)
17 Just Like Romeo And Juliet - Michael & The Messengers
18 Sugar And Spice - Cryan' Shames
19 Baby Please Don't Go - Amboy Dukes
20 Tobacco Road - Blues Magoos
21 Let's Talk About Girls - Chocolate Watch Band
22 Sit Down I Think I Love You - Mojo Men
23 Run Run Run - Third Rail (2)
24 My World Fell Down - Sagittarius (1)
25 Open My Eyes - Nazz
26 Farmer John - Premiers (1)
27 It's A Happening - Magic Mushrooms