The Rubble Collection
02. The Mirror - Faster Than Light (2:08)
03. Caleb - Woman Of Distinction (2:33)
04. Martin Cure & The Peeps - It's All Over Now (2 : 39)
05. The Living Daylights - Always With Him (2:39)
06. The Misunderstood - Never Had A Girl Like You Before (3:04)
07. The Open Mind - Cast A Spell (2:10)
08. The Dakotas - The Spider And The Fly (3:11)
09. Wimple Winch- Rumble On Mersey South Square (4:27)
10. The Open Mind - Magic Potion (3:31)
11. The Living Daylights - Let's Live For Today (2:49)
12. The Craig - I Must Be Mad (2 : 44)
13. Unit 4 + 2 - I Will (2:38)
14. The Hush - Gray (2:28)
15. Wimple Winch - Save My Soul (3:02)
16. The Mindbenders - The Morning After ( 2:08)
Vol. 02 - Pop-Sike Pipe-Dreams
02. Wimple Winch - Marmalade Hair (2:54)
03. The Parking Lot - World Spinning Sadly (2:58)
04. The Pretty Things - Defecting Gray (4:21 )
05. Keith West - Kid Was A Killer (2:26)
06. Shotgun Express - Indian Thing (2:57)
07. The Executive - Tracy Took Took A Trip (2:46)
08. Wimple Winch - Lollipop Minds (3 : 06)
09. The Talismen - You Break My Heart (2:04)
10. The Pretty Things - Walking Through My Dreams (3:30)
11. Bo Street Runners - Love (2:54)
12. Sons Of Fred - Sweet Love (2:51)
13. Wimple Winch - Bluebell Wood (3:27)
14. Idle Race - Knocking Nails Into My House (2:21)
15. Spencer Davis Group - After Tea (3:13)
16. Gordon Waller - Rosecrans Boulevard (2:44)
Vol. 03 - Nightmares In Wonderland
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 Gray (2:31)
15. The Penny Peeps - Model Village (2:49)
16. Tomorrow - Revolution (3:43)
Vol. 04 - The 49 Minute Technicolour Dream
02. The Mirage - The Wedding Of Ramona Blair (2:17)
03. Caleb - Baby Your Phrasing Is Bad (3:18)
04. Kaleidoscope - Flight From Ashiya (2 : 41)
05. The Cymbaline - Matramonial Fears (3:46)
06. Finders Keepers - On The Beach (2:49)
07. The Californians - The Cooks Of Cake And Kindness (2:41)
08. Rings and Things - Strange Things Are Happening (2:32)
09. The Fox - Butterfly(3:29)
10. Unit 4 + 2 - 3.30 AM (3:09)
11. Kaleidoscope - A Dream For Julie (2:48)
12. Tempus Fugit - Come Alive (2:43)
13. The Misunderstood - Golden Glass (7:43)
14. Magic Mixture - Moonbeams (3:58)
Vol. 05 - The Electric Crayon Set
02. The Attack - Anymore Than I Do (2:05)
03. The Flies - I'm Not Your Stepping Stone (2:41)
04. The Game - Gotta Wait (2:19)
05. The Score - Please Please Me (2:45)
06. Mark Four - I'm Leaving (3:36)
07. Fire - Father's Name Is Dad (2:35)
08 . Gene Latter - Mother's Little Helper (2:43)
09. of The the Game - Gonna the Get Me Someone (2:46)
10. The Flies - House Of Love (2:17)
11. Keith Shields - Hey Gyp (2:15)
12. Attack - Try It (2:07)
13. The Poets - I Love Her Still (1:47)
14. Dream Police - Living Is Easy (3:37)
15. The Fairytale - Run And Hide (2:33)
16. Mark Four - Hurt Me (If You Will) (2:57)
Vol. 06 - The Clouds Have Groovy Faces
02. The Kinsmen - Glasshouse Green Splinter Red (3:18)
03. The Poets - I Am So Blue (2:45)
04. Ice - Anniversary Of Love (3:12)
05. The End - Shades Of Orange (2:38)
06. Turquoise - Tales Of Flossie Fillet (3:08)
07. Pudding - The Magic Bus (2:27)
08. The Attack - Neville Thumbcatch (3:02)
09. The Accent - Red Sky At Night (3:16)
10. The Elastic Band - 8.5 Hours To Paradise (3:59)
11. The Attack - Created By Clive (2:36)
12. Two & A Half - Suburban Early Morning Station (3:25)
13. Life 'n' Soul - Peacefully Asleep (3:49)
14. The Poets - I'll Cry With The Moon (2:56)
15. Falling Leaves - Beggar's Parade (2:54)
16. Tinkerbells Fairydust - 20-10 (2:44)
Vol. 07 - Pictures In The Sky
02. The Glass Menagerie - You Did not Have To Be Nice (2:26)
03. Orange Machine - Real Life Permanent Dream (3:17)
04 . Carnaby - Jump And of Dance (2:39)
05. the New the Formula - Harekrishna (4:14)
06. of The the Onyx - for So Sad Inside (2:35)
07. of The Flying Machine - of The Flying Machine (2:38)
08 . The Primitives - You Said (2:22)
09. The Onyx - You Gotta Be With Me (2:35)
10. The Ivy League - My World Fell Down (2:51)
11. The Epics - Blue Turns To Gray (2:54)
12. Factotums - Cloudy (1:55)
13. Koobas - Better Make Up Your Mind (2 : 30)
14. Erky Grant & The Earwigs - I'm A Hog For You (2:08)
15. The Primitives - Help Me (3:40)
16. Velvett Fogg - Within The Night (4:46)
Vol. 08 - All The Colors Of Darkness
02. Sharon Tandy & Fleur De Lys - Hold On (3:09)
03. Eyes Of Blue - Prodigal Son (5:26)
04. Jason Crest - Here We Go Round The Lemon Tree (3:00)
05. Rick Price & Sheridan - Lamp Lighter Man (2:52)
06. Jigsaw - Tumblin ' (3:33)
07. Skip Bifferty - On Love (2:38)
08. Methuselah - High In The Tower Of Coombe (3:18)
09. Norman Conquest - Upside Down (2:40)
10. Jason Crest - A Place In The Sun (3:22)
11. Dantalion's Chariot - The Madman Running Through The Fields (4:08)
12. Sharon Tandy & Fleur De Lys - Daughter Of The Moon (3:48)
13. Mashmakhan - Days When We Are Free (3:05)
14. Mike Stuart Span - Children Of Tomorrow (3:14)
15. Serendipity - I'm Flying (2:24)
16. Second Hand - The World Will End Yesterday (3 : 47)
Vol. 09 - Plasic Wilderness
02. Peter & The Blizzards - You Know That I'll Be There (1:57)
03. Groep 1850 - Mother No-Head (3:25)
04. The Tower - Slow Motion Mind (2:20)
05. The Outsiders - Do You Feel Alright (3:27)
06. Sharks & Me -Buses (2:24)
07. Short '66 - Good Weekend (3:04)
08. The Motions - Wedding Of 100 Brides (2:35)
09. Sandy Coast - Back To The City (2:52)
10. The Zipps - Lotus Love (2:52)
11. The Bumble Bees - Girl Of My Kind (1:51)
12. The Young Ones - Mini Minnie (1:58)
13. St. Gile's System - Swedish Tears (3:50)
14. Q65 - So High I've Been, So Down I Must Fall (3:07)
15. Super Sister - A Girl Named You (3:16)
16. Les Baroques - Such A Cad (2:29)
17. The Golden Earrings - That Day (2:27)
18. The Golden Earrings - Things Go Better With Coke (2:37)
Vol. 10 - Professor Jordan's Magic Sound Show
02. The Glass Menagerie - Fredrick Jordan (3:16)
03. The Clique - We Did not Kiss We did not love But Now (2:34)
04. Montanas - A Step In The Right Direction (3:16)
05. The Floribunda Rose - Linda Loves Linda (3:30)
06. Velvett Fogg - Lady Caroline (2:25)
07. The Turnstyle - Riding On A Wave (2 : 47)
08. The Kytes - Frosted Panes (2:14)
09. Fresh Air - Running Wild (3:50)
10. The Orange Seaweed - Stay A While (2:25)
11. 5 AM Event - Hungry (2:27)
12. The Game - Gotta Keep On Moving Baby (2:41)
13. The Glass Menagerie - She's A Rainbow (2:20)
14. New Formula - Stay Indoors (4:15)
15. Writing On The Wall - Buffalo (3:15)
16. Orange Machine - You Can All Join In (3:36)
Vol. 11 - Adventures In The Mist
02. The Poets - Wooden Spoon (2:30)
03. Felius Andromeda - Cheadle Heath Delusions (2:45)
04. The Plague - Looking For The Sun (2: 37)
05. The Fairytale - Listen To Mary Cry (2:05)
06. Fire - Treacle Toffee World (2:11)
07. The Attack - Colors Of My Mind (2:31)
08. The Californians - Follow Me ( 3:02)
09. The Fairytale - Guess I Was Dreaming (3:03)
10. Felius Andromeda - Meditations (11:11)
11. Sauterelles - Dream Machine (2:31)
12. The Attack - Lady Orange Peel (2:28)
13. The Poets - In Your Tower (2:34)
14. Turquoise - Woodstock (3:34)
15. Cherry Smash - Fade Away Maureen (3:24)
16. The Ice - Iceman (2:58)
Vol. 12 - Staircase To Nowhere
02. Virgin Sleep - Secret (2:23)
03. Tintern Abbey - Vacuum Cleaner (3:07)
04. 23rd Turnoff - Michaelangelo (2:26)
05. Human Instinct - A Day In My Mind's Mind (2:15)
06. East Of Eden - Northern Hemisphere (4:39)
07. World Of Oz - Peter's Birthday (Black & White Rainbows) (2:57)
08. Denny Laine - Catherine's Wheel (3:16)
09. Tintern Abbey - Beeside(3:27)
10. Human Instinct - Pink Dawn (1:59)
11. Timebox - Gone Is The Sad Man (3:44)
12. People - Glastonbury (2:31)
13. The Outer Limits - Help Me Please (2:30)
14. World Of Oz - Like A Tear (3:12)
15. Warm Sounds - Nite-Is-A-Comin '- Smeta Murgaty (5:46)
Vol. 13 - Freak Beat Fantoms
02. Fleur De Lys - Gong With A Luminous Nose (2:35)
03. The Boys Blue - Take A Heart (2:47)
04. The Deejays - Blackeyed Woman (2:32)
05. Southern Sound - Just The Same As You (1:54)
06. The Act - Just A Little Bit (2:47)
07. Force Five - Yea, I'm Waiting (2 : 06)
08. The Answers - Just A Fear (3:17)
09. French Revolution - 9 'Til 5 (2:29)
10. Arizona Swamp Company - Train Keeps Rollin ' (3:02)
11. Southern Sound - I Do not Wanna Go (2:23)
12. The Attraction - She's A Girl (2:37)
13. The Game - Help Me Mummy's Gone (2:41)
14. The Boys Blue - You Got What I Want (2:08)
15. The Peep Show - Mazy (3:08)
16. George Gallagher & White Trash - Dawn (2:41)
Vol. 14 - The Magic Rocking Horse
02. The Truth - Sueno (3:04)
03. Our Plastic Dream - A Little Bit Of Shangri-La (3:38)
04. Rupert's People - I Can Show You (2:39)
05. The Groove - The Wind (3:40)
06. Curiosity Shoppe - Baby I Need You (3:26)
07. The Ghost - The Castle Has Fallen (2: 58)
08. Nirvana - June (2:40)
09. Pinkerton's Colors - Magic Rocking Horse (3:01)
10. Of The Duveen & boeing Beautiful Soup - Jabberwock (2:31)
11. Rupert's the People - with In the My Dream yet Mind (3:22)
12. Strawberry Children - Love Years Coming (2:49)
13. Science Poption - You's Got Me High ( 2:09)
14. Ourplastic Dream - Encapsulated Marigold (2:20)
15. The Syn - Grounded (2:22)
16. The Sub - Ma-Mari-Huana (4:49)
17. 101 Strings - Karma Sitar ( 1:48)
Vol. 15 - 5000 Seconds Over Toyland
02. The State Of Mickey & Tommy - Nobody Knows Where You've Been (2:41)
03. The Zipps - When You Tell It, Tell It Well (3:10) )
04. The Pretty Things - Eagle's Son (3:15)
05. House Of Lords - In The Land Of Dreams (3:05)
06. John Fitch & Associates - Romantic Attitude (3:14)
07. Tuesday's Children - Strange Light From The East (2:22)
08. Jason Crest - Turquoise Tandem Cycle (3:37)
09. Pretty Things of The - Alexander (3:08)
10. of The Jackpots - with In Jack of The Box (1:57)
11. the Sound Barrier - Groovin 'for Slow (2:57)
12. Rupert's the People - I of've of The Love's Got (4 : 00)
13. Wallace Collection - My Way Of Loving You (3:25)
14. The State Of Mickey & Tommy - With Love From 1 To 5 (2:59)
15. Wonderland - Moscow (2:46)
16. The Pretty Things - Blow Your Mind (3:36)
Vol. 16 - Glass Orchid Aftermath
02. John Bromley & Fleur De Lys - So Many Things (2:19)
03. The Lovin' - All You've Got (2:31)
04. The Chasers - Inspiration (2:32)
05. St. Valentine's Day Massacre - Brother Can You Spare A Dime (2:56)
06. The Sea-Ders - Undecidedly (2:16)
07. Dreams - Softly, Softly (2:00)
08. Ace Kefford Stand - Grav Booby Jamm (3:24)
09. The Remo Four - Live Like A Lady (2:33)
10. The Eyes Of Blue - QIII (2:34)
11. The Sea-Ders - Thanks A Lot (2:21)
12. The Lovin ' - Keep On Believin' (2:34)
13. The Pretty Things - Gray Skies (2:31)
14. Carriage Company - Feel Right (2:40)
15. Staccatos - Butchers & Bakers (2:46)
16. Mint - Love By Numbers (2:24)
Vol. 17 - A Trip In A Painted World
02. The Barrier - Spot The Light (3:00)
03. The Californians - Golden Apples (2:14)
04. The Oscar Bicycle - The Room Revolves Around Me (2:32)
05. Gentle Influence - Easy To Know (1:59)
06. Andwella's Dream - Sunday (3:07)
07. A New Generation - She's A Soldier Boy (2:55)
08. Christopher Colt - Virgin Suprise (2:54)
09. The Lion Tamers - Light (2:36)
10. The Act - The Remedies Of The Doctor Brohnicoy (2:22)
11. The Fox - Hey! Mr Carpenter (2:37)
12. Philamore Lincoln - Running By The River (2:27)
13. The Afex - She's Got The Time (2:28)
14. Spice - In Love (3:12)
15. Nicky James - Silver Butterfly (2:45)
16. Wild Silk - Toymaker (2:58)
Vol. 18 - Rainbow Thyme Wynders
02. Argosy - Imagine (2:47)
03. Calum Bryce - Love-Maker (2:48)
04. Lyons & Malone - Dr. Gentle (3:01)
05. The Fruit Machine - The Wall (2:39)
06. Andy Forray - Dream With Me (2:39)
07. Pregnant Insomnia - Wallpaper (3:33)
08. Russell Morris - The Real Thing (Parts 1 & 2) (6:11)
09. Octopus - The River (3:13)
10. The Doomsday Machine - Is not Nobody Else (2:31)
11. Infantes Jubilate - Exploding Galaxy (2:20)
12. Still Life - My Kingdom Can not Lose (2:43)
13. Dee & The Quotum - Someday You ' ll Need Someone (3:00)
14. St. David's Road - Strange Loves Of Gwyneth (2:02)
15. Octopus - The Thief (3:37)
16. Time Machine - Turn Back Time-Bird In The Wind (5:21)
Vol. 19 - Eiderdown Mindfog
02. The Lions Of Judah - Katja (3:45)
03. Lyons & Malone - She's Alright (2:50)
04. The Moving Finger - Pain Of My Misfortune (2:29)
05. The Barrier - Dawn Breaks Through (2:20)
06. Cinnamon Quill - Candy (2:48)
07. The Scots Of St. James - Timothy (2:50)
08. Icarus - The Devil Rides Out (2:22)
09. The Fourmyula - Honey Chile (2:30)
10. Portebello Explosion - We Can Fly (2:38)
11. Ramases & Selket - Crazy One (3:11)
12. Hayden Wood - The House Beside The Mine (2:28)
13. The Scots Of St. Petersburg. James - Eiderdown Clown (2:16)
14. Together - Memories Of Melinda (2:25)
15. Sheridan & Price - Tracey Smith (2:06)
16. The Cymbaline - Fire (2:39)
Vol. 20 - Thrice Upon A Time (Nothing Is Real)
02. Apple - Buffalo Billy Can (3:05)
03. Soft Machine - Love Makes Sweet Music (2:29)
04. Boeing Duveen & The Beautiful Soup - Which Dreamed It (2:32)
05. The David - Light Of Your Mind (2:52)
06. Kate - Do not Make A Sound (2:45)
07. Argosy - Mr. Boyd (2:39)
08. The Bump - Winston Built A Bridge (3:02)
09. Adjeef The Poet - Ieek! I'm A ... Freak (2:49)
10. Pandamonium - The Sun Shines From His Eyes (2:46)
11. Chapter Four - In My Life (2:17)
12. Fleur De Lys - Mud In Your Eye (3:01)
13. Crazy World Of Arthur Brown - Devil's Grip (3:20)
14. The Beautiful - Walter's Dream (3:40)
15. Art - Supernatural Fairy Tales (3:34)
16. The Beatstalkers - Silver Tree Top School For Boys (2:08)
Originally appearing on LP from the Bam Caruso label in the 1980s, and then on CD on the Past & Present imprint in 2003, these first ten volumes (boxed) in the Rubble Collection were conceived and collected by Phil Smee. For fans of the Nuggets series, both the two American volumes and the British Nuggets, you won't find a lot of overlap. The Nuggets comps were and are for people who want what was at least the stuff of legend, if not readily available. The collection here digs deep and are, for the most part, flawless in what they present. This set, and its companion volumes 11-20 (a separate box), are very different creatures. For starters, they dig a lot deeper into the hopelessly obscure 45s and tapes of Brit psychedelia, freakbeat, Mod, and pop. For every cut by Sharon Tandy & les Fleur de Lys, the Glass Menagerie, Pretty Things, and Flying Machine and the Clique, there is at least one to match from acts like Peter & the Blizzards, Skip Bifferty, Life 'N' Soul, and Factotums. You're getting the idea. This is for the listener who wants to dig down and get virtually everything. There are some things missing here (the second box picked up a lot of that slack), and like other series' that go down into the underbelly of the '60s, some of what's here is drek. But there are real gems, too -- ,check out the Sharon Tandy cuts like "Hold On," on disc nine, or the Velvett Fogg's "Lady Caroline," on disc ten, or Fairytale's "Lovely People" that kicks off volume six. Then there's the completely cracked and whacked, such as Dragonfly's "Celestial Empire," Orange Seaweed's "Pictures in the Sky," and Focus Three's "10,000 Years Behind My Mind." In addition to these ten handsome volumes in a single fold-in case, there is a 93-page booklet completely annotating tracks and offering discographies for artists who actually had them. In 2007, Fallout in the U.K. reissued this box again, in a limited numbered (on the bottom) limited license, limited edition of 1000 copies at a more reasonable price than the previous version.
The second box in as many years of a truckload of obscure British psychedelia. Here are ten more CDs' worth of serious rarities by some bands that barely scratched the surface of the British freakbeat scene during rock's golden era, and a few who went on to other things. In all, there are 128 cuts here, all compiled and annotated by Phil Smee -- of Perfumed Garden fame (also issued by Past And Present). While some of these acts, such as the Poets, the Human Instinct, Outer Limits, and Denny Laine left marks on the scene, as did mod bands such as les Fleur De Lys and the Buzz; many others came from the swamp and returned with only these few minutes of glory for all of their efforts. As one would imagine, this is a mixed bag, with some of this material being absolutely sublime, while some never should have been recorded at all, with the vast majority falling in between the two poles somewhere. Nonetheless, for those who have been bitten by the Nuggets bug, and procured the highly sought after Perfumed Garden volumes, this second set of Rubble will no doubt feed the jones in you like nothing
If you're reading this you're probably already familiar with "The Rubble Collection" from years past. Hopefully this (now in one box) 20 CD set will find it's way to newer fans who missed the previous releases of this music. This 20 CD set was first reissued in two sets--Vol. 1-10 and Vol. 11-20, each with a pretty cool booklet. Those sets can still be found but for way more money than this new edition. With this edition you get two booklets (Vol. 1-10 and Vol.11-20) so you're not missing anything information-wise. The sound is pretty decent/good and the packaging is also pretty cool. For fans (like me) who can't seem to get enough of those bands/singles that ether weren't household names or fell off the musical radar completely this is like Manna from Heaven. Even the tracks I don't necessarily like all that much have that certain "something" that music from this era had running all through it. And if you're not too critical even those lesser groups/tracks are worth hearing as examples of what didn't "make it" on (largely back then) BBC radio, or even the off-shore pirate radio ships spinning tracks that the BBC wouldn't touch.
Will you like everything here? No. But that's nothing really different than any other large collection of music. But if you own both "Nuggets" sets, "The Perfumed Garden" box, "Journey Into Time" box set, "Electric Sound Show" box, "Circus Days" set, the "Love, Poetry And Revolution" set, the two volumes titled "Fistful Of Fuzz" and "For A Few Fuzz Guitars More", and other similar collections (even the 5 CD set "Instro Hipsters a go-go!"), this is definitely worth checking out and purchasing. Like the earlier two volume 10 CD box sets of this music, this one too will probably go o.o.p. and then cost much more money than it does currently--which is a pretty good deal for 20 CDs/two nice booklets/decent sound, and a good time.
So if you're into deep (basically)'60s music that's off the known path (for the most part) save your lunch money, or go without that expensive coffee drink for a while and get into this good/great music. Long time fans of this kind of music will recognize a number of these relatively lesser known groups if you're past the "name" bands from this era. But also here are quite a few bands/singles that fell off the track into the ditch never to be heard from again--a number of which deserved to be heard--"back then" and now. While many of these great lost/obscure sides deserved to be heard and enjoyed by music fans at the time, the booklets provide some background (and photos) on the bands who formed and then splintered/broke up after recording their singles. An interesting, cool, fun set to sit back and listen to when you need something beyond the usual '60s bands we all have heard a zillion times. Hint--turn up the volume slightly for a better wallop of sound that gives this music (even the tracks you may not like!) an edge.
And if you like collections of even more obscure late '60s bands, look for "Psychedelia", a 5 CD set coming soon on the Rubble label. And for deep fans/collectors of British psyche (and other styles thrown in), who want a lot of info on bands from England/Europe (no U.S.) find the recently published two (2) volume set "Tapestry Of Delights" by Vernon Joynson. This incredible sea of musical/band information (now expanded from one thick volume into two massive volumes) is expensive (I purchased mine from a very reliable U.S. bookseller) but contains a lot of information (I mean a lot) on bands you will recognize, bands you may recognize, and bands you didn't know existed. With only a few relatively minor errors (and when you see these thick, heavy "two-handed") volumes you'll understand why I say minor) it's easy and interesting to find out about a ton of groups (albums/singles/compilations/band members/background/musical styles/dates/etc.) from the era when the above mentioned groups were active. What a fantastic amount of work--but well worth the effort it took--that deep fans of British psyche and other styles should definitely know about. If you're a deep fan/collector of this kind of music this is worth saving your lunch money for--just don't wait too long.
Whoever it was said life was more of a marathon than a sprint must have being staring at a box-set of The Rubble Collection. Normally I can listen to an album and words present themselves, seemingly of their own volition but just considering the sheer scale of this thing is enough to induce an attack of the screaming heebie-jeebies. It induces the auditory version of writers block. The only sensible approach was to remember each of the albums in this ten volume set had originally been released separately. If I could write a few words for each and then summarise the undertaking as a whole, maybe I could stop my head from exploding:
Volume 1 – The Psychedelic Snarl
After one album the scale of the enterprise is beginning to sink in. There's a reason why this material is relatively obscure and it has nothing to do with quality. In the sixties British garage, psych and freakbeat represented music which resided in backstreet clubs, clandestine speakeasies and local pubs. The occasional track would dare to infiltrate the charts but mostly it remained the province of bands with a lot of enthusiasm and little expectation.
The pick of disk one is Stockport's Wimple Winch, with "Atmospheres" veering from a rocker armed with a sap to choirboys on helium, and The Open Mind's "Magic Potion", which fully deserves its reputation as a lost classic. Equally impressive are the bluesy "Never Had A Girl Like You Before" by The Misunderstood and The Dakotas' version of "The Spider And The Fly". It's also hard to believe The Mindbenders are the same band who had a huge hit with "A Groovy Kind Of Love", and to hear the origin of "Let's Live For Today", which was later covered by The Lords Of The New Church is a blast.
Volume 2 – Pop-Sike Pipe Dreams
Not only is disk two a lighter confection than the previous album, it's more tightly restricted in terms of musical style. Nearly fifty years after the fact it's virtually impossible to assess how these tracks were received but, with the benefit of hindsight, Pop-Sike Pipe Dreams feels studied and deliberate, less innovative and more reactionary.
"Eastern Music" by The Mode is merely reporting on the growing musical influence of the east rather than trailblazing its use. "Kid Was A Killer" and "Tracy Took A Trip" mirror song-stories like "Eleanor Rigby" and "Happy Jack" but without the charm and lightness of touch. "Rosecrans Blvd", like "MacArthur Park", is a Jimmy Webb composition and retains a similar sweeping approach, but the similarities render it little more than a flowery copy. Wimple Winch, the stars of disk one, have become mired in such psychedelic nonsense as marmalade hair, lollipop minds and bluebell woods – too much exposure to "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" methinks. The two Pretty Things tracks are the best of the bunch highlighting a band whose critical recognition was never matched in terms of widespread popularity.
Volume 3 – Nightmares In Wonderland
Nightmares In Wonderland is the perfect title for an album which would provide the perfect accompaniment to Alice's descent down the rabbit-hole – except this one would be bottomless. As The Rubble Collection progresses the landscape is becoming more surreal, less substantive. A place where melodies fade and dissolve only to reappear in ethereal form before morphing into something else again. I can't help feeling the ingestion of exotic fungi would aid in the listening process.
Titles like "10,000 Years Behind My Mind", "Visions In A Plaster Sky" and "10,000 Words In A Cardboard Box" serve notice of what to expect. The Brain's "Nightmare In Red" is the bastard son of The Bonzo Dog Band and Monty Python. Mark Wirtz' "(He's Our Dear Old) Weatherman" originates from the same odd village as Keith West's "Grocer Jack". The Koobas' "Barricades" epitomises the genre's love of mixing the scatological with the meandering while maintaining some degree of control. The overall atmosphere is so bizarre the relatively straightforward pop of The Chances Are's "Fragile Child" sounds positively weird in this company.
Volume 4 – The 49 Minute Technicolour Dream
Disk four returns to the more eclectic concoction heard in the first album of the series and is all the better for it. Whether it be bittersweet stories of everyday folk ("The Wedding Of Ramona Blair"), the gentle, pastoral remnants of the summer of love ("Butterfly"), or a throwback to the clean-cut pop of bands like The Hollies and The Searchers ("Matrimonial Fears", "Come Alive"), all bases are covered.
But the most fascinating aspect of The 49 Minute Technicolour Dream is the darker peculiarities that stain its edges. It may sound crazy but, besides the ritualistic title, the underlying rhythm to Jason Crest's "Black Mass" carries the same doom laden, leaden weight delivery as early Black Sabbath, and within The Misunderstood's "Golden Glass" lies Deep Purple's penchant for screaming vocals and long, instrumental passages.
The times they were a-changin'
Volume 5 – The Electric Crayon Set
Despite the kaleidoscopic palette promised by the title, The Electric Crayon Set is a far more straightforward affair than previous platters – more garage than psych. But, because it lacks the lunacy and invention, it carries the feel of an album highlighting artists happy to scrape a living off the underside of the charts. Bands like The Poets, The Attack and The Game are feeding off crumbs of ideas from other more successful bands and the material fails to measure up. Better are "I'm Leaving" by The Mark Four, the odd "Father's Name Was Dad" by Fire and, for those who believed the last thing the world needed was yet another version of "(I'm Not Your) Stepping Stone", The Flies have incorporated a buzz of a guitar riff which quickly gets under the skin. On the downside, The Score provide the perfect example of a pointless cover with a dire take of "Please Please Me" and "Hey Gyp" is little more than a rewrite of The Beatles' "Can't Buy Me Love".
Volume 6 – The Clouds Have Groovy Faces
Maybe it's because of what's gone before but I find The Clouds Have Groovy Faces to be one of the better sets of the collection. That said, if all the albums were so light and frothy, the series would be impossible to stomach. Airy psych, almost folk pop, which could only originate from the sixties, the album is part whimsical nursery rhyme, part new age meditation and part wishful thinking for a bright new future. It's full of quaint characters living eccentric lives in improbable settings or ordinary folk coping with the commonplace and dying alone. Names like Flossie Fillet and Neville Thumbcatch only exist in the pages of children's fantasy fiction or in the woozy imaginings of a drug haze.
With band names like Tinkerbell's Fairydust, Falling Leaves and Fairytale the musical landscape was never going to be rough, which makes the brilliant rumbling riff accompanying The Accent's "Red Sky At Night" sound like an earthquake.
Volume 7 – Pictures In The Sky
The further I venture into The Rubble Collection the more it's important to remember these were originally released as separate albums. The vast majority of series inevitably begin to degrade as the available material becomes more obscure and insignificant. Seven albums in an no such decline is in evidence.
Carnaby may have cheekily tweaked the riff from The Who's "I Can't Explain" but the resulting "Jump And Dance" retains its own individual presence, Erky and The Earwigs' "I'm A Hog For You" effortlessly combines humour with straight-up rock and roll, and the gut-wrenching rhythm and blues of both "Help Me" and "You Said" make Oxford's The Primitives one of the best bands of the whole series. There may be more cover versions included but "Real Life Permanent Dream", "You Didn't Have To Be So Nice" and "Blue Turns To Grey" are all worthy efforts.
Volume 8 – All The Colours Of Darkness
The Summer of Love is dead and someone's pissing on the Garden of Eden. Vocalists screech like the protagonists in a catfight, guitars are whipped and flailed like weapons, keyboards pulse and quiver with a funereal richness, while bass and drums parallel the cadence of blood pumping through veins. The album balances on the edge of psychedelia and looks towards the promising frontiers of progressive and hard rock.
The best tracks are "Children Of Tomorrow" by Mike Stuart Span, "Days When We Are Free" by Mashmakhan, the switchback tempos of "Prodigal Son" by Eyes Of Blue, Second Hand's "The World Will End Yesterday", which is the musical version of an "End Of The World Is Nigh" sandwich-board. Best of all is the pulsating "Living A Lie" by South Shields' Yellow. I think I'm right in saying the track came from the band's only single. If that's the case it's a hell of a legacy.
Volume 9 – Plastic Wilderness
Rubble goes Dutch. Shifting the perspective away from British psych, Plastic Wilderness heads across the North Sea to check out whether there's more to Holland than windmills, clogs and tulips. And, on the strength of Volume 9, it appears the Amsterdam coffee shops were doing a brisk business.
In truth, Plastic Wilderness represents a retrograde step for the series. Whereas a number of the earlier albums have attempted to concentrate on specific styles within the genre – garage rock, wispy pop, woozy psych – Plastic Wilderness attempts a complete overview of the period from a different national outlook. As a result, rather than anything standing above the crowd, the album is the equivalent of a history lesson made up of a glut of notable dates and nothing sinks in.
Peter And The Blizzards, Q65, The Motions and The Outsiders linger longest and Groep 1850's "Mother No-Head" is another of those tracks which make you wonder about the mind that created it. It's also mildly interesting to hear the early jangle of The Golden Ear-Rings "That Day" which is a distance removed from their later "Radar Love", but the bonus track "Things Go Better", which sees the same band extolling the virtues of Coca-Cola, is a step too far.
Volume 10 – Professor Jordan's Magic Sound Show
The final album in the box-set is a bit of a damp squib which, given there's a further ten album set to follow, doesn't bode well. I realise these albums were originally released singly but, for all the floridness of the title, Professor Jordan's Magic Sound Show has the taste of leftovers. It's as though all the offcuts from the previous volumes have been bundled together rather than discarded. Certain tracks – especially "Gotta Keep On Moving" by The Game – are reminiscent of songs penned by Lennon and McCartney, rejected by The Beatles, and given to other artists as fallbacks. While nothing truly stinks, only The Montanas' raw hustle with "A Step In The Right Direction" is a keeper.
In summary, given the amount of material mined for the series and the fact very few tracks dipped as much as a little toe in the mainstream, The Rubble Collection is a treasure trove of psychedelic minutiae. Not every track is a gem but somehow even the mundane are elevated by the company that surrounds them. Listening to The Rubble Collection is like running a marathon: it requires stamina, perseverance and patience but is ultimately very rewarding.
Volume 11 – Adventures In The Mist
Volume 11 in the Rubble Collection is pretty standard pop psych fare but, considering the bands concerned merely brushed against the thought of widespread success, the overall quality is impressive. While nothing ranks highly on the far-out meter, a pleasant buzz of low level weirdness is maintained throughout. The wonderfully christened Felius Andromeda's "Meditations" is underpinned by monasterial chants, while The Accent's "Wind Of Change" boasts a fuzzy, meandering riff which sounds as if the guitar strings themselves have been coated in LSD. There's a vaguely ominous undertone to The Fairytale's "Guess I Was Dreaming" and Turquoise's "Woodstock" sways between Dylanesque interludes and airy flights of fancy. Elsewhere "Treacle Toffee World" and "Lady Orange Peel" satisfy those who lean towards the genre's proclivity for creating fantastical, almost childish images.
Volume 12 – Staircase To Nowhere
If Volume 11 suggested The Rubble Collection was running out of steam Staircase To Nowhere sees the series gain a second wind. Adventures In Mist was pop psych as iceberg lettuce drizzled with low calorie dressing and, while Staircase To Nowhere is hardly a raw, bloody steak, it's far more substantial and nutritious.
"Northern Hemisphere" by East Of Eden boasts a meaty riff which, with a bit more volume, Black Sabbath would be proud to lay claim to. The Bulldog Breed's "Portcullis Gate" contains a rhythm that skitters around like a cockroach on ice. On "Secret", Virgin Sleep successfully contrast muddy guitar with flighty keyboards. World Of Oz create a landscape where Munchkins and flying monkeys would appear relatively normal. On the downside the album would definitely benefit without the spiritual nonsense of "Glastonbury" but, overall, this is a return to form.
Volume 13 – Freak Beat Fantoms
Freak Beat Fantoms announces itself in a blare of uncoordinated guitar and overly earnest vocals. "You're Holding Me Down" by The Buzz then rounds off with a screaming fit likely to alert an exorcist carrying a straitjacket. On paper it may sound radical but, at its core, the track is little more than a Hollies soundalike band with a thin coat of fresh paint and is evidence any new musical revolution had its roots firmly embedded in the recent past.
The scene is set for the remainder of the album: driving R&B with freakbeat overtones and, considering how familiar the material sounds, Freak Beat Fantoms is a worthy addition to The Rubble Collection. Favourites include the jittery blues rush of "Blackeyed Woman", the bass heavy "Train Keeps Rollin'" with its bright lance of a guitar solo, the tribal beat of "You Got What It Takes" and the bounce and pump of "Take A Heart" - later covered by The Sorrows.
Points are lost for the closing two tracks which should have been allowed to rest in peace.
Volume 14 – The Magic Rocking Horse
As the series progresses it becomes more and more apparent how saturated the garage / psych / beat marketplace must have been in the late sixties. The Magic Rocking Horse is a case in point. Before playing the album, the seventeen tracks were completely unknown to me and, while containing nothing remotely ground-breaking, everything carries its own minor – sometimes intriguing, sometimes irritating – significance.
Catering more to the freakbeat scene, The Magic Rocking Horse sways from The Small Faces with added fuzz (Esprit de Corps, The Truth and, especially "I Can Show You" by Rupert's People) to a potpourri of the poetical and theatrical. "The Castle Has Fallen" by The Ghost could have been plucked from a failed stage musical, "The Wind" by Australia's The Groove is dominated by a vocal way too intense for the flimsy organ accompaniment, while Curiosity Shoppe's "Baby I Need You" veers in the opposite direction, being swamped by a manic keyboard arrangement. Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky was mandatory reading for all budding psych-heads but Boeing Duveen and The Beautiful Soup go the whole hog and set the nonsense poem to music, and Strawberry Children have the nerve to rip-off The Beach Boys' harmonies from "God Only Knows". The album close with the magnificent Moroccan souk-feel of 101 Strings' "Karma Sitar" – a track not even worthy of mention in any of the voluminous liner notes.
Volume 15 – 5000 Seconds Over Toyland
More than any other album in the Rubble series up to this point, 5000 Seconds Over Toyland carries an unmistakeable essence of filler. As though the bands concerned entered the studio already anticipating failure. There is one huge exception to the ordinariness but more of that later. Firstly, I readily accept lack of quality has little bearing on why 5000 Seconds Over Toyland fails to connect. When it comes to psychedelia I'm a bit of a carnivore: I prefer meat on the bones. Too often tracks by The State Of Mickey and Tommy, John Fitch and The Associates and The Jackpots are too wishy-washy, painted in overly diluted watercolours rather than slapped thickly onto canvas with a palette knife.
Tuesday's Children, Jason Crest and The Sound Barrier fare better and Rupert's People get credit for tagging the riff from "Day Tripper" on the end of "I Got The Love" but, by a distance, the only contributions worth a damn comes from The Pretty Things with "Blow Your Mind", "Eagle's Son" and "Alexander" all bearing witness to one of the most underrated British bands from the period.
Volume 16 – Glass Orchid Aftermath
Now this is more like it. Compared to some of the recent volumes Glass Orchid Aftermath should come with its own forklift to move it to the CD deck. This is pop psych with a hard, jagged edge. Sometimes blues heavy, sometimes trippy prog, without exception a collection of the highest order. By spreading the net to other parts of the globe the Rubble compilers have not only breathed new life into the series, but also amply demonstrated how widespread the tendrils of the genre reached. Contributions from Dublin and Brussels are not that great a stretch but Johannesburg? and Beirut??
The album is full of highlights: "Inspiration" by The Chasers, "Live Like A Lady" by The Remo Four who were Cavern-era contemporaries of The Beatles, an oddly effective version of The Great Depression anthem "Brother Can You Spare A Dime", and instrumental "QIII" which actually manages to overcome my aversion to the Hammond organ.
Elsewhere "Gravy Booby Jamm" reflects the growing influence of hard rock, "Thanks A Lot" by The Sea-ders proves the use of a buzuq adds a certain spicy piquancy to psych rock and The Dreams cover of The Equals' "Softly, Softly" surely had Jagger and Richards reaching for the phone to contact their lawyers.
All in all a superior compilation.
Volume 17 – A Trip In A Painted World
After the crash, bang, wallop of Glass Orchid Aftermath, A Trip In A Painted World sees a partial return to the fuzzy-round-the-edges, dreamscape pop psych of earlier volumes. Artists like The Lion Tamers, Nicky James and The Californians are looking to reside in a world of happy clappy people surrounded by a nature resplendent in kaleidoscopic colours. More than any other genre I can think of, it's an attitude which dates the music to such a degree it's almost a caricature. Add to this the fact the lyrics for "In Love" by Spice are so laughable they'd be rejected by a Mills and Boon novelist and A Trip In A Painted World is batting on a sticky wicket.
Better are the purer pop of The Oscar Bicycle, The Act and Philamore Lincoln, but the best the album has to offer lies elsewhere. The bluesy psych of "Seek And You Find" by The Fox promises more than the rest can deliver, while "Sunday" by Andwellas Dream is a welcome mix of prog and hard rock bolted together by a memorable meandering guitar.
Not one of the best albums in the series but still containing a handful of choice nuggets.
Volume 18 - Rainbow Thyme Wynders
With every passing volume in The Rubble Collection I can sense those metaphorical knives being sharpened to a finely-honed edge. It feels more and more improbable that a series founded on material excavated from the underbelly of the psych scene should be capable of surviving for eighteen albums - not only surviving but thriving. Certainly Rainbow Thyme Wynders sees the knives returned to their sheaths once again.
The album is pretty standard for the series, that is much better than the average. A number of tracks carry traces of songs which found some success - The Acid Gallery's "Dance Round The Maypole" has the taste of The Move's "Blackberry Way". Callum Bryce's "Love-Maker" recalls "The Pied Piper" by Crispian St. Peters. "The Real Thing" by Russell Morris is underpinned by the same riff as "Pictures Of Matchstick Men" by Status Quo - but all have enough personality to stand on their own feet. Elsewhere Pregnant Wallpaper win the prize for most outlandish name, while Infantes Jubilate earn brownie points for attempting to explain The Big Bang against a musical backdrop.
Replete with dulcimers, sitars, pan-pipes and harpsichords Rainbow Thyme Wynders is another minor league gem.
Volume 19 – Eiderdown Mindfrog
Are the cracks beginning to show? After eighteen volumes where imperfect, neglected garage psych has been transformed into something leaning toward the essential, Eiderdown Mindfrog sounds almost pedestrian by comparison. It's not as though the album is a complete waste but, in comparison to what's gone before, it feels like the ugly cousin which the rest of the family tries to ignore.
Things start promisingly enough. The sibilant tone of lead singer Martin Raphael adds an extra dimension to Ramases and Selket's "(In My) Mind's Eye" while The Lions of Juda's "Katja" contains a scorching guitar refrain. Completely out of place, but utterly contagious, is the bouncy pop gem that is "Memories Of Melinda" by Together which deserves credit for effortlessly rhyming the title with the line "burnt my heart into a cinder".
However, the remainder is little more than filler and, considering the company Eiderdown Mindfrog is keeping, that's a crashing disappointment.
Volume 20 – Thrice Upon A Time (Nothing Is Real)
Sadly the magnificent Rubble Collection ends with a whimper rather than a bang. Unlike other compilations in the series Thrice Upon A Time lacks an identity. While the previous albums have eschewed a distinct theme, certain volumes have leaned towards blues heavy psych, or pure psychedelic pop, or even tipped a hat towards the birth of prog rock. Thrice Upon A Time has the feel of an album constructed from the surplus flotsam and jetsam. If there is an overriding premise it's one of weirdness for its own sake.
Boeing Duveen and The Beautiful Soup's "Which Dreamed It" sounds like something heard pouring from the speakers in a seventies Indian restaurant, The Beautiful's "Walter's Dream" was apparently recorded in The Addams Family's living room with Lurch tied up in the background, and Adjeef The Poet's "IEEK - I'm A…Freak" somehow manages to be simultaneously naff and cool.
Better are "Mr Boyd" by Argosy – which would later be covered by the underrated chamber pop group My Life Story, and Les Fleurs des Lys' "Mud In Your Eye" – which manages to combine elements of The Hollies' "I Can't Let Go" and The Beatles' "Ticket To Ride" with a swirling guitar solo. It's also a pleasant surprise to hear anything other than "Fire" by The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, but nothing can deflect away from the fact Thrice Upon A Time is a disappointing closing act for The Rubble Collection.
In summary, the beauty of these compilations is tracks which wouldn't normally be given the time of day are suddenly given a brand new lick of paint. A bunch of tracks which made little impact at time of pressing are transformed into something special simply through close proximity to one another. As with volumes 1-10, volumes 11-20 are an essential purchase – not as essential maybe, but essential nevertheless.
The overall collection is like an exhaustive history lesson. When I was a kid, passing a history exam was simply a matter of learning a bunch of dates when significant events occurred. (I can't say knowing The Battle of Waterloo was fought on 18 June, 1815 has ever come in handy but it's never left my memory banks). That high level detail is akin to knowing the top ten singles of any given year. The Rubble Collection is about the minutiae. It's like learning what the Duke of Wellington ate for breakfast on the morning of the battle, or the name of the soldier standing fourth from the left in the front rank of one of Napoleon's battalions. It may not alter the outcome, but it adds significantly to the colour and atmosphere. That's The Rubble Collection in a nutshell.