‘Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era, 1965-68' (Rhino)
In 1972, one of the greatest and most influential compilation albums of all time was released by Elektra Records, and it was called “Nuggets,” subtitled “Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era, 1965-68.” It contained songs that caused stirs on Top 40 radio for varying lengths of time by groups that were mostly one-hit wonders, but they were tunes that were essential to the playlists of every high school garage band that ever tried to rise from neighborhood noisemakers to international stars.
To celebrate the album's 40th anniversary, Rhino has just released it as a remastered stand-alone CD and digital download for the first time in the U.S.
There's the bumblebee guitar of the paisley-poppy “I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night” by the Electric Prunes, the raunchy twang of the Standells' “Dirty Water,” the galloping sweatiness of the Seeds' “Pushin' Too Hard,” the Farfisa-organ-driven “Liar, Liar” by the Castaways, the Texas-based Thirteenth Floor Elevators' trippy “You're Gonna Miss Me,” the Yardbirds sound-alike, harp-blowing Count Five's “Psychotic Reaction,” a frantically guitar-driven song by the Leaves called “Hey Joe” (which Jimi Hendrix redid so masterfully on his debut album), the wonderfully throbbing, double-time blues-rock of “Baby Please Don't Go” by gun-crazy Ted Nugent and the Amboy Dukes, and the “Louie Louie”-like “Farmer John,” delivered by the Premiers.
There are many other selections on this disc that are not so well known — maybe Michael & the Messengers' “Romeo & Juliet,” the Cryan Shames' “Sugar and Spice” (which sounds like an early version of the Association), the sonically ornate “Run Run Run” by the Third Rail, and the sweepingly rocking, acid-fueled “Open My Eyes” by the Nazz, featuring Todd Rundgren on lead vocals and at his songcrafting best.
You'll be surprised how well the 27 songs on this album hold up today, and how closely these “Nuggets” resemble some of your more recently minted favorites.
— Gene Triplett