Guide to British Music of the 1960s

March 2023

CD Review: British Mod Sounds of the 1960s Volume 2 - The Freakbeat and Psych Years

This second volume of British Mod Sounds carries on where volume 1 finished. As the end of the decade approached, many bands evolved from their "Mod"/R&B style to a heavier or psychedelic sound. There was mixed success with some making an excellent transition while others floundered. The new music style also threw up some interesting new groups. Like Volume 1 there are interesting connections. Also, many artists are present who would make their mark in later years. A great compilation contains established, well-known artists as well as those who are more obscure and it is often the latter who make the compilations interesting.

A rare David Bowie track is The Gospel According to Tony Day. This appeared on the b-side of The Laughing Gnome. Marc Bolan would also become a superstar in the 1970s but in the late 1960s he was a member of John's Children who produced A Midsummer Night's Scene, controversial due to the line "Lift up your skirt and fly". While the Move from Birmingham produced some amazing tracks with a string of classic singles, songwriter Roy Wood would also make a major impact in the 1970s as a founder of the Electric Light Orchestra and with Wizard. Disturbance shows the band's innovative streak and was a worthy b-side to debut single Night of Fear. The Move had the dual lead vocals of Carl Wayne and Roy Wood and with the driving beat from Bev Bevan this is an amazing track. Prior to the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Harvey had an extensive solo career and his own Sunday Song is included here. Fleetwood Mac were still a top blues band at this time. Rambling Pony is credited to Peter Green although it certainly owes a massive debt to the blues classic Rollin' & Tumblin'.

Status Quo had been known previously as the Spectres and Traffic Jam and the debut single as the Quo is an English psychedelic classic with Pictures of Matchstick Men. They would, of course, change direction, in the 1970s and become a huge act. Likewise, the Idle Race was led by Jeff Lynne who would later join the Move and then, with Roy Wood, found the Electric Light Orchestra leading to mega success in the 1970s.

The Ivy League were known for their harmony vocals having contributed backing to the Who's I Can't Explain. However, there are worth a listen in their own right. My World Fell Down certainly has echoes of the Zombies' Odessey & Oracle.

Apostolic Intervention's version of Small Faces' Tell Me (Have You Ever Seen Me) features future Humble Pie drummer Jerry Shirley. Humble Pie are also present with Wrist Job while Small Faces contribute Me, You and Us Too, an alternative lyric to the heavy Wham Bam Thank You Mam.

Tomorrow should have been much bigger. My White Bicycle is an English psychedelia classic. Lead singer had more success as a solo artist with Excerpt From a Teenage Opera though while guitarist Steve Howe would hit the big time later with Yes.

Happenings Ten Years Time Ago is one of the Yardbirds' great tracks and there are plenty to choose from. This single is one of only three tracks recorded when the band featured both Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page on lead guitar. With such promise just what could have been achieved here. However, we did have Led Zeppelin and the Jeff Beck Group.

The Fleurs de Lys often appear on compilations. The band evolved throughout the 1960s with only drummer Keith Guster a constant member. The band's defining track is Pete Townshend's Circles which appeared on Volume 1. Mud In Your Eye also features amazing guitar work from Phil Sawyer. Another "what if this line-up had endured"?

There are some interesting cover versions of classics given even more of a pysch vibe. Check out The Beatles' Taxman by Loose Ends, Donovan's Hey Gyp (Dig the Slowness) by The Truth and Flies' I'm Not Your Stepping Stone.

There are some great examples of bands that evolved. The Action made their name live, largely through covers of Motown and other soul tracks. In My Dream is an original written by Alan "Bam" King and Reg King, no relation, that has a completely different feel to the group's previous output. The Action evolved further into the progressive Mighty Baby, albeit without lead singer Reg King. Likewise, Zoot Money's Big Roll Band made their name as a great live act based on covers. A change of name and direction led to Dantalian's Chariot and the psychedelic classic Madman Running Through the Fields. Again this is an original track written by George "Zoot" Money and Andy Summers, later of the Police. The Creation and and the Who both evolved although, in the case of the Creation, there had been some personnel changes. Pete Townshend contributed the amazing I Can See for Miles from the LP The Who Sell Out. I Can See for Miles not only takes the band in a more contemporary direction but showcases the Who's use of Keith Moon's drums as a lead instrument. Traffic were a bit different as it was a different band but Steve Winwood does sound much different to his previous group, the Spencer Davis Group, with the classic Coloured Rain. Even without the Winwood brothers, the Spencer Davis Group were able to produce some great tracks with Moonshine included here. Eddie Hardin proves to be a more than adequate replacement for Steve Winwood while Phil Sawyer has moved over from the Fleurs de Lys on guitar.

Listen to some great guitar lines from the lesser known bands such as The Fire, The Open Mind's Magic Potion, the Poets.

Many of the lesser known bands are deserving of more listening time. Apple's Buffalo Billycan instantly channels Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd. Paul West & Compass and Satisfaction both have echoes of Jethro Tull.

All in all, volume 2 builds very nicely on the quality of volume 1. The mix of established artists and the less well-known or even obscure ensures that this is a voyage of discovery through some of the most exciting British sounds of the late 1960s.


Original release: 17 February 2023

Essential Tracks

  • The Mickey Finn - Garden of My Mind
  • Tintern Abbey - Vacuum Cleaner
  • Rupert's People - Dream on My Mind

Track Listing

Disc One

  1. The Fairies - Get Yourself Home

  2. The Birds - No Good Without You Baby

  3. The Poets - Call Again

  4. The Sorrows - You've Got What I Want

  5. The Eyes - When the Night Falls

  6. The New Breed - Unto Us

  7. The Riot Squad - I Take It We're Through

  8. Jan Panter - Scratch My Back

  9. Wimple Winch - Save My Soul

  10. Loose Ends - Taxman

  11. The Ivy League - My World Fell Down

  12. The Yardbirds - Happenings Ten Years Time Ago

  13. The Fleurs de Lys - Mud in Your Eye

  14. The Truth - Hey Gyp (Dig the Slowness)

  15. Scots of St James - Tic Toc

  16. The Flies - I'm Not Your Steppin' Stone

  17. The Move - Disturbance

  18. The Craig - I Must Be Mad

  19. The Drag Set - Day and Night

  20. Apostolic Intervention - Tell Me (Have You Ever Seen Me)

  21. David Bowie - The Gospel According to Tony Day

  22. Tomorrow - My White Bicycle

  23. John's Children - Midsummer Night's Scene

  24. Caleb - Baby is Phrasing is Bad

  25. The Attack - Created by Clive

  26. The Gods - Come on Down to My Boat Baby

  27. Alex Harvey - The Sunday Song

  28. Keith West - Excerpt from a Teenage Opera

Disc Two

  1. Our Plastic Dream - Encapsulated Marigold

  2. The Action - In My Dream

  3. Dantalian's Chariot - Madman Running Through the Fields

  4. Kaleidoscope - Flight From Ashiya

  5. Sands - Listen to the Sky

  6. Scott Walker - Montagu Terrace (In Blue)

  7. The 23rd Turnoff - Michael Angelo

  8. The Fairytale - Listen to Mary Cry

  9. Felius Andromeda - Meditations

  10. Ice - Anniversary of Love

  11. Rupert's People - Dream on My Mind

  12. The Accent - Red Sky at Night

  13. The Creation - Life is Just Beginning

  14. The Who - I Can See for Miles

  15. Fleetwood Mac - Rambling Pony

  16. The Cymbaline - Matrimonial Fears

  17. Tintern Abbey - Vacuum Cleaner

  18. Traffic - Coloured Rain

  19. Andy Ellison - It's Been a Long Time

  20. The Mickey Finn - Garden of My Mind

  21. Warm Sounds - Nite-Is-A-Comin'

  22. Mike Stuart Span - Children of Tomorrow

Disc Three

  1. The Spencer Davis Group - Moonshine

  2. The End - Shades of Orange

  3. The Fire - Father's Name is Dad

  4. Turquoise - Tales of Flossie Fillett

  5. Billy Nicholls - London Social Degree

  6. Acquarian Age - 10,000 Words in a Cardboard Box

  7. Status Quo - Pictures of Matchstick Man

  8. The Idle Race - The Morning Sunshine

  9. The Montanas - A Step in the Right Direction

  10. July - Dandelion Seeds

  11. Family - See Through Windows

  12. Icarus - The Devil Rides Out

  13. Plastic Penny - Your Way to Tell Me Go

  14. The Elastic Band - 8 1/2 Hours of Paradise

  15. Vamp - Floatin'

  16. Paul West & Compass - Hey You

  17. Sam Gopal - Escalator

  18. Sound Barrier - Groovin' Slow

  19. Apple - Buffalo Billycan

  20. Timebox - Gone is the Sad Man

  21. Locomotive - Mr Armageddon

  22. Ossie Layne Show - Rock My Plimsoll

  23. The Californians - The Cooks of Cake & Goodness

Disc Four

  1. The Koobas - Barricades

  2. The Troggs - Evil Woman

  3. Graham Bond - Love is the Law

  4. The Misunderstood - Children of the Sun

  5. Small Faces - Me, You and Us Too

  6. The Fruit Machine - I'm Alone Today

  7. Brian Auger Featuring Julie Driscoll - Flesh Failures (Let The Sunshine In)

  8. Terry Reid - Superlungs My Supergirl

  9. Jason Crest - Black Mass

  10. The Open Mind - Magic Potion

  11. Quiet Melon - Diamond Joe

  12. Humble Pie - Wrist Job

  13. Mighty Baby - Same Way From the Sun

  14. Colosseum - Elegy

  15. Blonde on Blonde - Castles in the Sky

  16. Peter  Wyngarde - Neville Thumbcatch

  17. The Kinks - This Time Tomorrow

  18. Satisfaction - My Fixation (Edit)

  19. Nucleus - Song for the Bearded Lady

  20. Graham Dee - Car Chase

Privacy Policy


Making Time 1997-2023