Content Curated By Darin R. McClure & a few photos

The Freakbeat Scene [Decca 60’s Mod/Freakbeat]
March 10, 2013, 8:16 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

The Freakbeat Scene [Decca 60’s Mod/Freakbeat]:

                       THE FREAKBEAT SCENE                        
“Freakbeat” is a label applied retroactively to music created in the transition from the pill-fueled mod years of the early-to-mid-60s to the psychedelic sounds that flourished by decade’s end. Freakbeat stretched the straight ahead dance beats with heavier bass and reverb, fuzz boxes and phase units that created a more elastic sound. These weren’t acid-flushed hippie-jams, but you could feel the drugs starting to take hold. Freakbeat mixed British beat harmonies, garage rock snarl, and strident, aggressive guitar playing with overt studio craft. Its brilliance lay in the combination of catchy beat-era melodies and concise structures with the developing musical freedoms of psychedelia. Superstar acts like the Yardbirds and Pretty Things created music that was termed freakbeat, but it was the lesser-known acts that were the center of the ’80s retro-obsession during which the genre was christened. This collection (one in a series of “Scene” releases) cherry-picks from Decca’s vaults, balancing titles from widely known acts such as the Small Faces and Marc Bolan, with stellar sides from obscure bands who released only a few singles. The Score’s opening cover of The Beatles’ “Please Please Me” is a perfect freakbeat example – melodic as a Beatles song, but with charging drums, the sort of bass playing McCartney started on Revolver, and an in-your-face vocal that wouldn’t have gone over well on Ed Sullivan. 
Other covers include a heavy blues reconstruction of “I’m Not Your Steppin’ Stone” that likewise would have had parents changing the station on The Monkees, and a punchy, twanging, reverb laden take on “Hey Gyp (Dig the Slowness)” that’s more reminiscent of The Animals and Soul Survivors’ covers than Donovan’s original. The originals are just as good, including the wicked organ-and-guitar garage groove of Paul Ritchie’s “Come on Back,” the Zombies/Hollies-styled harmonies and frenetic guitar solo of The Majority’s “One Third,” The Mark Four’s garage blues “I’m Leaving,” The Beatstalkers distorted soul “You Better Get a Better,” and the Fire’s Who/Yardbirds styled “Father’s Name is Dad.” The track list’s exclusive focus on the Decca vault leaves out many of Freakbeat’s most revered acts (e.g., The Action, John’s Children, The Pretty Things), but as an introduction to the sound, and as a collection of superb tracks, this is a winner. [Amazon Customer Review] Dig!

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