Sunday, October 19, 2008
Sure, he was Kim Wilde's father. You gonna hold that against him?
MARTY WILDE, "DIVERSIONS" LP (UK PHILIPS 1969)
INCREDIBLY HARD TO FIND and AMAZING 1969 pop psych LP by Marty Wilde, “Diversions” on the UK Philips label. NEVER reissued, and that’s a right shame too, because this is one of the lost British popsike gems – a one-time burst of color-wheel mod freakbeat brilliance from an artist not always known for being “hip” (see Del Shannon/Charles Westover and Peter & Gordon’s “Hot Cold and Custard” for similar instances). But Marty, god bless ‘im, he pulls out ALL the stops on this one, and goes whole hog into the Swinging London scene (a year or two late, maybe, but still…). “Diversions” is FULL of brilliantly orchestrated Hollies-style pop that would fit nicely on a Fading Yellow or Great British Psychedelic Trip compilation. And hey, any artist who has the NERVE to call a song “Zobo (1871-1892)” deserves a big ol’ pat on the back just for that, and surprisingly, that particular song is a STUNNING dramatic orchestrated popsike track with some KILLER FUZZ guitar runs and pumpin’ stompin’ shakin’ rhythm section. “Zobo”’s got this cool pseudo-Spaghetti Western vibe to it (a la DDDBM&T’s “Don Juan” or Love’s “Alone Again Or”) and throws you for a loop with these SLASHING Pete Townshend drive-by fuzz power chords! Truly insane, and that’s not even including the inexplicable lion/dinosaur/indigestion growls that come in during the fade. And you thought Screaming Lord Sutch was out there! “Jesamine” is a fine cover of the Casuals track, a cool orchestrated classy popsike winner with soaring choruses and lush harmonies – like the best “Butterly”-era Hollies material. “Alice in Blue” lives up to its great title – it’s a beautiful baroque ballad with mandolin, soaring strings and a HUGE “Day in the Life” orchestrated ending. Superbly catchy melody too – again, imagine the Hollies at their most ornate – “Would You Believe”, “King Midas in Reverse” for example. Elsewhere, Marty covers the Status Quo’s “Ice in the Sun” and Lulu’s “I’m A Tiger” to show you how crazy his record collection was at the time. And check out that WILD psychedelic cover art, with Marty looking like some acid-fried incarnation of Elvis (not that there WAS such an incarnation, mind you!). An absolute stone-cold British pop hidden treasure, where you least expected it too. And aren’t those the BEST kind?
SQUID POP METER SEZ: 8 out of 10
BEST SERVED WITH: Baileys Irish Creme, Kim Wilde and Edible Underwear