Here’s something crazy for you.
I picked up the Associated Soul Group LP a while back because a friend had posted their version of ‘Are You Experienced’, mainly because it included a drum break.
I’m always game for exploito/covers, so when the chance presented itself, I grabbed myself a copy of the album.
What I discovered was that in addition to a couple of groovy instrumentals, there are a couple of excellent garage/psyche tracks as well.
The history/provenance of the the Associated Soul Group is largely lost to the ages, since there probably never was an actual group by that name, and the fact that the music included on the album in question may very well have emanated from more than one source.
The tunes I bring you today, my faves from the LP are two great slices of 66/67 garage called ‘Don’t Think Twice’ and ‘Wild Times’.
‘Don’t Think Twice’, which opens with a very groovy guitar line has the slightly polished sound of 66-era Sunset Strip to it.
‘Wild Times’ works a similar vibe, adding in a touch of Paul Revere and the Raiders. Interestingly enough, this very song, (sounding like the same group, though a different recording) was released as a 45 by the Id, of ‘Boil the Kettle Mother’ fame.
‘Don’t Think Twice’ also appeared under the Id name, as well as appearing on an LP by the ‘Projection Company’.
I have (and have heard) a bunch of similarly intended albums, and what sets these tracks apart is how good they are, so much so as to be too good (if you know what I mean). It pains me to think of some anonymous bunch of longhairs having offered up their best material, only to have the songs recycled/renamed and stuffed into supermarket and gas station record racks until the record company had managed to squeeze the last drop of musical blood from the stone.
There are some names tied to these sounds, namely Jerry Cole and Paul Arnold (at least as far as writing credit is concerned) but the list of groups in this particular orbit – including the Animated Egg, T. Swift and the Electric Bag, Associated Soul Group, Firebirds, Projection Company – only serves to muddy the water.
That said, I do dig these songs a lot, and I hope you do too.