Occasionally some home made, no budget CDR compilations are as good as they get. Paul Martin is responsible for one of my favourite comp series called Pop Cycles. These are excelently mastered with top grade sound quality and come with well researched liners.
Paul is the person behind this comp called Sweetness & Light, Hot 'n' Heavy. The concept behind this release is to start with the more AOR late 60s /70s releases. The kinda music that your parents probably dug and you hated. The set gradually gets more heavy and freaky and by the end your parents would hate it and you would be diggin' it.
I would not have placed the ultra cool 1st Century in with the lite psych 45s. This one sticks out as being more of an underground psycher. I wished he would have added the flip 'Dancing Girl' aswell. This has been compiled recently on Soft Sounds For Gentle People Volume 4. Unfortunately their attempt at mastering the 45 for their CD release is well below average and still needs to be presented properly. (I'm pleased to say I've got a copy on route from USA to England as I write this)
On this CDR release the sound quality of all the tracks could have been tidied up a bit and the pops and clicks evident on some of the selections could easily have been removed with a little skill. (I was told this was a rush release) Fortunately the music is loud and proud and still blows away those Soft Sounds CDs.
Most of the Sweetness and Light half is pleasant enough music with the occasional fuzzy guitar and tambourine bashing. So my favourite cuts on the first half of the collection are 1st Century, Pastoral Symphony's 'Love Machine' (this one has got great 'skying' and whispered vocals) and The Trixons 'Just Another Song' (which is a bouncy song complete with sunshine pop 'La La La's)
Things start getting more freaky and heavy by the mid point. Some of the cuts sound progressive especially Black Feather and Genesis. The Wildwoods 'I'm Dreaming' is out of place as this song is a magical psychedelic song with lyrics such as 'Several flowers cover my towers by the hour' and 'Now I know how I can get get high, smelling my flower'..
The Stony Brook People's 'There's Tomorrow' is a fast paced mover with brass and psychy guitar meanderings. There is also room for overlooked gems from Jefferson Airplane, Moby Grape and the Bob Seger System. 'Mustache In Your Face' by Pretty will pretty much blow your mind with it's heaviness if you've not heard it before.
A new discovery for me was The Flames 'Solitude'. This song is a six minute slow paced raga sitar fest ending with the line 'Close your eyes I want to sleep in your mind'....
Expect none of these bands to feature in the anticipated Teen Beat Mayhem.