THE ACTION - 'Rolled Gold' (React CD-001) 2002
This CD is such an important document to fans of UK psychedelia and is also a must for those interested in The Action to fully understand that they were much more than just a Motown/soul cover band.
I've read several interviews by former members of The Action, usually in various fanzines (including the gloriously titled "Brian Cant's Pants") that by mid 1966 they were experimenting with LSD and embracing the West Coast sounds from America. This change of direction from the mod/soul sound to psych was evident in their final Parlophone single 'Shadows And Reflections' and it's flip 'Something Has Hit Me.'
Sadly, they were dropped by Parlophone and spent the second half of 1967 without a record deal....just when the world was going day-glo. It turned out that The Action would never release any further records as no record deal was ever secured.
For decades it was known that The Action DID record more music in late 1967 and early 1968 but these songs were merely demos that the band briefly used to try to get a record deal. I've read that they hoped the recently formed Polydor label would be interested. Another label mentioned in Big Beat's Mighty Baby CD was Marmalade Records which Giorgio Gomelsky was setting up.....alas no takers.
Fortunately for fans these rare recordings finally achieved a release 35 years later on Reaction Recordings. This CD is now long out of print and quite hard to locate. They have printed a photo of the MONO demo tape box that reveals a date of 3rd May, 1968. There is no indication that the unreleased album would have been called 'Rolled Gold' but all songs contained on this release are listed and are presented in their original running order.
In my opinion the music sounds fabulous as it is although I'm sure it would never have been released in this 'unfinished' state in 1968.....they were just demonstrations and The Action were a professional group of musicians. It's a huge shame that George Martin couldn't have worked his magic on these songs at Abbey Road Studios at the time.
There's not a bad track on the CD, everyone is a psych treat.....the acid and new member Ian Whiteman certainly added to The Action sound making them far more of a potent force than they were as a soul group.....they must have been amazing at gigs playing this kind of swag.
My pick is the stunning psychedelic rocker 'In My Dream' which would have made a spectacular single.
"Wash my mind
I can see.
In my dream
What a scene".