THE STRAWBERRY ALARM CLOCK - "Incense And Peppermints" (Pye International NPL 28106) 1967
A couple of weeks ago I paid a visit to a local vinyl record dealer's market stall in Chester-le-Street, County Durham. He's had a stall there for many years and every time I rummage through his record boxes I always find something of interest.
Imagine my delight when I found this MONO copy of "Incense And Peppermints." Not only is this pressing much rarer than the stereo, it also sounds so much better in my opinion. I've made do with a stereo re-issue that I bought in the late eighties. I think that was a Greek bootleg. Anyway, I didn't mind as it meant that I could listen to a long-player by one of my favourite American bands.
Over the years I've bought all of their American singles on UNI. Some fellow collectors always mention that the Pye International mono singles sound way superior than the UNI counterparts. I've never had any to compare so maybe I'll look out for the British releases too.
But getting back to this album. What a beauty! It comes housed in a supremely great laminated Garrod & Lofthouse flipback sleeve. The vibrant colours are really far-out which really blows my 'unauthorized' re-issue away. It cost me £60 by the way which is a steal, flick through the latest Record Collector Price Guide and you're looking at £200 for a mint copy. This is EX+ and plays like a dream. Anyway, I've never been bothered about the price I pay for records. If I can afford a disc I'll buy it.