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".



  1. here's my amazon uk review:
    22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars THE BEST CD we've discovered in a while 5 Nov 2003
    By ge
    Format:Audio CD
    If you like late 60s British rock-psych, tough-not-fey production/vibe, white-soulful vox, and mixing electric/acoustic elements (think: a cross among BEATLES + ZOMBIES + TRAFFIC + SMALL FACES, even a lil' BYRDS feel occasionally), you shimply MUSHT try ROLLED GOLD, which compares to the cream of these groups' output!!

    -"the Ac-WHO-"!? you might well say...'Where have they been all our life?'; 'A gem beyond price has languished all these years unsavored,' we repeat nearly speechless. Not since our belated introductions to Moondog...Skip Bifferty...Billy Nicholls...Stones' "Metamorphosis"...Dantalian's Vehicule...

    It can easily be yours.

    We very rarely care to replay any c.d. over and over but this one warrants such: well-crafted blend of nonchalance poetry and passion, delicacy and yarbles, hooks and chops and pacing and SONGS up there with the legends. The news that this cohesive album was only DEMO'S* ('haps fortuitous in retrovision) catapults one's estimation higher still.

    Singer Reg King: on ROLLED'S strength his visage deserves a spot on some Rushmore-in-Avalon alongside fellow soulful Brits Winwood/ Marriott/ Reid/ Lloyd/ Stewart...: just hoarse enough/just sweet enough (+ a 'secret': optimal use throughout of unison doubletracking...perfection.)

    ROLLED GOLD'S production is on the raw/monoish/hotly-compressed side-- a flute/piano occasionally to augment the basic guitar quartet formula & keep things unexpected-- suiting the songs & performances to a Tee (just to offer another clue to their magic brew).

  2. A very accurate description of the music. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Hi, there
    Can you tell me the full lyrics of the song?


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