CD Halcyon Days [Bonus Tracks] * (CD 1153484),
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Halcyon Days [Bonus Tracks] *
Dr. Strangely Strange
2. Existence Now
3. Good Evening Mr. Woods
4. Going to Poulaphouca
5. Mirror Mirror
6. Sweet Red Rape
7. Horse of a Different Hue
8. Lady of the Glen
9. HMS Avenger
10. Halcyon Days
11. Invisible Kid, The
12. le Rockin' Sound, Le
13. Cock-A-Doodle-Doo - (Kip Version)
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 092
Ben Wiseman; Adrian Whittaker; Joe Boyd; Roger Mayer; Ben Wiseman; Adrian Whittaker; Chris Muijzert
Ben Wiseman; John Wood; Roger Mayer; Victor Gamm; Ben Wiseman; Chris Muijzert
Dr. Strangely Strange: Tim Booth (guitar, bass guitar); Tim Goulding (fiddle, whistle, Hammond b-3 organ, electric organ); Ivan Pawle (whistle).
Personnel: Ivan Pawle (vocals, whistling, acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Tim Goulding (vocals, whistling, melodica, recorder, piano, electric piano, organ); Tim Booth (vocals, acoustic guitar, mandolin); Joe Thoma (mandolin, fiddle); Jay Myrdal (glockenspiel); Neil Hopwood (drums, percussion).
Additional personnel: Linus (vocals, percussion); Neil Hopwood, Jay Myrdal, Joe Thoma.
Liner Note Author: Adrian Whittaker.
Recording information: Shotgun Studio, Allhies, West Cork, England (04/01/1969-10/29/1970); Sound Techniques, Boston, MA (04/01/1969-10/29/1970).
Author: Adrian Whittaker.
Illustrator: Tim Booth .
Photographers: Jay Myrdal; Annie Goulding; Iain Sinclair.
An unsuccessful attempt to assemble an album of live/BBC material by Dr. Strangely Strange (not enough usable stuff could be found), unusually, led to something better -- an entire LP's worth of well-preserved 1969-1970 studio outtakes. Those ten outtakes (with two versions of one song, "Cock-a-Doodle-Doo") form the bulk of this 2007 release, topped off by three 2006 recordings supplied specifically for this project. It's the 1969-1970 material, naturally, that's the main attraction, and it's a surprise to find that -- unlike the unissued cuts excavated for most collections of this sort -- they're pretty much on a par with the two albums this fairly obscure Irish acid-folk-ish band issued during their brief lifetime. That is to say, they sound very much like the Incredible String Band without as much of an edge, a niche that cuts both ways. In some ways, more mainstream listeners (if any are indeed checking out a reissue such as this in the first place) might actually find their whimsical, drifting brand of barely-rock-influenced folk a little more pleasant and accessible than the ISB. That acknowledged, the songs, singing, and arrangements aren't as bold, striking, eclectic, or world music-influenced as those of the band with which they're inevitably compared. But those who like eccentric British Isles folk-rock in this mold, and certainly those who like the two proper Dr. Strangely Strange LPs from the era, will be pleased. The production (mostly by Joe Boyd) and sound are good, if on the low-key side; the songs are good-natured, if sometimes slight and addled; and the instrumentation quite varied, though only occasionally does this fit into what could be called rock music. Best of all, these aren't merely early demos or alternate versions, as the songs weren't used in any form on the two official albums by the band. This fits unexpectedly comfortably, then, into the primary Dr. Strangely Strange discography, though one of the outtakes (the droll disaster tale "HMS Avenger") is atypical even by the unpredictable, goofy standards of this oddball group. The three 2006 songs aren't as impressive (especially in the vocal department), but do fit in fairly well with the others in terms of both vibe and production. A bonus worth noting is the inclusion of very detailed, lengthy liner notes, which have a lot of info not only on these specific tracks, but also on the history of the band in general. ~ Richie Unterberger
Mojo (Publisher) (p.118) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]hese 12 songs, al worthy, some excellent, date from Dr. SS's 1969-70 glory days.....A wonderful piece of archaeology."
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Hux Records (Label) HUX 092
E1 Distribution (USA)
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