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Music Review: Various Artists – Glimpses Volumes 1 And 2

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Glimpses Volumes 1 And 2 is a double-CD collection of some incredibly rare U.S. garage/punk/psych singles from the 1960s. The two original albums were briefly available in the early 1980s and clearly had an impact. For those who enjoyed Lenny Kaye’s Nuggets (1972) set, this is like a P.H.D. course in obscure sixties rock.

Of the 27 total tracks, a whopping 16 hail from such previously unheralded Midwest towns as Saginaw, MI and Milwaukee, WI. And who knew there was ever such a smoking band as The Troyes from Battle Creek, WI home of the Kellogg’s Cereal Company?

The two Saginaw bands have classic names: Count And The Colony, and The Marauders. Their tunes ain’t half bad either. “Can’t You See” from Count is a  rip-off of the Stones’ own ripped-off version of “Not Fade Away.” The Marauders have no time for blues covers; their dreamy doo-wop meets early-psych track “Nightmare” recalls some of the finer moments of what The Small Faces’ Ogden Nut Gone Flake (1968) would later employ. According to the extensive liner notes, the Count’s single was released in 1967, while the forward-looking Marauders tune came out in 1965.

On Glimpses, there are actually two completely different bands called The Marauders. It is a great name after all, and I doubt if the Massachusetts group ever even heard of their Saginaw counterparts. “Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind” (1966) is so familiarly mid-sixties garage/psych it is just about perfect. The song also sounds like the blueprint for much of the Screaming Trees’ career.

Then again, some of the greatest eighties bands were eating this kind of music for breakfast. I know for a fact that the Trees were, and for that matter the whole L.A. paisley underground, and most of the bands who were called “college rock” back then. Hell, XTC even masqueraded as The Dukes Of Stratosphere to pay specific homage.

I have barely scratched the surface on all of the fun that is contained on Glimpses. This is a treasure trove of music, and every track was chosen for a reason. These kinds of records were once only owned by wealthy collectors, who never even listened to them. The great Portland, OR hardcore band Poison Idea said it best when they titled one of their albums Record Collectors Are Pretentious Assholes.

Glimpses contains a wealth of jewels that those collectors previously salivated over together in one excellent two-disc set.

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