Friday, March 27, 2009

The Head Shop - The Head Shop (us 1969) (Epic 1969/Synton 1998)

The Head Shop - The Head Shop (us 1969)

Formed: New York City, NY, United States

Members:
- Danny Prosseda, Guitar
- Drew Sbordone, Bass
- Joe Siano, Vocals
- Jesse Luca, Drums, Percussion
- Milan, Rhythm Guitars and Screams
- Geoff Wright, Hammond/Farfisa Organ, Fuzz Bass (on "Heaven Here We Come" and "I Feel Love Comin' On")
- Maxim, Violin Solo (on "Prophecy")
- Larry Coryell, Guest Musician, Guitar Solo (on "I Feel Love Comin' On")

Side 1:
01. Head Shop (Milan/Maxim/R. Craig), 2:56
02. Heaven Here We Come (Milan), 2:40
03. Sunny (Bobby Hebb), 3:11
04. Listen with a Third Ear (Milan/Maxim), 2:30
05. Opera in the Year 4000 (Milan), 4:25
a. Where Have All the People Gone (Milan)
b. Yesterday (John Lennon/Paul McCartney)
Side 2:
01. Revolution (John Lennon/Paul McCartney), 2:28
02. I Feel Love Comin' On (Milan), 6:20
03. Prophecy (Maxim/Milan), 2:17
04. Infinity (Milan), 4:45

ALBUM:1(A) THE HEAD SHOP (Epic BN 26476) 1969
NB: (1) has been reissued on CD.
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Along with many other one-off major label psych albums such as Gandalf (Capitol Records) and Savage Resurrection (Mercury Records), the sole album by the Head Shop has become a major collector�s item in recent years. As with Gandalf and Savage Resurrection, the attention given to the Head Shop�s album is fully justified by the excellent psychedelic rock music contained therein. The album�s opening cut, �Head Shop�, begins with heavily distorted guitar and an insane scream. This is an appropriate introduction to a heavy, heady barrage of psychedelia. The group�s style is heavy rock, but it is driven by mind-melting fuzztone guitar rather than the more smoothly distorted guitar sound generally featured in heavy rock of the era (see Blue Cheer and Frijid Pink).
Thus, the Head Shop have created a demented fusion of �69 era heavy psych and �66 era garage punk. This makes for some very interesting original songs and cover tunes. The group�s version of �Sunny� is, appropriately enough, totally dark and creepy, driven by funeral-style organ work. Likewise, if you thought the Beatles original version of �Revolution� was heavy, wait till you hear the over-the-top fuzztone version by the Head Shop. The originals are perhaps even more interesting, including the aforementioned �Head Shop�, �Heaven Here We Come�, and the killer �Infinity�. Another of their songs, �Opera in the Year 4000� is a bizarre medly of an uncharacteristically �straight� original tune �Where Have All the People Gone� melded with another Beatles song, �Yesterday.� All in all, this is a most excellent and unusual album of heavy psychedelic rock.
Now that the LP has been reissued on CD by Synton Records, this fine album is finally much more widely available than the extremely scarce original 1969 issue. This is definitely a recommended release for psych fans.
~ Reviewer: Kurt Sampsel (December,2001)

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