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Various Artists

Fairytales Can Come True: UK Popsike from the Late '60s

(Psychic Circle; US: 19 Jun 2007; UK: 9 Jul 2007)

Don’t let the misleading cover art or title of this compilation scare you off—Fairytales Can Come True contains no odes to woodland nymphs or epic retellings of adventures in Mordor. Instead, the 20-track collection from the Psychic Circle label boasts a slew of obscure British psych-pop from 1966-1969. These are all tender little folk implosions, ephemeral music-box melodies discreetly cloaked in the psychedelic haze of the era—think Nuggets minus the frat-rock brawn—and, perhaps surprisingly, are quite good. Fred Lloyd’s “Kissed Him” and Grisby Dyke’s “Mary Ann She” approach the kaleidoscopic consciousness of the Zombies, while the Virgil Brothers’ “Look Away” pinches the epic majesty of fellow Aussies, the Bee Gees. Elsewhere, Los Bravos slip on the Neil Diamond pants for the exuberant “Bring a Little Lovin’” and Katch 22 sing about “an effervescent girl” traipsing about in the titular “Pumpkin Mini”. Whimsical? Disposable? Yes and yes, but fantastically so, the sort of epoch-frozen pop that only bands with names like Peppermint Circus, San Francisco Earthquake, and Hedgehoppers Anonymous could hope to make.

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Zeth Lundy has been writing for PopMatters since 2004. He is the author of Songs in the Key of Life (Continuum, 2007), and has contributed to the Boston Phoenix, Metro Boston, and The Oxford American. He lives in Boston.


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