Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Johns Children - Smashed Blocked

John's Children were a 1960s pop art/mod rock band from Leatherhead, England that briefly featured future T. Rex frontman Marc Bolan. John's Children were known for their outrageous live performances and were booted off a tour with The Who in Germany in 1967 when they upstaged the headliners. Their 1967 single "Desdemona", a Bolan composition, was banned by the BBC because of the controversial lyric, "Lift up your skirt and fly". Their US record label delayed the release their album, Orgasm for four years from its recording date due to objections from Daughters of the American Revolution.
John's Children were active for less than two years and were not very successful commercially, having released only six singles and one album. But they had a big influence on punk rock and are seen by some as the precursors of glam rock. In retrospect the band has been praised for the impact they had, and their singles have become amongst the most sought-after British 1960s rock collectables. (Wiki)
A must not only for T. Rex archaeologists, but for anyone with a yearning to discover what the best of British freakbeat sounds like, Smashed Blocked! reprises the six months or so that Marc Bolan spent with mod psychedelics John's Children in 1967, adding the group's two earlier 45s (the U.S. hit title track included), and a random selection of rarities and acetates to what would otherwise appear a fairly standard track listing. Most of the titles here have already appeared on a myriad compilations. Did they really need to be released one more time? Appearances can be deceptive. Of the nine (out of 17) tracks that boast some kind of Bolan-ic intervention, only one has previously seen the light of day on official releases: the outtake "Hippy Gumbo." The singles "Midsummer Night's Scene" and "Remember Thomas A. Beckett," together with the post-Bolan "Come and Play With Me in the Garden" and "Jagged Time Lapse," are present as alternate takes with noticeable, if not precisely Earth-shattering differences; "Mustang Ford" and the backing track for "Sally Was an Angel" are familiar only from bootlegs; and the set comes to a shattering conclusion with four cuts from a 1967 BBC session, recorded shortly after drummer Chris Townson returned from a tour with the Who, where he sat in for a poorly Keith Moon. The reproduction is no better than the crunchy-sounding bootleg EP that appeared in the late '80s, and may even come from the same source. But at least it won't deteriorate any further. To this already mouthwatering selection can be added the original acetate pressing for "Smashed Blocked," still laboring beneath its working title of "The Love I Thought I'd Found," and the group's "lost" third Columbia label single, the fuzz-drenched "Not the Sort of Girl You'd Take to Bed." There's also a reprise of "Strange Affair," without the pointless backward tape effects found on the Orgasm album release, plus another chance to hear Jeff Beck's crucial solo in the B-side "But She's Mine." And while the John's Children catalog still cries out for a decent housekeeping job, but at least the component parts are now in place. Around the same time as this album was released, a copy of the original "Midsummer Night Scene" 45 sold in England for over 4,000 dollars. Smashed Blocked! grants the opportunity to hear what all that fuss is about for considerably less outlay than that. (AMG)

Get it: HERE

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