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Psycho-Relics

Big Boy Pete

1999. Bacchus Archives CD
 
1. Baby I Got News for You ('65)
2. Flying Solo (1969)
3. Farewell Welfare (1969)
4. London American Boy (1968)
5. She's The Only Woman (1969)
6. Sweetmeat (1967)
7. Listening to the Wind (1968)
8. Freeloader (1966)
9. There is a Town (1968)
10. Shiralee (part one) (1967)
11. Shiralee (part two) (1967)
12. A Light in the Sky (1968)
13. Have you Wished (1966)
14. Blue Dan (1969)
15. The Mother Seeds (aka
Land of Schlimpf and Whatzit) (1969)
Musicians:

Drums: Robert Newton, Luke Watson , Micky Waller
Bass: George Parsons, Harvey Platt, Johnny Larke
Sitar, Pete MillerGuitars: Pete Miller , Jerry Wilcox, Tony Webster
Hammond B3: Peter London

Piano: Derek Shepherd, Phil Dennys
Trumpet:
Norman Samways
Violin: Alan McClennan , Harvey Platt
Percussion: Clive Monen, Granville Hornsby
Flutes : Robert Newton
Vocal backing: Ricky Southern, Lester Middleton, Roger Moon, Harvey Platt, Luke Watson
All tracks written and produced by Peter Miller except: Flying Solo (Peter Miller and Derek Shepherd). She's the Only Woman and The Mother Seeds (Peter Miller and Robert Newton). Have You wished (Peter Miller and Michael Watson). Blue Dan (Peter Miller, Harvey Platt, and Robert Newton).
 
HIT LIST '99

Fifteen unreleased gems by this semi-legendary '60s British guitarist/singer/songwriter. Big Boy Pete is a psyched-out popster with roots rock 'n' roll in his heart. All of these tracks (minus track one) were deemed too weird for public consumption. Track one is the demo for his "Babi I Got News For You" 45, which I guess is one of the more valuable colectable records from that era. Compare to a more rooted in reakity (though not by much) SYD BARRETT. (JC)

TWIST AND SHOUT - 2000

Big Boy Pete was the alter-ego for Pete Miller, lead guitarist of the Jaywalkers, who were one of england"s premier combos. Compiled of tunes recorded between 1965 and 1969, "Psycho-Relics" observes the renowned musician at his utmost experimental powers, meaning the listener is in for an enchanting sojourn of wacky sights and sounds that refuse to follow any set formula. The disc commences with a demo version of "Baby I Got News for You," a tonic pop gem that enjoyed a bit of airplay at the time of its release. "American London Boy," "Freeloader," "Have you Wished" and "A Light in the Sky" sit tall as other riveting items on the album, which are consumed by unique hooks and Pete's delightful vocals that fall somewhere between a blithe bubblegum pitch and the aching bellow of Roy Orbison. A liberal quantity of paisley imagery dictates the record, specifically on the Pretty Things styled "The Mother Seeds" (Land of Schlimpf and Whatzit,) and then there's "Blue Dan" an abraisive pile of commotion basically carved of nothing but the deafening din of a squawking trumpet. Truly wild it is! (Beverly Paterson)

EXOTICA '99

British psycho-popster Pete Miller wrote hundreds of songs in his studio between 1966 and 1969, heavily inspired by both Joe Meek and LSD. Aside from a couple of hits in the UK - "Cold Turkey" and "Baby I Got News for You," his music was considered a little too weird for the hoi polloi. He's been generally ignored for the last three decades, a fact that becomes increasingly puzzling the more you listen to Psycho-Relics. Pete's songs are reminiscent of those by The Move, also known for their eclectic approach to songwriting. The Move's psychedelia, however, seems almost banal next to some of Pete's drug-induced lyrics. Take for example, "The Mother Seeds. (Land of Schlimpf and whatzit.)" : "Selling a dream of animal mind, leaving the vultutres way behind / Paraphernalia everywhere, gleaning the ones who stand and stare, / The chosen apples learn to dance, / The special clockwork guiding branch setting the mother seeds." But if Pete's visions are hallucagenic, his songs are rock-solid, skillfully-crafted tunes that almost define 1960s psychedelia. Production values on this 15 song compilation - recorded with Pete's group the Jaywalkers - are surprisingly clean for the time period. Anyone with even a passing interest in the paisely period should check out Big Boy Pete. Fantastic stuff.

SHREDDING PAPER

Pete Miller was in Peter Jay and the Jaywalkers under the knob twisting of Joe Meek, for whom he also worked as a recording assistant, learning the production trade from a master. Later he also recorded many solo sessions, and with other artists. Today he operates Pete Miller recording in San Francisco. This disc is a marvelous compilation of his mid-to-late sixties work, all of which is artful, poppy, talented, semi-paisley, and well recorded. Much of the disc is comprised of slightly heavy pop, and sports his excellent guitar work, most of which is fuzzed out. This is an excellent glimpse into the world of Pete Miller. (Phil)

PANISCUS REVIEW

Big Boy Pete Miller is an odd little Roman Polanski-lookin' fellow who also bears something of an aural and visual resemblance to a young & wasted Roy Orbison. His "Psycho-Relics" is part two of The Psychedelic Adventures of Pete Miller (the first being "Homage to Catatonia," a previously unreleased collection of pure Sixties tunes. As such it's a warped and dated sounding album which reflects the influence of vintage acts of the time. Big Boy rocks out Buddy Holly style on "London American Boy" and grows wistful on "Farewell Welfare," and the rest of the album is populated by golliwogs, blue caterpillars, lemon people, and other lycergic emanations. I myself can't stand that sickly sweet "psychedelic" Beatles-era bullshit, but if you're looking for a flashback you oughta dig this.

EYE

Pete "Big Boy Pete" Miller has been called one of the most criminally neglected talents of the late sixties psychedelic scene. Here, Dionysus dishes out 15 previously unreleased Miller selections to let you decide whether he was a genius or a journeyman. Either way he never got the big break, even though Keith Richards publicly admired Pete's playing in his early band, the Jaywalkers. A prolific composer, Big Boy Pete gives you the impression that there's always more where that came from. Remember, this is just Part 2! Only his "Baby I Got News for You" was a minor hit on the 1965 UK charts, but the version included here is an earlier unreleased cut and every other cut sidles up to you from the corners of obscurity. So was he a hack with lots of echo and layered vocals? My take is that Miller was just one step too far for - maybe a little too "real" for sixties mainstream charts. In fact "Psycho-Relics" sounds like "Nuggets", only without the top 100 staples that anchor that famous compliation of garage and first-wave punk. "Psycho-Relics" peels back a layer or two of the paisely onion and reveals a quirky talent whos lyrics are ever so slightly odd and music that was just weird enough to elude mass acceptance. But really boss nonetheless. Miller's voice goes from sounding like the Trogg's Reg Presley with a lisp to a pub-rocking Dave Edmunds. His songs are musically simple but he embellishes them with falmboyant layers of foppish guitar and the occasional sympathetic drone of an untutored sitar. Still amid all the self concious trippy quality are some basic rockers like "London America Boy," a pugnacious chip on the shoulder about early US rock labels and the power of a secondhand 45 rpm. It's a good buy for psychedelic connoisseurs and a great source for the hipper bar bands looking for covers that nobody else does. (David McClean)

TAMPA TRIBUNE

Pete Miller had two small hits in England. As Miller, his "Baby I Got News for You" is widely regarded as Britain's first psychedelic single (1965), and '68's "Cold Turkey" (first release as Big Boy Pete) is just as crazed but heavier. A home recordist with vaults that go on and on, Big Boy Pete is now the subject of archival releases on Dionysus (and England's Tenth Planet label). Previously unreleased songs range from robot voice tributes to various ladies ("Shiralee Part One," "Freeloader," "She's the Only Woman," "Shiralee Part Two") to other subjects quite abstract, such as "The Mother Seeds (Land of Schlimpf and Whatzit)." More please.


 

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