Wow, look at that cover design. Hapshash And The Coloured Coat were a fashion/graphic design house right in the centre of the late 1960s maelstrom of London psychedelia who, true to the spirit of ‘try anything’ released several albums, of which this is their first. The record within that glorious sleeve is on red vinyl, and is the earliest example of coloured vinyl that I’ve ever seen. I’d be very interested to hear of earlier instances. For now I’m happy to consider it the first, and therefore I imagine a stoned hippy or two having their mind further blown by a record being coloured. Woah.
I bought this on eBay four or five years ago after searching for a copy for a long time. With old records, and especially ones like this that were pretty ‘far out’ at the time, I’d really love to know the paths of ownership by which they have travelled from initial release through to my eventual ownership – in this case, over forty years later. Maybe this record once sat in Syd Barrett’s flat? Maybe it was under the arm of some hipster during their attendance at the 24 Hour Technicolor Dream or some such event? Maybe it was bought and hated by a square? Whatever, I’m pleased that it’s ended up with me. Out of all of the 1960s records I own, this is perhaps one of the finest examples of the super-underground freaked-out British music scene that I love and envy so much. Not so much because of the music – which is fine, chant-heavy meandering psych, somewhat lacking in direction – but because of what the record represents. People doing their own thing, being independent minded and creative, trying things out and proving that the idea of alternatives to a mainstream have always existed.