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JACK HAWKINS & THE SOUNDS OF THE 70’S: Psychedelic 70’s (LP, Plexium PXMS 1012, ?)

Jack Hawkins And The Sounds Of The 70's - Psychedelic 70's

I can’t get enough of these easy listening albums that purport to capture the whacked-out psychedelic mayhem/’Swinging London’-vibe/disco excitement of the 1960s and 1970s. That’s lucky, as there were seemingly thousands upon thousands of them released through that time, and they’re the staple happy find of many a charity shop search. Pretty much every time the most psychedelic part of the album is the cover, as in this beautiful example, with a foxy/terrifying hippy chick as seen through the filter of either heavy LSD dosage or a jobbing middle-aged art director’s take on synaesthesia. There’s also a psyched-up saxophone floating around by her head, for some reason. Bad trip, or something, I guess.

Of course, these albums are very rarely a lost slice of psych madness. Instead, they tend to be – this example included – a collection of covers and ‘original compositions’ played super-competently by a group of session musicians. Interestingly, this is a live album, recorded (according to the rear sleeve) at the Locarno Ballroom, Blackpool, by ‘one of the most popular bands in the British Ballroom’. Happy times! Even more interestingly, Jack Hawkins and his band are in the Michael Caine movie Get Carter, playing ’30-60-90′, which is happily included on this album along with thirteen further tracks that blend in to one another, each transition augmented by ecstatic crowd sounds. A right old barnstormer of a show it sounds, too! It’s not far off sounding like a Spencer Davis Group show, at times…