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Before Dream Faded CD, Import
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Before The Dream Faded
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The name of this California band was sadly prophetic, as their pre-psych sound influenced Hendrix, Pink Floyd and the Move but brought no commercial payoff. Here, though, is the payoff for collectors: six 1966 UK tracks and seven U.S. demos-just about everything this notorious '60s band recorded!
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All the other rave reviews are indeed justified. This is an incredible album, a 1960s psyche-rock classic if there ever was one. In addition to the still mesmerizing "I Unseen" there are 11 other impressive tracks. Basically, this CD combines two EPs by the band: "Colour of Their Sound" and "Blue Day in Riverside". Most of these songs are high-energy pyche-rock creations, but a few of the tunes also reveal a pleasing blues influence, most especially their inventive cover version of the classic "Who Do You Love".
The CD comes with an 8-page booklet with a history of the band and these recordings, but no songwriting credits or song times are listed. The inside back page reproduces an article written about the band by John Ravenscroft (later to become England's most influential DJ, calling himself John Peel), an early champion of the band. Thrilling stuff!
In some respects, the Misunderstood could be considered an American version of the Yardbirds. Like that innovative British group, the Misunderstood mixed blues, raga, the Middle East and rave-ups. However, they were louder and crazier than the Yardbirds on the whole. The guitar work often went into territory unexplored within rock (or any) context, and this was due largely to Glenn Ross Campbell's unique usage of the steel guitar. He was able to produce unheard-of-for-the-time tones, including distortion, noise and feedback with an unusual method of guitar playing. His playing was revolutionary, unlike anything heard before or since.
The group also recorded pretty early in the psychedelic era. Even though Children of the Sun was released as late as 1969, the London tracks were recorded in mid/late 1966, before Hendrix waxed his initial late 1966 recordings. This renders the Misunderstood's performances and guitar work as groundbreaking. The Misunderstood may indeed have been the loudest group of their era, if only for a short time. At the time of their recording, arguably only the Yardbirds and the Who had seriously experimented with feedback and guitar noise. The Misunderstood pushed the envelope and took those innovations to greater heights. Indeed, they had a cosmic and otherworldly quality in their music, as well as their lyrics.
The group's interpretation of 'Who Do You Love' was quite interesting, a psychedelic update of the Bo Diddley classic. To the Misunderstood's credit, they matched the demented lyrics of the song with a mind-blowing band performance. 'I Unseen' was an excellent rendition of Hikmet's poem, and arguably superior to the Byrds' later attempt. I argue this because mind-melting guitar noise and feedback are perhaps more effective in conveying the emotional words, which represent a protest against nuclear warfare. They also used an eerie harmonica for this track.
The lyrics in some of the original songs perhaps had some protest that could be detected, about either a lack of spiritual fulfillment in this world, or a feeling of disappointment with others not willing to go along with their spiritual explorations. This was most apparent in 'I Can Take You to the Sun,' where the singer intones ''I can take you to the sun, but you don't want to go.'' This sentiment may also be in line with the band's actual history, as several external forces (among them the US Draft board) would serve to break this version of the band up. For this reason, Before the Dream Faded is aptly titled.
The peak the Misunderstood had did not last long, but fortunately it has been captured for all to hear. If you're looking for a great lost psychedelic band of the 60's, look no further.
The expert playing and musical finesse of the Misunderstood made the garage band label a misnomer The Misunderstood had a bluesy psychedelic sound well in front big guns of UK Sixties psychedelica, like Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd and even the Yardbirds. The Misunderstood's music was a Molotov cocktail mixed with equal parts raw blues and mind bending psychedelic guitar. One need only to listen to the Misunderstood to find the point of inspiration for Jeff Beck when he'd play his ear splitting, guitar shattering "rave-ups" with the Yardbirds.
Glen Ross Campbell (not the "Witchta Lineman" dude) was an expert guitarist who doubled on steel guitar. The addition of UK guitarist Tony Hill when the Misunderstood moved to London in '66 gave the band a full throttle guitar sound. Steve Whiting on bass and Rick Moe on drums provided a muscular rhythm section that gave the Misunderstood a sound as powerful as a roundhouse punch.
I was encouraged to read the review of Steve Whiting (see Spotlight Reviews) the original bass player for the Misunderstood. I'm always amazed that musicians like Steve Whiting keep the faith after getting shafted by fast buck moguls and producers who run the business end of music. Steve is absolutely right ....any recorded material by Glen Ross Campbell under the guise of the Misunderstood is inferior to by the original band. This album, "Before the Dream Faded", contains all the tracks associated with the Misunderstood's 24 karat gold legacy.