Writing about music is like dancing about architecture

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Exploito-psych #1 The Id and The Animated Egg

The Animated Egg - S/T
The Id - The Inner Sounds of the Id

Picture the scene. Perhaps we are in Utah, or in Dorset or maybe in Cologne. A teenage boy is in a supermarket with his mother. There by the cash register is a display of records. Light orchestral stuff in the main or Beer Drinking Songs or Polka Hits. Suddenly his attention is drawn to one of the records. It has a young woman on the front in bright clothes, even better she has large breasts. It looks as though it might be 'cool' and somehow connected to that psychedelic stuff that the boy has heard so much about but which seems so far away. Even better it is so cheap that his mother is happy to buy it for him. When he finally gets it on the turntable, does it deliver on its promises of wild unfettered drug-addled freakiness? What do you think?

Welcome to the world of exploito-psych records.

As the counter-culture became increasingly prominent business minds of all types came up with ways to turn it into profit. As most of these minds had no intention of being 'turned-on' the products they produced bore little, if any, relation to what was really happening. Films like Mary Jane, Psych-Out, Teenage Rebellion or Wild in the Streets were reflections of how male middle aged, middle-America saw the counter-culture.

The same was true in music. Records were produced that tried to be hip and weird and inadvertently some were very good. However, you were just as likely to find a re-titled surf tune, or a soul tune lifted from an earlier exploitation record or perhaps a rock and roll number. Or you may just find that it was the same tune that you had already heard on a previous exploito record.

The story of Jerry Cole and the production of the Animated Egg is well known.Click here

And so is the story of DL. Miller and Al Sherman. Click here and here

Jerry Cole worked on a number of Rock/Surf/Hot Rod albums for the Bihari brother's Crown label in the early sixties. Although these were often produced in the space of a few days all of them contain some real nuggets of pure adrenalin fueled instrumental guitar action. Perhaps not as wild as Davie Allan's stuff a few years later but great stuff nontheless. Although he was a successful session guitarist Cole continued producing records for budget labels until the end of the sixties.
By 1967 he decided to break away from session work and move into a 'real' band.
Together with some of his friends who were also session musicians he formed the Id.

The Id never really clicked with the record buying public. However, their manager did a runner with the season tapes. Outtakes from the Id recording then went on to become the Animated Egg.
You can only imagine the look on the faces of Miller and Sherman when they were given the opportunity to put out some genuinely great music. Not so much an Animated Egg but a golden egg. The Id outtakes that appear on this record have been eq-ed within an inch of their lives and sound all the better for it.
So much did Miller and Sherman love this record that they released it in the UK on the Marble Arch label, in the US on their Crown Label and in Europe on Europa.
Plus they re-edited, repackaged and generally played around with the songs so as to squeeze the most out of them. Over an irregular number of posts, we will be following what happened to these songs, where they appeared and how they were changed. And we might also have a few digressions into other exploito records and some exploito sleeves that sufered the same recycling fate.


  1. I have to say this series of posts has been so incredibly helpful in leading me to such a cornucopic trove of forgotten psych I can't even articulate an appropriate thanks, to say nothing of actually keeping track of the myriad different reworkings and repackagings. And of course, it all starts here with the unassuming yet unfathomable Animated Egg - which, in fact, I actually decided to check out on a whim after seeing it advertised on the back of the Hell Preachers Inc. album covered in one of these very posts (and really, who -could- pass up a name like that).

    Speaking of that group of krautsploitos, they actually also cut a few more besides that and the fantastic Bokaj Retsiem: In Action & In Synthesizer Sound as The Pink Mice (both awesome classical synthprog), Electric Food & Flash (both very good heavy blues/psych), and Drillin' of the Rock as Brother T. & Family (just very mediocre). Of course they later transmogrified into the immortal Lucifer's Friend, whose self-titled debut is one of the greatest, heaviest albums in the world, let alone out of Germany.They certainly were a busy bunch...

    1. Glad you like them - its always good to know that there are people out there reading.
      And I'm amazed at your praise. I feel humbled.
      There's a lot of German exploit stuff for me to get my teeth into
      No doubt some of it will make its way onto the blog at some point!


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