Saturday, August 20, 2011

Condello - Phase 1 (US Psychedelia - 1968 - FLAC & mp3-320)

"Surprisingly diverse & inventive album. Like the guys at Acid Archives noticed, it's sometimes like listening to some psychedelic comp because of the way it jumps from popsike to fuzz-driven garage stomps. Apart from 2 or 3 inferior tracks, it's a winner all the way through, thanks to great songwriting & production. I know it sounds like a cliché, but I would use the "lost treasure" tag for this. Minor lost treasure, OK, because of its lack of historical significance and the erratic "career" of Mike Condello. Those who only know the dreadful "Soggy Cereal" on Pebbles Volume 3 should lend an ear to this, they're in for a big surprise. There's a recent reissue - that claims to be remastered from original tapes and legitimate, but I'm not sure -, it's still in print, sounds very correct and I recommend it highly.

Sadly, Mike Condello committed suicide in the 90s after suffering from severe depression."

- Frumious Bandersnatch.

Formed in Arizona but based in California, Condello's Phase One album has some interesting moments. Their Makes A Comeback EP included Soggy Cereal, (which has become rather well-known by virtue of its inclusion on Pebbles, Vol. 3 (LP), and Sonic Boom, a Hendrix-influenced blast (compiled on Brain Shadows, Vol. 2 (LP & CD)). Mike Condello later joined Elton Duck, a L.A.-based late seventies/early eighties new wave trio, and then recorded a solo LP in 1984. Bill Spooner ended up in The Tubes and Dennis Kenmore joined Pollution, a late sixties/early seventies jazz-influenced lock band.

Condello also produced an album for Warren S Richardson, which may be a Bill Spooner solo project.

- Fuzz, Acid & Flowers.

This fascinating album moves from sparkling pop to near heavy metal, almost like a compilation album by one man. Condello is an interesting figure, being connected to diverse figures like Lynn Castle and Warren S. Richardson, so it’s not surprising that his album runs the gamut. The popsike songs near the beginning of the album are the strongest tracks, but all of it is interesting and worthwhile. A neat artifact of a time when such diverse styles of music sat nicely side by side on radio, and here, on LP. Condello also released a number of 45s and EPs including the "Soggy Cereal" track of Pebbles fame.

- Aaron Milenski (Acid Archives).

Original issue : "Condello: Phase 1" 1968 (Scepter LP - sps-542) [stereo]

This reissue : Retro Disc International CD (RDI 33014 - 2007).

1. Crystal Clear 3:29

2. Oh No 2:40

3. Guess I Better Go 2:34

4. Charming Sitter 2:42

5. All You Need 4:01

6. Keep It Inside 3:09

7. Dr. Tarr Professor Fether 2:49

8. The Other Side Of You 4:12

9. See What Tomorrow Brings 3:29

10. He'll Keep Waiting 2:30

11. It Don't Matter 4:43

Rips & scans by Frumious Bandersnatch.

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