Out on the 29th July I’m A Freak Baby is really going to appeal to a certain kind of person…and I count myself in with this lot. As a teen I had hair down my back, wore an Afghan coat, stank of patchouli oil and listened to psych rock and heavy rock from the late 60s and early 70s, so when this landed on my desk I was a bit giddy with nostalgia and keen to give it a play.

IM-A-FREAK

I’m A Freak, Baby : A Journey Through The British Heavy Psych And Hard Rock Underground Scene 1968-72  comes in a clambox with a 36 page booklet and is spread out over three CDs and claims to be the most comprehensive and wide-ranging anthology to have been put together of this underground scene.

British psychedelic music could often be seen as being whimsical and airy-fairy, but there was also a harder edge towards the end of the 60s as per Uriah Heep and Deep Purple and it is this a heavier rock music that would later give rise to the First Wave Of British Heavy Metal. There are names on here that many will know and love such as The Deviants, Pink Fairies and Hawkwind Zoo from the infamous Ladbroke Grove area of London but there’s also heavy blues in the form of Chicken Shack and The Groundhogs. There’s even a handful of unreleased tracks on here.

If you know this kind of music you’ll know pretty much what to expect from I’m A Freak; heavy, head down guitar riffs, soaring guitar solos and well, take a look at the geezers on the front cover, do they look like they’re going to be into namby-pamby folk inspired whimsy. No, they’re beer drinkers and hell raisers that like to rock out and this is the perfect album to rock out to, take a listen to the track above to get an idea of what you’re getting into here.

I’m a Freak Baby is pretty much an essential collection and a great document of a period and style of music that had a huge influence on me personally.

Stuart Smith

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