Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Deep - Psychedelic Moods

Psychedelic Moods was the first LP to incorporate the term "Psychedelic" in its title, beating out The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators and The Blues Magoo's Psychedelic Lollipop by a month. The album was intended to provide a simulated acid trip, replete with fuzz guitar, flute, backmasking, banjo, washboard, vibraphone, wild sound effects, and love making. Songs such as "Trip #76," "Psychedelic Moon," "Pink Ether" and "Color Dreams" explored the hallucinatory agony and ecstasy of a 12 hour Technicolor dream.

In early 1966, musician-artist Rusty Evans pitched producer-songwriter Mark Barkan with the idea of doing the first psychedelic album. Timothy Leary had just made LSD (in)famous, making it the perfect time to produce an album recreating an acid trip. Evans got lyrics from a writer friend who wrote while on acid and hired a guitarist friend from the Village. Barkan recruited an acid-dropping, flute-playing guitarist he knew from the Army. The result: The Deep, a motley foursome that spent four days dropping acid and freaking out at Cameo-Parkway studios in Philadelphia.

Liner notes from Neil Bogart (soon to be head of Casablanca Records) say, "Take a Trip–Freak Out–Blow Your Mind–You're on Your Way to the Psychedelic Mood–A Way of Life–A State of Mind. Don't take this album lightly–play it when you're alone–in a dark room–you may find yourself oozy–you may feel as though you're high–you might imagine shadows on the wall. 'The Deep' takes you on a new adventure in sound–an experience you'll never forget. They capture moods that have never been done on record before. Recorded in a pitch black studio (at Cameo-Parkway, Phila.) In the wee hours of the morning. Listen to it that way–that hour–and hold on–you’re on your way to a new world–a world of the psychedelic mood."

Released two months prior to the illegalisation of LSD, its cover, a pitch-black background, pink monster movie typography and artwork of a semi-decomposing silhouetted figure wielding a guitar, set the tone for all things yet to come psychedelic.  A "NOT RECOMMENDED FOR CHILDREN" warning is printed (twice) on the back sleeve.

Psychedelic Moods is a history lesson that unlike "The Rain, the Park and Other Things" or Incense and Peppermints" captures the essence of the era; here was the genesis of psychedelia, along with head shops and black light posters. 

Blue black/Purple mac
Orange yellow/Funny fellow
White brown/Pink town

Orange red/Pink bed

We’ll pretend/Yellow man

Jesus saves/Planet rays

Green red/Commie dead
Blue green/Yellow scream
Spanish fly/golden eye/pearly white/outtasight