And then something changed in the early to mid '80s, and 'old' became new - at least new to my ears. A chance encounter with a various artists cassette, 'My Generation' introduced me to an alternative way of hearing things.
Still got it!
Tracks by the Yardbirds, Action and Tomorrow, for example, songs which wouldn't have registered with me before, started to sound exciting and different. At the same time it seemed as if a new level (depth?) of bland had come to mainstream music - e.g in 1984 I was working in a record shop and the chart albums we had to play each Saturday were just getting more and more insipid (Paul Young: No Parlez / Lionel Richie: Can't Slow Down...ugh!); even the sharp edges of a lot of indie seemed softened compared to the punk and post-punk that I'd been so immersed in previously. Yet now music from 15, maybe even 20, years earlier stood up well in the wake of such mediocrity. Old was the new new - especially if it was relatively obscure. There was a whole world of lesser known '60s psych, garage, beat and inventive pop being unearthed and it was so interesting and imaginative that it was as if a new scene was actually developing in real time (in a way it was, and had been for a couple of years, but that's for others to write about!)
Even better, working in the shop meant I was able to order, from the comfort of its back-room, albums full of '60s underground gems being put out by labels such as Psycho, See For Miles and Bam Caruso, as well as imports of the US Pebbles and Nuggets series. These compilations included so many songs that were unlike anything I'd heard before and I was utterly captivated. One of the earliest of my new purchases at the time of its release in 1984 was 'The Psychedelic Snarl', a compilation from Bam Caruso. Hearing the tracks on this for the first time was just completely enthralling, everything sounded so good. Oh I could go on but I'll stop now - this long ramble is really just to explain a little background to the discovery of one of my all-time favourite tracks, as I first heard it on that album: the Open Mind's 'Magic Potion'. It's the b-side to their second single 'Cast A Spell' (also included on 'The Psychedelic Snarl'), originally released in 1969. It licks along right from the off... I love that guitar, those drums... here it is:
The Open Mind: Magic Potion
By the way, according to Discogs, a copy of this single sold last November for £850. I do not own a copy!