“Then he painted me a picture, of an elevator door, and I rode down to Bleecker Street floor.”
Compared to the acts we have included so far in Classic Singles, The Blue Things from Hays, a college town in West Kansas, were positively prolific – even going so far as releasing an album. That came out in August 1966 and was very much in the early Byrds/Beau Brummels folk-rock mould but with a garage feel to some tracks. But by November 1966, they had come on leaps and bounds and unleashed this double-sider of psychedelic wonderment.
‘The Orange Rooftop of Your Mind’ ticks all the boxes: fuzz guitars, echoed vocals, spot on harmonies, and a groovy Eastern-sounding keyboard break. The song was originally called ‘The Coney Island of Your Mind’, presumably a reference to beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s poem A Coney Island of the Mind.
‘One Hour Cleaners’ continues the good work with its backwards count in, Taxman-esque guitar riff, strange sound effects, and trippy lyrics, before ending in a swirling haze of sound. I don’t know which side is better – they are both brilliant!
Value: around $50
Reissues: There is a double-CD on Cicadelic called Let the Blue Things Blow Your Mind that has pretty much everything they ever recorded on it – but at 67 tracks that might be a bit too much for some people. The 2001 reissue of the self-titled album on Rewind that just adds the post-LP singles as bonus tracks might be more manageable.
- Mary Lou / Your Turn to Cry (Ruff, 1965)
- Pretty Thing-Oh / Just Two Days Ago (Ruff, 1965)
- I Must Be Doing Something Wrong / La Do Da Da (RCA Victor, 1965)
- Doll House / Man on the Street (RCA Victor, 1966)
- The Orange Rooftop of Your Mind / One Hour Cleaners (RCA Victor, 1966)
- You Can Live in Our Tree / Twist and Shout (RCA Victor, 1967)
- Yes, My Friend / Somebody Help Me (RCA Victor, 1967)
- The Blue Things (RCA Victor, 1966)