Nuggets: high-class oldies album

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‘Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era 1965-1968’. La pietra miliare curata dall’allora 26enne Lenny Kaye compie 40 anni e viene sottoposta dalla Rhino ad una nuova celebrazione refresh. Il grande artista newyorchese (inizia negli anni ’60 come folk rocker, poi sarà protagonista nei The Zoo, quindi la stagione leggendaria con Patti Smith, la Jim Carroll Band e più recentemente produzioni e/o collaborazioni con Suzanne Vega, R.E.M., Soul Asylum, Kristin Hersh, The Fleshtones…) parallelamente alla sua febbrile attività come musicista in quegli anni è anche uno stimato “giornalista” musicale (Fusion, Crawdaddy, Rolling Stone, Cavalier, Disc., Melody Maker, Creem, Hit Parader…). Uno spessore che lo condurrà alla realizzazione di un classico della discografia rock all time, spinto da un’idea del mitico Jac Holzman della Elektra, come ricorda lo stesso Kaye in un’intervista rilasciata in quest giorni ad un magazine americano: “In a way, it seemed to me that these songs were in a twilight zone, between what was then the AM format catchy three-minute singles with a good chorus and a hook and the more expansive album-oriented music that developed in the ’60s when all these artistic parameters were kind of pushed aside, and a certain sense of possibility came into the music where you could think expansively and imaginatively beyond certain time lengths and song lengths and song constructs. Having lived through it as a teenager, I felt very much connected with it in terms of my own artistic growth and what I could see as the possibilities within music”.

Il doppio album usciva nel 1972 con Kaye protagonista delle note storiche (attenzione all’uso del termine “punk rock” quasi al “debutto”), ristampato con una cover differente dalla Sire nel 1976, ripubblicato poi dalla Rhino nel 1998 in un’edizione box a 4CD. Proprio la Rhino Records per festeggiare i 40 anni di questo tomo di storia musicale manda alle stampe una nuova edizione in un unico CD o doppio LP, con 27 tracce, impreziosita da alcune nuove note a firma Kaye, per un prezzo di mercato rispettivamente di 11 e 25 sterline circa. Holzman nel libro del 2010 “Becoming Elektra: The True Story of Jac Holzman’s Visionary Record Label” di Mick Houghton ricorda: “Only Lenny Kaye had noticed the musical trend-lines that connected these bands to the Stooges and the MC5, who were fueled by the same energy as classic garage bands. Nuggets was an immediate success. Everyone wanted it, everyone wished they had come up with the idea. Nuggets pointed directly toward the birth of Rhino Records and their revitalization of worthy back catalog”.

Kaye aggiunge: “In my original anthology, there is a lot of stuff that is kind of all over the map. You have a group like Sagittarius, which is certainly orchestral. There are local bands who were experimenting, the Nazz, that weren’t that successful nationally. You had one-shot hits that encapsulated a whole band’s sound the Seeds‘ “Pushin’ Too Hard.” It was a gathering spot of groups that seemed to be aligned with one another, working all ends of the musical spectrum. It captured a moment where people were really not that aware of what they were doing, so a lot of wildcards and a lot of random inspirations came to fruition. And because of all these factors, we get to speak about it four decades later. To me, I’m just grateful for the intuition that I was given to help gather these songs together, and the ability through Elektra and Jac to realize that vision in a way that continues to still have an influence and an effect within the world”.

Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era, 1965-1968 (originally released as Elektra 7E-2006, 1972 – reissued Rhino, 2012)

  1. I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night) – The Electric Prunes
  2. Dirty Water – The Standells
  3. Night Time – The Strangeloves
  4. Lies – The Knickerbockers
  5. Respect – The Vagrants
  6. A Public Execution – Mouse
  7. No Time Like the Right Time – The Blues Project
  8. Oh Yeah – The Shadows of Knight
  9. Pushin’ Too Hard – The Seeds
  10. Moulty – The Barbarians
  11. Don’t Look Back – The Remains
  12. An Invitation to Cry – The Magicians
  13. Liar, Liar – The Castaways
  14. You’re Gonna Miss Me – The 13th Floor Elevators
  15. Psychotic Reaction – Count Five
  16. Hey Joe – The Leaves
  17. Romeo & Juliet – Michael & The Messengers
  18. Sugar and Spice – The Cryan Shames
  19. Baby Please Don’t Go – The Amboy Dukes
  20. Tobacco Road – Blues Magoos
  21. Let’s Talk About Girls – Chocolate Watch Band
  22. Sit Down, I Think I Love You – The Mojo Men
  23. Run, Run, Run – The Third Rail
  24. My World Fell Down – Sagittarius
  25. Open My Eyes – Nazz
  26. Farmer John – The Premiers
  27. It’s-A-Happening – The Magic Mushrooms

[nella foto Count Five]