Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

The Misunderstood - The Legendary Goldstar Album plus Golden Glass

The Misunderstood
The Legendary Goldstar Album plus Golden Glass

Released 1997 on Cherry Red
Reviewed by pezza, 25/07/2007ce

Disc 1: The Legendary Gold Star Album
1. Blues with a Feeling
2. Who’s Been Talking
3. You Got Me Dizzy
4. You Don’t Have to Go Out
5. Goin’ to New York
6. Shake your Money Maker
7. I Just Want to Make Love to You
8. I’m Not Talkin’

Disc 2: Golden Glass
1. Never Had a Girl (Like You Before)
2. Golden Glass
3. I Don’t Want To Discuss It
4. Little Red Rooster
5. (You’re) Tuff Enough
6. Freedom
7. Keep On Running
8. I’m Cruising

This double disc CD brings together two versions of The Misunderstood – the classic 60’s psychedelic band (their immortal tracks being found on the CD ‘Before The Dream Faded’ which was nicely reviewed by the Seth Man). Disc 1 entitled ‘The Legendary Gold Star Album’ presents the bluesy songs the band recorded in California in 1966 under the production of the late great John Peel who discovered the band while he was over in the USA. The collection is well presented and is reminiscent of the tracks presented after the classic six psychedelic songs on ‘Before The Dream Faded’, but they have a slightly clearer sound here as they’re taken from an acetate and the quality partialy 'restored'. Rick Brown’s voice is excellent on these tracks, sounding not unlike a cross between Jim and Van Morrison, he eases through classic blues tracks ‘You Don’t Have to Go Out’ and ‘Who’s Been Talkin’ (tracks which appear on ‘Before the Dream Faded’). ‘I’m Not Talkin’ is a good song to compare as it appears on both albums, though on this version it doesn’t have the raga style feedback sound that plunges into the song at the beginning as it does in the UK version which appears on ‘Before The Dream Faded. Overall Disc 1 is a nice historical retrospective, and again reminds the listener how this excellent band morphed into the psychedelic experience that recorded ‘Children of The Sun’.

After the demise of the original Misunderstood in 1967, singer Rick Brown became a draft dodger (eventually ending up as a monk in India!) and English guitarist Tony Hill first joined David Bowie, then formed the classic High Tide. The other three Californians went back home, and it was about a year later that slide guitarist Glenn Campbell was tempted back to England to form another Misunderstood. The result was the Golden Glass sessions (on Disc 2 of this compilation). The 8 songs sound nothing like the original Misunderstood (apart from the presence of Campbell’s sublime manic slide guitar), the new band sounding more like a typical late sixties London based blues band.

The first track – a Fontana single release ‘Never Had a Girl (Like You Before) is by far the best on the album, followed by the psychedelic instrumental ‘B’ side ‘Golden Glass’. The rest of the songs only presents a pale shadow of the original Misunderstood, with new vocalist Steve Hoard making the band sound like an imitation of Free! Familiar standards like ‘Little Red Rooster’ and ‘Keep On Running’ pad out Disc 2, while the other newly written tracks like ‘Freedom’ and ‘I’m Cruising’ are listenable, but only make one ponder for the original Misunderstood.

The album is however worth seeking out, there’s the historical aspect (on Disc 1) and ‘Never Had a Girl (Like You Before) is a very good late sixties song, and you can imagine it being played at a free hippy festival at the time. This version of The Misunderstood soon disintegrated after a low key tour and the flop of their single, Campbell and sax player Chris Mercer going on to form Juicy Lucy, who incidentally had a hit with ‘Who Do You Love’ – a song covered by the original Misunderstood.

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