Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

The Mike Stuart Span
Children Of Tomorrow/ Concerto Of Thoughts


Released 1968 on Jewel
Reviewed by Dave Furgess, 21/03/2001ce


Top drawer UK psychedelic beat is what we're talking about here, The Mike Stuart Span had released a couple of routine 45's for Columbia before moving over to the small Jewel label in 1968 where they released this psychedelic skull-crusher. I first heard this song back in 1981 when I got the Chocolate Soup For Diabetics Volume 2 sampler, when I finally tracked down the single a few years later I was surprised to find that the original recording was a bit slower than the one on Chocolate Soup. I thought perhaps it was an alternate take but then I found some other Chocolate Soup #2 45's by Wimple Winch, The Tickle, Winston's Fumbs and The Craig and these were also slower, so I finally figured out the Soup LP was mastered too fast or something.

Either way "Children Of Tomorrow" is a real keeper, which opens at breakneck speed and goes right for the throat with a menacing guitar riff, full tilt drums and typically gruff British vocals, not to mention large doses of panning and phasing ( just the way I like it! ). A great performance all the way. The flipside "Concerto Of Thoughts" is also a worthy listen, this one is a bit slower and more reflective. Stuart's "Mob" then relocated once again, this time to Fontana for a 45 later in 1968.

By late 1968 I guess the group got tired of their somewhat Merseybeat sounding band name and like Zoot Money's Big Roll Band decided a more psychedelic sounding name was in order, so they changed names to Leviathan and jumped labels once again to Elektra, where they issued the devastating "The War Machine" 45 and a couple of other worthwhile efforts. For the most part that is where the story ends.

The great thing about groups like The Mike Stuart Span is they arrived on the scene cut a few classic sides then got the fuck out of town instead of torturing the world for decades later like so many of the DINOSAUR groups that I try to ignore now! ( MIck Jagger are you listening? ). For that we should be grateful for the likes of The Mike Stuart Span and their cohorts in obscurity land.


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