The Beautiful Daze - City Jungle Parts 1&2

The Beautiful Daze
City Jungle Parts 1&2

Released 1967 on RPR
Reviewed by Dave Furgess, 22/05/2007ce

I was first introduced to this record via it's inclusion on the legendary "Acid Dreams" compilation in the early 80's, it has also made an appearance on "Psychedelic Unknowns" and a few other newer compilations. The term psychedelic is thrown around pretty casually these days to include anything with even a hint of fuzztone guitar and marginally trippy lyrics. Well this 1967 45 by The Beautiful Daze is fully deserving of the psychedelic tag and then some.

The Beautiful Daze are thought to have hailed from the Pacific Northwest but they landed squarely in Hollywood where they unleashed this acid-fueled masterpiece. "City Jungle" is spread over both sides of this 45, the A side contains the vocal section of the record which includes lyrics of confusion and disorientation "smoke from a million cigarettes/floating up in the sky/I'm all alone in an angry crowd/nobody cares if I live or die." The subject matter is probably a bad acid trip. The guitars on this song are overloaded with effects to the point of delerium, they just hammer away at you until you just can't take it anymore. Yet despite the song's sonic dementia, there is a neat little pop song buried inside the wall of fuzz, replete with L.A. sunshine pop harmonies.

Side B is entirely instrumental, it basically carries on the acid mayhem at the end of side A, it actually turns up the knobs even further into the red and collapses under it's own weight, leaving the listener dazed and emotionally spent. One can only imagine what this group sounded like live. I really don't know anything about this group other than one of the writers of the song is named John Greek, who might be related to a certain John The Greek from fellow L.A. psych-fiends The Lollipop Shoppe (but that is pure speculation on my part.) The record also received a release on a label called Spread City. Other than that my knowledge on The Beautiful Daze is zilch. You can still find this 45 on some of the many psychedelic compilations that make the rounds at collector's shops, it is certainly one of the high points of the very fertile mid-60's L.A. garage/psych. underground.

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