The Complete Collection 1966-69

Released 1993 on Dutch Phonogram
Reviewed by Alexis, 14/05/2001ce

I've been sitting on this review for a long time because ever since I heard this 2cd set, Q65 have become one of my favourite bands all-time, and I want to do them justice. Seeing as there haven't been a lot of reviews lately this also seems like a good time. I first heard Q65 on a pebbles comp. Their track "I've got nightmares" blew my mind. At the time, I figured they were just another 1 single band, and had no hope of finding out more about them, or finding any other music by them. 4 years later, I got this set through mail order (I highly recommend Jade Hubertz selection- info in Ugly Things).
This set is compiled chronologically (and also contains a single by circus a side/ post project from '68 with 2 songs previously released by Q65). Because of the way it's compiled, album1 and singles appear on cd 1, with album 2 and it's singles on cd 2. If a song had appeared as a single before being released on the second album, it's on disc 1 (damn I'm really getting into the useless detail now).
It starts off with the 1st 7"- you're the victor/and your kind. These are bothe mid paced fuzzed out r&b monsters. 2nd single - life Ilive / cry in the night keep it up, with cry picking up the intensity. . the song has ferocious guitar wrk for the time, and even though Wim bieller could sing pleasantly enough- his ruff growl is giddy-making. Nightmares starts with maracas and a pounding tom beat, and features the kind of buzzsaw guitarthat would make any 70's punk fan happy. the lyrics are pretty unintelligible to me, but the laugther at the break always creeps me out. Just who's in sight- is the band going Eastern and moody for a little while, the song then mutates into a kind of folk song with a flute (makes me think of a slowed-down haga- navila (?) It stays dark and moody but it's completely brilliant. Next are a bunch of covers: Mr.Pitiful ( which has the weirdest sounding horns I've ever heard, and kind of makes the song more funny than powerful), I'm a Man, a couple of Willie Dixon songs, and an Allen Toussaint song (wow those Dutch boys really did like their blues!) Bring it on home (1 of the covers) is notable for it's length, nearly 14 minutes. Some bands can't play long songs, but they handle things alright. There's an interesting part where the band breaks into an impterpretation of some piece of classical music. Don't worry this isn't bad prog. classical, it's still very much rock n roll, and it works quite well. The 2 other original tracks on the 1st album, are a blues number, and the brilliant moody piece "summer thoughts in a field of weed", and yes it's as good as the title. The first disc ends with the 3rd single I despice (sic) you/ann. Despice is another fierce piece of work, while Ann is a lover's lament including piano. It's one of the softest songs by the band, and shows that they can do more than play the blues and rock out.
Disc 2 opens with the next 2 singles. "From Above/ I was young-both of these rock, although young is a slower song, that evolves into at times into some Heavy guitar . The next single shows an evolution towards a more psychedelic sound. World of birds is a beautiful quiet tune. It's a very spare arrangement and features acoustic guitar. The song builds up wonderfully at the end. It came to me, is anotherfuzz- rocker. I'm not as fond of the second album, because there's alot more blues, there are a few notable exceptions. "Where is the key" is another ethereal song about lost love. "Ridin on a slow train" is interesting because it's got a nice phasing quality to the guitar, almost a shimmering sound. If you could add the kind of keyboard playing found on the Seeds, this would almost sound like later period Seeds. "So High Ive been , SO Down I must Fall", however is the masterpiece. It makes me shiver everytime I hear it. It features an amazing riff. I can't say enough about this song.
sundance is also one of the most interesting songs on here, the full spychedelic bloom of the band if you will. it sounds like there's a sitar-sounding instrument accompanied by lead guitar, a tribal drumbeat, wailing and chanting (although the vocalizations are minimal). I've grown to like this song, although I didn't at first. There's a very ambient quality to it, aided by what sounds like cricket samples. This is also the only time I can tell that there's any serious production (backwards cymbals , etc). This is one of the songs recorded by circus ( in two versions). The cd also includes a different version of "I was young", another track by circus , called "medusa"which is verylate 60's UK psych-pop. Also included is 30 seconds of cymbal sounds and backgrounds.
Caveat: the liner notes of this cd are in Dutch. I once found a website with atranslation, but that was before I owned the cd, and I've forgotten where it was. Both albums were reissued at some point in the 90's with bonus tracks (non album singles), but I don't have them so I won't comment. There's also a 2 cd set of the material from 70-71 called afghanistan (the Negram years), but I haven't heard that either. Not knowing much abou the band, I'm a little leery of it being full-on blooze.
I love this band because of the quantity and quality of their original material, and the guitar work is just a perfect example of what "garage"music should sound like. Pick this up if you find it.

Reviews Index