Various Artists – Gathered From Coincidence

Album Review | Grapefruit Records | Review by Marc Higgins | Stars: 5/5

The sub-title of this three CD boxset says all you need to know – ‘The British Folk-Pop Sound Of 1965-66’. Well, almost all you need to know. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be much point in this review. Younger readers have become familiar with a mixing of genres in music as their ears are bombarded every day with blends of hip-hop, folk, heavy metal, grime and so on. Whilst these days everyone picks from this smorgasbord of music, it’s easy to forget that genres had their own distinct spaces back when older readers were young. Now, for example, it seems almost crazy that Bob Dylan got heckled by folkies for having the audacity to pick up an electric guitar. Yet, such genre bias was present back in the music scenes of the 60s. With all this in mind, Grapefruit Records, that immaculate compiler of history, has turned its attention to the mid-60s when folk and pop collided. Their three CDs come with 26 tracks on each disc capturing a time when Dylan helped light a fuse that helped to blow down the walls between folk and pop. Needless to say, there are various Dylan covers included here whether by recognised folk musicians such as “The Times They are a-Changin’” by The Ian Campbell Folk Group or pop stars such as Heinz with The Wild Boys’ version of “Don’t Think Twice it’s Alright. Naturally, Donovan is on here too with his immortal song “Catch the Wind” from the early part of his career when he was marketed as a home grown British Dylan. As ever on their boxsets, there are rarities that spice up the appeal for the serious music fan. Here, we get a Hollies period Graham Nash guesting on an acoustic demo of “Go Away” by The Mirage. A song that The Hollies never recorded though they did record “Very Last Day”, a Peter, Paul and Mary composition that found its way onto their first album and the second disc of this set. A pre-Moody Blues Justin Hayward pops up with his own composition, “Day Must Come”, catching him as he transitioned from working with Marty and Joyce Wilde into worldwide fame. There are similar folk flavoured recordings from familiar pop names such as Marc Bolan, Marianne Faithfull, The Kinks and The Pretty Things. Again, Grapefruit Records have come up with an informative booklet that gives the background to each of the songs and some of the related history. It’s a picture laden glossy affair that really adds to the package as a whole. Obviously, it’s a collection that is suited to the music aficionado but it offers great value for those steeped in music from the period. Long may Grapefruit Records intertwine the familiar with some of those lost strands of music in such wonderful packages.