3 February 2009
"THE SMOKE - THE SMOKE" (PSYCHEDELIC SUNSHINE US 1968)
Copies of "The Smoke"'s self-titled album ("Sidewalk Records" ST-5912) are highly valued by collectors of West Coast Soft Rock and Psychedelic music.
Their album certainly deserves its reputation as one of the masterpieces of 1968.
It opens with the organ-driven "Cowboys and Indians", which was producer/songwriter "Michael Lloyd"'s personal homage to "Brian Wilson"'s "Heroes and Villains" and lyrically makes mention of war (obviously the Vietnam war was very much on everyone's minds at the time).
"The Smoke" was a one-off studio group created by producer/musician "Michael Lloyd".
"Michael Lloyd" was previously in an early lineup of "The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band".
"Michael Lloyd" had met "Brian Wilson" after Beach Boy "Bruce Johnston" invited him to the recording sessions for "Good Vibrations".
In addition to "Beach Boys"-style production values, there are also references to the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band" throughout.
This record is dedicated to "Stuart Sutcliffe".
Fans of post-"Beach Boys"'"Pet Sounds" West Coast Psychedelic-Pop or "Curt Boettcher"/-produced groups ("The Millennium" and "The Sagittarius") will love this album, which is NOT available on compact disc.
Smoke's producer "Kim Fowley" wtites on back cover:
"You are wahat you were, what you eat, how you sound to ears of round, what not is there is here, is elsewhere, what not is here is not here is nowhere in a void of burned out visions, whatever it should be, becomes the impact of it on the American way of life crystalized by frozen fire and family flame - the air clears and there is - smoke!