1971 stands as an odd, rather surreal year in British pop history: while American soft-rockers and singer-songwriters were dominating the album charts, the year in which the country ch-ch-changed over to decimal currency saw the homegrown pop/rock scene becoming increasingly eccentric.
Marc Bolan invented glam rock, David Bowie wore a dress on the front cover of his latest album, The Kinks provided the soundtrack for a film about a penis transplant, DJ Tony Blackburn chose a single by The Edgar Broughton Band as his Record of the Week, and Jonathan King was backed on Top of the Pops by Fairport Convention.
Peephole In My Brain documents the progressive-pop sounds of the year as the underground rock scene crossed over to the mainstream. Our 71 tracks from ’71 include major hits for the likes of Curved Air, Atomic Rooster and John Kongos as well as a selection of key album cuts from Procol Harum, ELP, Magna Carta, Barclay James Harvest, Cressida, Help Yourself, Legend and many others. We also include tracks that were first issued in 1971 but which would only make a mark later on: Status Quo would have to wait a while for ‘Mean Girl’ to hit the charts, Terry Dactyl & The Dinosaurs would find success twelve months later when ‘Sea Side Shuffle’ was reissued, and the Curtiss Maldoon album track ‘Sepheryn’ would be discovered more than twenty years later by Madonna, who used it as the basis for ‘Ray Of Light’. We disinter bona fide classic 45s from Kevin Ayers, Medicine Head, Wishful Thinking and The Move along with the song that Bowie wrote for his old friend Dana Gillespie, a clutch of righteously obscure but fascinating singles, a handful of essential singer/songwriter cuts and a raft of unissued-at-the-time nuggets from bands who existed outside of the major label pop bubble.
Featuring a 40-page booklet crammed with rare illustrations and the stories behind the songs, Peephole In My Brain is an essential addition to Grapefruit’s acclaimed year-by-year series of late Sixties/early Seventies British rock and pop.
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