Psych-Outquote:The Amboy Dukes - "Journey to the Center of the Mind" I've got a friend that will argue til the cows come home that "Journey to the Center of the Mind" is the greatest album of all time.
Before he would achieve recognition as the guitarist for Patti Smith, Lenny Kaye wrote reviews and articles for Rolling Stone in its early years and was hired as a freelance talent scout by Elektra Records in 1970. During that period, Elektra president Jac Holzman told Kaye about a record he wanted put out consisting of songs that were either hidden on records or minor hit singles. The result? Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era 1965-1968.
"In a way, it seemed to me that these songs were in a twilight zone," Kaye tells Spinner, "between what was then the AM format -- catchy three-minute singles with a good chorus and a hook -- and the more expansive album-oriented music that developed in the '60s when all these artistic parameters were kind of pushed aside, and a certain sense of possibility came into the music where you could think expansively and imaginatively beyond certain time lengths and song lengths and song constructs. Having lived through it as a teenager, I felt very much connected with it in terms of my own artistic growth and what I could see as the possibilities within music."
With songs selected by Kaye and released in 1972, Nuggets became a classic garage rock album featuring bands that never achieved long-lasting fame.
"Nuggets seems to have a life of its own," says Kaye, "because what it became is a symbol for a type of energy and musical reinvention that is always a part of our growth as musicians and as an audience -- the spirit within it, the sense of beginning anew that Nuggets represented I think is something that's a constant in music as music moves towards the future. I'm just so thrilled that Nuggets has had a chance to be the birthright of many a band and many a musical fan, and that its fountain of youth is continually returned to."
This Tyler, TX, group from the mid-'60s is most known for their uncanny imitation of Highway 61-era Dylan, "A Public Execution." Featured on the Nuggets compilation, it is to Dylan what the Knickerbockers' "Lies" is to the Beatles: one of the few rip-offs so utterly accurate that it could easily fool listeners into mistaking it for the original article. Spearheaded by singer/songwriter Ronnie Weiss, the group actually recorded quite a few decent singles between 1965 and 1969 without approaching any sort of national recognition. "Mouse" never got as explicitly Dylanesque again, but there's no doubt that Weiss often recalled a non-atonal Dylan with his nasal delivery, and several of their singles were a much more melodic, pop-oriented extension of Dylan's mid-'60s sound. Recording almost exclusively original material, they were one of the better regional groups of the time, and also waxed some capable Texas punk-psychedelia and good-time pop/rockers. -- Allmusic.com