2 March 2011

Re-upload: Beacon Street Union - Speed Kills/ South End Incident

Label: MGM
Year of Release: 1967

The Boston-based Beacon Street Union were a psychedelic rock band who achieved some moderate and very culty success in America in the late sixties, and pop up on compilations rather less frequently than you'd expect for some baffling reason. They weren't half bad in their arty, hippy-ish ways, as the "Speed Kills" side of this single proves, whose 1:45 two chord rush actually predates some of Wire's more interesting miniatures by a whole decade.

According to other online sources, the band used to enjoy throwing bags of flour around on stage to create a low budget "fog" effect (is this what Fields of the Nephilim were also trying to do, then?) and messed with the audience's ears where expectations of volume were concerned, blasting eardrums out frequently without warning. They had enough of a following to get a few albums out in their career, and they certainly had their fans, but ultimately never achieved much in the USA apart from some very low-rung Top 75 placings.

In Britain it's safe to say they achieved even less, although somebody clearly cared enough to get this single imported - the hole through the middle of the label indicates that this was shipped over rather than purchased on holiday. Perhaps they were a Southend-on-Sea resident who had their own interpretation of the "South End Incident" side, which is drenched in sheer paranoia and foreboding, very much like the Honeycombs "Eyes" track I placed on this blog not too long ago.

(This blog entry was originally posted on 9 October 2008.  Since that time, somebody has left an anonymous comment to suggest that Beacon Street Union only used flour on stage once.  Presumably that's once more than is strictly advisable).  

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