29 July 2009

23rd Turnoff - Michael Angelo

23rd Turnoff - Michael Angelo

Label: Deram
Year of Release: 1967

This has already featured on the "Turnoffs to Nowhere" compilation, so I apologise for its reappearance again - but really, it's one of those tracks which manages to sum up an era so impressively you frequently find yourself scratching your head about how the hell it remained buried for so long.

Jimmy Campbell was the songwriter and main project driver behind the 23rd Turnoff, having previously had a long history on the Liverpool music scene without sniffing much in the way of mainstream action.  One of his acts, The Panthers, supported The Beatles at the Cavern Club in 1962, and The Kirkbys - who were essentially 23rd Turnoff under another name - slipped out a couple of singles towards the tail end of the Merseybeat era which were largely ignored.

Campbell was quick to leap on psychedelia when its multi-coloured, swirling hues drifted his way, and this single was one result - a brief but brilliantly dreamy track with hushed vocals, throbbing church organs and a slightly sinister undertow which has been consistently been named one of the era's lost records, with people as varied as Bob Stanley out of Saint Etienne and Will Sergeant out of Echo and the Bunnymen singing its praises.  If you haven't heard it yet, you should remedy that immediately.  

The B-side "Leave Me Here" is rather less impressive, being a rather stripped bare and chipper acoustic track, but I've included it in the download bundle (as always).

There's a complilation of 23rd Turnoff material available entitled "The Dream of Michaelangelo" which is also worth a listen.

Sadly, Jimmy Campbell passed away in 2007, but there is a Myspace page in tribute to him here.

1 comment:

Cybersyd said...

Great song indeed! I found it in the Deram "The psychedelic scene" compilation!

Great blog too