Kaleidoscope's debut, named Tangerine Dream (which would inspired a much better known progressive rock band) is one of the finest albums released in 1967, the great year for music, along with Pink Floyd - Piper At Gates of Dawn, Moody Blues - Days Of Future Passed, Chad Stuart and Jeremy Clyde - Of Cabbages and Kings and The Nice - Thoughts of Emerlist Davjack. This is the least progressive of them, but it has its power and some similarities with the psychedelic rock made by Barrett. It seems less progressive since it has not many experimental sounds, no electronics, no jamming and the classical parts are subtle, but the arrangements are excellent, with solid drumming, great guitar, superb vocals by one of the most underrated vocalists ever (Peter Daltrey), beautiful melodies and an efficient psychedelia both in happy songs and sad songs. The lyrics are superb and the production is excellent.
First song, Kaleidoscope, has great drumming and percussion, nice guitar and bass riffs and excellent vocal harmonies. The song is rather short and doesn't leave much space for variations, but for many breaks in the riffs.
Next song is the opposite of the first song. While Kaleidoscope is a happy song, Please Excuse My Face is a beautiful sad psychedelic ballad, with great vocal melody and a beautiful acoustic guitar riff with some interesting progressions.
Dive Into Yesterday is the song with the most unusual structure. There are different parts and moods. The guitar has many interesting variations, with some effects during the different parts. The drums accompain the changes of the song structure, with many different drumming patterns. The vocal melody is very good.
Mr. Small, The Watch Repairer has an wicked percussion pattern and very different tones for guitar and keyboards, with some orchestral-like sounds, being a very traditional psychedelic song, more focused in different sounds.
Flight from Ashiya has bass pedals with a very different guitar riff, with many variations in the sound of the guitar over the same tone. The vocal melodies are superb in the one again.
Next song, Murder of Lewis Tollani, is somber in lyrics and sound with strange guitar effects during the verses, making a somber sound and the part after the chorus is much more somber. The flow of the song is uncommon and it adds to the drama of the song, talking of a murder.
Further Reflections In The Room Of Percussion is another superb psychedelic song and my favourite along with the previous. The first verses are common psychedelic, but the verses before the chorus have a subtle dissonance that grows until the chorus that is different that the rest of the song. The next times the dissonant part appears, it becomes more and more dissonant because it turns into guitar effects. The vocal melodies in this song is superb also.
Dear Nelly Goodrich is a very beautiful psychedelic ballad that starts with a good classical acoustic guitar riff and mellow singing in one channel and then comes the harpsichord in the other channel and after the rhythm section. The instrumental interlude has interesting interplay between the guitar and the harpsichord. The lyrics are innocent and fit very well the sound of the harpsichord.
Holidaymaker has many sounds of a beach, brass and light psychedelic arrangements, being a very traditional happy psychedelic song. The lyrics are also festive.
A Lesson Perhaps is a great song with only a very beautiful classical acoustic guitar riff and with philosophical lyrics spoken with a good amount of drama according to the content of the history being told.
The last song is The Sky Children, with 8 minutes. It is not a psychedelic jam neither a suite, but a story telling song with extensive lyrics and a beautiful instrumental arrangement of keyboards and guitar. The arrangement does not change much, just some few progressions over the same theme and some heavenly chimes. The vocals are superb and have the right tone to the childish dreamy story. The extensive lyrics are superb constructed and this song even it not being a crazy psychedelic jamming or an early multi-section suite it is a masterpiece of its own.
For me five stars because it is a fantastic proto-prog album and one of my favourite psychedelic rock albums. I like very much English psychedelic rock, but this album is one of the best with superb quality, production, musicianship and ideas.
- Peter Daltrey / vocals, keyboard
- Eddie Pumer / guitar
- Steve Clark / bass
- Danny Bridgman / drums
2. Please Excuse My Face
3. Dive Into Yesterday
4. Mr.Small the Watch Repairer Man
5. Flight From Ashiya
6. The murder of Lewis Tollani
7. In the Room Of Percussion
8. Dear Nellie Goodrich
9. Holiday Maker
10. A Lesson Perhaps
11. The Sky Children
12. Flight From Ashiya, Mono Single Version
13. Holiday Maker, Mono Single Mix
14. A Dream For Julie
15. Please Excuse My Face, Mono Single Mix
16. Jenny Artichoke
17. Just How Much You Are
Rip from CD 256@ (artwork included)