Another case where JerseyKid reviews a compendium album from Collectables Records, a major purveyor of 60s garage band music in the 1990s.
" This is a review of Garage Band Legends Volume I; it is better known – as this is what is on the cover – as ‘Thirteen O’Clock Flight to Psychedelphia by Plato and the Philosophers. This band is responsible for most (14 of 22) cuts on the album. The remaining eight songs are by three other bands, making this a fairly typical Collectables Records package.
Plato and the Philosophers was formed in the early 1960s as The Checkmates, but changed its name in 1965 to ape the name and a group name popular at the time. Based on the back cover, the band actually dressed to togas, though one hopes this was a photo shoot as the mid-60s is getting late to do this. The front cover photo is much more information of the band’s intent. Here we see five guys in faux World War One military jackets. The bass player has a the iconic Hofner fiddle bass used by McCartney; another member has a Vox tear-drop such as Brian Jones played while a third member with metal-frame glasses has an autoharp. Anyone else think imitation is the sincerest form of flattery?
And the band’s music on the first four cuts reflects this. Both ‘I Don’t Mind’ and ‘C. M. I love You’ are British Invasion inspired pieces with that bouncing bass sound of Sir Paul. Cut three is the eponymous album title and is a bit more Americanized very early psychedelia. The next is ‘Doomsday Nowhere City’ and is a lot like something The Who would have done; maybe ‘Armenia City in the Sky.”
Cuts 13 to 22 are from later in the decade, around 1968, and are informed more by Iron Butterfly than anything British, This is nowhere more apparent than on ‘Ima Jean Money,’ which is anchored by a (infinitely) shorter though stylistically identical drum solo. That song and most of the rest were recorded for an unreleased album, the demise of which likely contributed to the band breaking up in 1970.
All in all, Plato and the Philosophers were good; in fact, very, very good! They would have been well-worth admission and cover at a bar or so. But, did they have the potential to be great? Not from what is here.
The three songs by Something Wild are terrific psychedelic blues by a band out of Santa Maria in central California. Again, this is an outfit that would have been a treat to hear and see live. To my mind, they are more upside the Plato and the Philosophers, though about the same amount of success to show for their effort.
‘Church House Blues’ by Texas-based The Smoke is just fabulous blues which was released on a lovcalk label. With just the one cut, there’s little that can be gleaned about them.
Finally, four songs by The Fortunes round out the album, all of which were unreleased. And, with no liner notes about the outfit, nothing much can be said except about the cuts. ‘Heat Wave’ sounds a lot like The Who; ‘Shop Around’ is w weak Miracles cover and ‘I Like it Like That’ again tells us just how good the Dave Clark Five were doing other peoples’ material."
1. I Don't Mind - Plato & The Philosophers 3:02
2. C.M. I Love You - Plato & The Philosophers 2:26
3. Thirteen O'clock Flight To Psychedelphia (unreleased) - Plato & The Philosophers 3:02
4. Doomsday Nowhere City (unreleased) - Plato & The Philosophers 2:33
5. Trippin' Out - Something Wild 2:12
6. She's Kinda Weire - Something Wild 2:20
7. Hole In Her Soul (unreleased) - Something Wild 2:14
8. Church House Blues - Smoke 3:28
9. I Like It Like That (unreleased) - Fortunes 2:16
10. Why Won't You Wear My Ring? (unreleased) - Fortunes 2:03
11. Heat Wave (unreleased) - Fortunes 2:15
12. Shop Around (unreleased) - Fortunes 2:43
13. Wishes (unreleased) - Plato & The Philosophers 3:26
14. I Knew (unreleased) - Plato & The Philosophers 3:03
15. Ima Jean Money (unreleased) - Plato & The Philosophers 4:07
16. Today I Died (unreleased) - Plato & The Philosophers 2:35
17. Take It Easy (unreleased) - Plato & The Philosophers 2:50
18. How I Won The War (unreleased) - Plato & The Philosophers 3:18
19. In Good Time (unreleased) - Plato & The Philosophers 2:32
20. Back Room Bar (unreleased) - Plato & The Philosophers 2:39
21. Through Your Heart (unreleased) - Plato & The Philosophers 5:09
22. Thirteen O'clock Flight To Psychedelphia (early take unreleased)
- Plato & The Philosophers 3:06