The Blossom Toes – We Are Ever So Clean & If Only For A Moment (Sunbeam Records)

The Blossom Toes released their debut album in 1967, during England’s first “Summer Of Love”, and forty years on it sounds like a relic of those times. The album has the same studio experimentation and British sense of whimsy that informed Sgt. Peppers, Ogden’s Gone Nut Flake, SF Sorrow and Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, among others. But where the groups behind those albums started off churning out soul and blues numbers before evolving into psychedelia, The Blossom Toes don’t have those roots, and as a result they sound like a group of young guys being hustled into the studio to exploit the psychedelic craze. Song titles like “The Intrepid Balloonist’s Handbook, Volume 1”, “The Remarkable Saga Of The Frozen Dog” and “Mrs. Murphy’s Budgerigar” should give seasoned psychedelic rock collectors a good idea of what they’re getting into. Clearly The Blossom Toes were “listening to what the flower people say.” Despite the dodgy material, Sunbeam Records have spared no expense in bringing the music to you on CD, for the first time officially (the album had been bootlegged before). They’ve cleaned up the sound, augmented the original fifteen songs with another ten bonus tracks, and thrown in detailed liner notes featuring interviews with the band members.

Sunbeam has also re-issued the follow-up album, If Only For A Moment. First released in 1969, it trades in the whimsy of the debut for longer jam-based songs influenced by the acid rock and the avant-garde music of Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart. It’s a jarring juxtaposition that doesn’t work all that well, but once again the CD reissue is very well done (remastering, bonus tracks, and liner notes).

We Are Ever So Clean Tracklisting:

Side 1

  1. Look At Me I’m You (Godding, Gomelsky)
  2. I’ll Be Late For Tea (Godding)
  3. The Remarkable Saga Of The Frozen Dog (Westlake)
  4. Telegram Tuesday (Godding)
  5. Love Is (Godding)
  6. What’s It For (Cregan)
  7. People Of The Royal Parks (Westlake)

Side 2

  1. What On Earth (Godding)
  2. Mrs Murphy’s Budgerigar (Cregan, Westlake)
  3. I Will Bring You This and That (Godding)
  4. Mister Watchmaker (Godding)
  5. When The Alarm Clock Rings (Cregan)
  6. The Intrepid Balloonist’s Handbook, Volume One (Cregan)
  7. You (Godding)
  8. Track For Speedy Freaks (or Instant LP Digest) (Godding, Gomelsky, Cregan, Westlake)

Bonus tracks

  1. Everybody’s Talking (LP out-take)
  2. Look At Me I’m You (instrumental track)
  3. I’ll Be Late For Tea (instrumental track)
  4. Mister Watchmaker (live)
  5. I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight (45 A-side)
  6. Jim Cregan interview
  7. Love Is (live)
  8. Collects Little Girls (demo)
  9. Hometime (demo)
  10. Looking Up & Looking Back (demo)

If Only For A Moment Tracklisting:

  • Peace Loving Man
  • Kiss Of Confusion
  • Listen To The Silence
  • Love Bomb
  • Billy Boo The Gunman
  • Indian Summer
  • Just Above My Hobby Horse’s Head
  • Wait A Minute
  • Bonus tracks
  1. Postcard (45 A-side)
  2. Everyone’s Leaving Me Now (45 B-side)
  3. Ever Since A Memory (demo)
  4. Nobody But (demo)
  5. Peace Loving Man (demo)
  6. Listen To The Silence (live)
  7. New Day (demo)