Blossom Toes — “When the Alarm Clock Rings”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — January 21, 2023


709) Blossom Toes — “When the Alarm Clock Rings”

David Wells calls “Alarm Clock” the “aural encapsulation[] of the English psychedelic pop ethos” and the album from which it comes (We Are Ever So Clean) a “sterling ’67 studio Britpsych effort”. (Record Collector: 100 Greatest Psychedelic Records: High Times and Strange Tales from Rock’s Most Mind-Blowing Era)

Fred Thomas goes under the Toe:

Under the guidance of rock impresario Giorgio Gomelsky (early mentor of the Stones and manager of the Yardbirds and Soft Machine among others) the band created their colorful and mind-warping 1967 debut We Are Ever So Clean and managed one more record before disbanding at the end of the ’60s. . . . Blossom Toes formed in London in the mid-’60s, initially starting out as an R&B/beat band called the Ingoes. . . . They changed their name to Blossom Toes in 1966 upon signing to Gomelsky’s Marmalade Records. Their sound shifted dramatically with their name change as well, moving from stompy rock and roll standards to a highly orchestral take . . . psychedeli[a]. . . . Their 1967 debut . . . didn’t meet much commercial success . . . . [It] embrace[d] Baroque instrumentation and vivid, cheery psychedelia . . . . [r]eleased just four months after . . . . Sgt. Pepper’s . . . . The bright, curious melodies . . . filled out with an overabundance of brass, strings, and theatrical orchestral elements. . . . Blossom Toes’ song structures are unconventional . . . . There’s barely a trace of darkness or anxiety in these wide-ranging songs, putting the album in a rare class of well-adjusted psychedelia, a good trip with no painful comedown.;

Wells writes “[b]ooked into Chappell Studios with an arranger, a handful of self-penned songs and an advance copy of Sgt. Pepper, Blossom Toes were shamelessly told by manager Giorgio Gomelsky to find and explore their own Pepperland. . . . Melody Maker . . . [referred to it] as ‘Giorgio Gomelsky’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.'” (100 Greatest Psychedelic Records) However, guitarist Jim Cregan recalls that: “We’d started taking acid at the time we were making the [album], so our music began to be a little more drug-induced. Our songwriting wasn’t influenced by Sgt. Pepper’s, as is often assumed.” (liner note to the CD reissue of We Are Ever So Clean)

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