Sir John Johns ~ the Red Curtain ~ Lord Cornelius Plum ~ E.I.E.I. Owen
Produced by John Leckie (Swami Anand Nagara) and The Dukes
How to follow a masterpiece like Skylarking? Well, in the slightly longer term, the answer would be with albums that were every bit as good – Oranges & Lemons and Nonsuch but, in the immediate aftermath of Skylarking and, as an album which was, in sales terms, a slow burner whose peak sales came many months after its initial release, XTC retreated to their alter egos, not as caped crime fighters patrolling the mean streets of Swindon but, as pstalwarts of psychedelia echoing the spirit of ’67 with Psonic Psunspot, ten perfectly formed songs of psignificance, culminating in Pale and Precious - one of the best songs of the decade – (80s or 60s depending upon how you want to carbon date these things..)
Convinced by a manager who had a strange grip on the band, bolstered by a visit to a guru – Lobsang E. Vibrati – in Frome who claimed that only from obscurity could enlightenment be glimpsed, The Dukes spent the spring of 1967 writing their masterpiece. Recorded during the summer of love, while the TV was broadcasting All You Need is Love to the world and A Whiter Shade of Pale dominated the charts and the radio, The Dukes quietly laboured on their masterpiece. Issued on the obscure (even then) Pre-Primate label and supported by a sole gig in a local working men’s club, the album quickly became one of the most sought after gems of British psychedelia and, these days, an original copy at auction would cost more than the most select turntable on which it would, subsequently, never be played for fear of damage… making this reissue of one of 1967’s lost gems all the more welcome.
Cut at Loud Mastering by Jason Mitchell & pressed on 200gram vinyl to satisfy the most demanding of audiophiles.