VARIOUS ARTISTS – ” Nuggets: Original Artyfacts From the First Psychedelic Era (1964-1968) ” 50th Anniversary Box Record Store Day 2023

Posted: April 23, 2023 in MUSIC

This 50th Anniversary edition comes on five LPs and expands on the original with 42 additional tracks – curated by Lenny Kaye and supervised by Elektra Records’ founder Jac Holzman

There are a lot of classic rock fans — or aficionados of obscure classic rock, if that’s not an oxymoron — that will be looking for this boxed set as the first thing they do when they get in the store. The pressing quantity is high for an item that retails for around $100, so the supply should meet the demand for a while, though you may well have to hit more than one shop. You’ll be glad you did: This probably counts as one of the most essential Record Store Day releases ever, for rock history buffs. If you’re not familiar with the original “Nuggets” release from 50 years ago, it was a collection that evinced nostalgia for something that had transpired only about five or six years before: the intersection of garage-rock and psychedelia.

Still the daddy of all 60s psychedelic pop collections, the original double-disc “Nuggets” was lovingly compiled by music writer and future Patti Smith Group guitarist Lenny Kaye, under the supervision of Elektra Records’ boss Jac Holzman, in 1972. Inspiring the early punk movement, the compilation also laid the groundwork for further 60s psych-pop collections, such as the multi-volume Pebbles series, before expanding to four discs for a CD box set reissue in 1998.

There was a plan to follow that 1973 comp with a two-LP “Vol. II” — it never came out, but it’s included here, at last. And so is a fifth disc (!) of songs that had been considered for either collection but didn’t make the cut. The expanded set is curated now, as it was in ’73, by the great Lenny Kaye, of Patti Smith Group and other fame. He and fellow history buffs Jac Holzman and Bill Inglot have contributed liner notes to a 16-page booklet that accompanies the individually jacketed slide-out LP jackets-within-a-jacket. A “Nuggets” neophyte will know a few of the tracks (“I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night),” “Pushin’ Too Hard”), but what a voyage of discovery this is. “You’re Gonna Miss Me,” said the Thirteenth Floor Elevators, and man, we do.

The original “Nuggets” showcased a few acts, such as The Electric Prunes, 13th Floor Elevators and The Shadows Of Knight, who did enjoy a bit of a career (or at least established a legend) in music, though many of the acts featured on its additional discs rapidly disappeared back into obscurity, leaving behind just one fantastic single to prove they existed. Collectively, though, these short-lived 60s US outfits bequeathed us a seminal psych-flavoured smorgasbord to tuck into – one which vinyl lovers can again greedily chow down on thanks to the expanded “Nuggets’ first appearance on wax.

A seminal collection, this 5LP edition easily tops our list of the best Record Store Day 2023 releases.

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