31 May 2008

The Merchants of Dream - 1968 - Strange Night Voyage

Quality: 4 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 4 out of 5

This disc seems to be a bit ahead of its time. We've got the requisite psychedelic sounds, but also some strange touches of prog rock and disco before the full emergence of those forms. If that's not enough, we get a Peter Pan concept album. Strangely, the band doesn't take the 'happydaystoytown' approach so much, but works out some stranger noises to guide the story along. The Who's rock operas aren't a bad reference point, although the Merchants of Dream do carve out their own niche.

Even if we throw out the whole concept, there is some prime psychedelic pop hiding out in the grooves of this disc. After an enjoyable overture (take notes as side B will also start with an overture), we hear the disco-pulsing and orchestrated "Strange Night Voyage of Peter Pan." "Wendy" follows well as a back-pulsing, mid-tempo freak-out. After a few story advancing tracks is the full-speed forward, psych rocker "Lovelife's Purple Circus." Hiding out on the second side is "Alicey," which comes across as your personal sonic morphine drip. We also will find "(We Are) Dream Vendors," which closes the album as the best track with a catchy chorus and a groovy beat.

I've got to admit that I rarely mentally apply myself to album concepts, and for better or for worse Strange Night Voyage is no exception. Fortunately, we get enough little nuggets of great psychedelic pop that the story doesn't really matter a whole lot. I don't know, show me the Broadway revival of this and maybe I'll get that aspect more; except that I'm not really a Broadway fan in the first place.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

http://rapidshare.com/files/117574946/The_Merchants_Of_Dream_-_1968_-_Strange_Night_Voyage.rar

Anonymous said...

impossible to copy the link

oldskool said...

Just drag the mouse *down*wards until the line is highlighted, then copy.

Anonymous said...

You come up with some great stuff here and this in particular is a pleasant surprise. Never heard of it before and a fine album. Thanks for sharing

josesimon said...

Gracias, soy un amante de la psicodelia y no habia oido hablar de ellos.

db said...

great music!great music!
check out
calisoulbrother records
for rare PSYCH, soul, jazz, funk, brazil & latin records!

zappahead said...

Someone just mentioned this album to me ..never heard of it before but im looking forward to listening...thanks for the share.

Anonymous said...

Anyone have the stereo version of this album? I know there is one because I have it on vinyl. I can't post it though because it's in storage in another state, plus it's pretty badly scratched anyway.

Anonymous said...

Yes, that's really an interesting psych concept album ahead of his time. Nice & high quality production too. And I think this LP WAS THE REAL FIRST CONCEPT ALBUM PUBLISHED IN THE ROCK HISTORY!! A few months before the released of the legendary S.F. SORROW album (december 1968) by the Pretty Things. If you read the back notes on the sleeves, it is written "date of birth: 13 may 1968" !!
Gaetan

Nick Carraway said...

I notice that the link here is no longer working. Is there any chance of getting a repost, or are we just going to have to track down an old vinyl copy?

Anonymous said...

A UK label, Tune In, is working on a legitimate CD reissue of this album, and hopes to have it out in early 2011. Right now they are seeking a photo of the musicians involved in creating this LP. Contact me if you can assist: johntberg@gmail.com

srecko ujka said...

Too bad, it's dead!
And I was hoping to hear that, at last.