More psychedelic than Olivia Newton John. No doubt about it. For those of us who only knew him through “tiptoe thru the tulips” it would seem a far cry from psychedelia. But on the other hand he released his 3 main albums in 1968 and 1969. And it is obvious that the producer (Richard Perry) had a big hand in the sound. The third album that Richard Perry didn’t produce was for the most part Tiny Tim and a ukulele. Fortunately the majority of first two albums songs are ukulele free.
So his first LP is the one that stands out. (God Bless Tiny Tim.) It certainly is a diverse album sitting between Van Dyke Parks and the Bonzo dog do dah Band, and more eccentric than either. There are a few well crafted psychedelic oddities on his first LP In fact 3 by my count, or perhaps 2 and a half. The two psychedelic tracks are "Stay Down Here Where You Belong" which has a pile of different instruments including a piccolo trumpet. And the anti war lyrics are very 60s in mood, but interestingly the song was written by Irving Berlin, with lyrical additions and a great big makeover. Strawberry Tea is the other, quite different with an orchestra and glockenspiel – a real pop psych track. The half belongs to quite a bizarre song that is in its own way typical of the album. The other side – it is a very creepy bass driven song. But completely schizophrenic as it is half this eerie thing and half an accordion driven sing along, flicking from one style to the other and back again.
The second LP is as diverse but not as eccentric as the first. He runs through a range of styles, pop country rock and roll and apart from a few songs could be a normal mainstream artist. There is nothing psychedelic here, just as there is a decrease in overall oddness. Than the third album which is really monotonous and quite different from the first two.
Quite a interesting listen overall.