PURPLE GANG -Strikes- CDTALKING ELEPHANT
When Pink Floyd recorded ‘Arnold Layne’ in a converted Chelsea abattoir in 1967, their producer Joe Boyd was also working in an adjoining studio with another band. The former Young Contemporaries Jug Band, renamed the Purple Gang (for “the whole rhythm section” in Jailhouse Rock) seemed to have a gem in ‘Granny Takes a Trip.’ The Floyd’s Syd Barrett thought it would be a hit and John Peel called it “one of the all-time great records” ? but the BBC had other ideas and promptly banned it, even though the trip referred not to LSD but to an old lady’s ambition to visit Hollywood.
With its honky-tonk piano, homemade jug taking the bass line and one of pop’s great kazoo solos, Granny remains an innocent, timeless reminder of the first summer of love. This 50th Anniversary version of the band’s album features bonus tracks, including two versions of the Syd Barrett song ‘Boon Tune,’ which he suggested to the band they should use as a follow up to ‘Granny Takes a Trip.’ A bit of the hippie acid-folk vibe seeps into one of the better and more mysterious cuts, ‘The Wizard,’ which actually does have a trilling electric guitar. A wee bit of British pop-psych bonhomie also colors ‘The Sheik,’ ‘Kiss Me Goodnight Sally Green,’ and their most famous track by far, 'Granny Takes a Trip’ (which is still jug band-based, despite the psychedelic implications that some read into the title).