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22 Mar 2017

The Paisleys "Cosmic Mind At Play"1970 US Private Psych Rock

The Paisleys  "Cosmic Mind At Play"1970 US ultra rare Private Psych Rock

Cosmic Mind at Play album for sale by The Paisleys was released Nov 11, 2003 on the Sundazed label. The Paisleys include: Brad Stodden (vocals, guitar); Bill Smith (keyboards, background vocals); Dick Timm (bass, background vocals); Bob Belknap (drums, background vocals). Cosmic Mind at Play CD music contains a single disc with 13 songs. ............

The Paisleys’ mystical, brooding album, Cosmic Mind At Play, makes its first ever legit vinyl re-release! Produced by Warren Kendrick (The Litter, The Electras), SUNDAZED proudly presents the full, swirlingly-psychedelic portrait of these dark Minneapolis wizards direct from the original masters!................

Their Cosmic Mind at Play album abounds with naive cosmic cliches of late-`60s psychedelic music, performed with sincerity and respectable instrumental competence. A lightweight (though not totally embarrassing) effort that put the electric keyboard more to the fore than many similar bands did, it found a greater audience when it was reissued for collectors on LP in the 1980s. The Paisleys` sole album is period, late-`60s psychedelia, the kind that`s not bad when you listen to it once in the background, but is hard to recall with any specific detail after it`s been shelved. More based around relatively light electronic keyboards than many other similar records of the era, the songs are heavily colored by navely cosmic lyrics whose sentiments are easier to admire than they are to hear verbalized. A bit of irreverence pokes through in the Lothar & the Hand People-like phasing/electronic squiggle effects of "Now" and the Bo Diddley beat and simulated orgasmic squeals of "Diddley," though the harpsichord-textured "Wind" is a half-decent journey into the more ponderous, droning side of the psychedelic experience. The short songs on side one work much better than the 18-minute "Musical Journey" opus that takes up all of side two, including a pit stop for a mock baseball broadcast. The 2003 CD reissue on Sundazed adds six bonus tracks, all but one of them previously unreleased, from 1968-1970 demos, outtakes, and live recordings. -Of these, the seven-minute medley of "Comin` On"/ "City of Light"/"Home Again," an outtake from Cosmic Mind at Play, might have actually been one of the better numbers on the LP had it been included. The live "The Fool With the Jewel" and the three demos are all from 1968 and are a just a little lighter and poppier than the album material, particularly the acoustic "Step Quietly and Quickly," though the lyrics of songs like "In Dreams" and the Dylan-influenced "Elf in a Magic Bottle" are just as overreaching in their new-dimension exploration. -AMG....................

To put it cruelly, the Paisleys were exactly the kind of band roasted by the Mothers of Invention so unmercifully on We're Only in It for the Money. Their Cosmic Mind at Play album abounds with naive cosmic clichés of late-'60s psychedelic music, performed with sincerity and respectable instrumental competence. A lightweight (though not totally embarrassing) effort that put the electric keyboard more to the fore than many similar bands did; it found a greater audience when it was reissued for collectors on LP in the 1980s.

The Paisleys were formed in Minneapolis, and their sole album was produced by Warren Kendrick, who produced a bunch of other garage rock and psychedelic recordings in Minneapolis in the mid-'60s to early '70s (most notably for the Litter). The Paisleys actually helped Kendrick build the studio in which Cosmic Mind at Play was recorded, and only a couple of thousand copies were pressed when it was released in 1970. -- Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide......................

When this LP was given to me by a friend in the mid '80s, I assumed it to be the work of a too-obviously-named retro band - possibly British and possibly linked with England's "Groovy Cellar" scene - something I had never actually heard anything from, just read about and invented - probably for the better. (I didn't have much to go on: A plain black and white cover with no info and cheap Letraset 'The Paisleys' monogram on the back with a bootleg looking UK-pressed label). The music, however, certainly suggested otherwise: high American country accents singing keyboard-heavy Prog Beatles with a side long title-track that had a baseball play-by-play. Then there was the hand drawn trip cover of (of course) Paisleys, cartoon faces and squiggly lines - Creepy in a sort of Flash Graphics/International Artists sort of way. Not at all mod. No internet back then so in my mind they could've been from anywhere at any time.

The truth is this upper midwest-based band was doing some pretty far-out sounding Anglo-Pop in the '70s when virtually no-one else was. It's a bizarre album; quite likeable in its own weird way.

The band approaches Psychedelia in an earnest, honest style. The lyrics are reminiscent of Tommy Hall/Roky Erickson's in some regards as they are quite explicitly 'instructional' or 'journalistic' with regards to Cosmic experience. Tellingly, the most interesting tracks have a curious 'futuristic' feel to them, setting The Paisleys quite apart from whatever their influences may have been (I can only really detect Abbey Road Beatles, particularly on one track: The Wind). They were clearly on to something, following it doggedly.

It's hard to contemplate this band's historical place in whatever scene they came up in. With their name and music, The Paisleys clearly were in step with day-glo Nuggets-era happenings, even if those happenings were already 4 or 5 years old by the time they themselves recorded. However, if they actually were self-consciously 'retro' at this early point in the Rock Era they certainly weren't copying anyone in particular. Most crucially, there is a wacky sense of humour throughout 'Cosmic Mind At Play' that sets it apart from heavier offerings, a gentle giggle throughout making it a friendlier soundtrack than some. It's certainly one of the more unusual records out there - one that stands utterly alone on several counts.

Once astonishingly rare, 'Cosmic Mind At Play' has apparently become a little easier to find: Sundazed has come out with a deluxe CD with bonus tracks (which I haven't heard). Fans of the Elevators and The Golden Dawn would do well to seek out this lesser known offering of late vintage heartfelt American Psychedelic Music. Despite some crummy reviews out there that (thanks, Internet) are being rehashed in some odd places, this album is actually really good and quite noteworthy for even having been made at all. ........Reviewed by banjo.........

  Ah yes, an original of this Midwestern psych classic, well known already back in the 1980s due to Psycho's early bootleg. You can see this as a sort of happy, upbeat acid mirror image to the dark trip of the CA Quintet LP, and together they're hip 33 RPM testaments from a legendary Minneapolis freak scene otherwise captured mostly on 45s. "Now" and "Wind" are head classics, but the album plays through solidly, with a melodic late Beatle vibe and super-cosmic stoner lyrics adding to the fun. A good double bill with Faine Jade................

Brad Stodden — vocals, guitar
Dick Timm — bass, vocals, producer
Bob Belknap — drums, vocals
Bill Smith — piano, vocals
Mike Cornelius — drums, vocals
Rick Youngberg — guitar, vocals
01. Cosmic Mind At Play — 2:07
02. Rockin’ — 2:03
03. Now — 3:12
04. Smokey Windows — 1:39
05. Diddley — 4:36
06. Wind — 5:19
07. Musical Journey — 18:42
08. Something’s Missing — 2:59
09. Medley: Comin’ On – City Of Light — Home Again (Previously Unissued) — 7:26
10. The Fool With The Jewel (Previously Unissued) — 3:22
11. Step Quietly And Quickly (Previously Unissued) — 2:09
12. Elf In A Magic Bottle (Previously Unissued) — 6:08
13. In Dreams (Previously Unissued) — 6:41

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