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Published: 2013/02/01
by Ron Hart

Various Artists
Nuggets: Original Artyfacts of the First Psychedelic Era, 1965-1968

It has been expanded and spun off until the cows come home, but nothing beats the original.

Artyfacts, that is: talking about the 27 tracks that comprise Nuggets, the legendary compilation of underground anthems from the first era of psychedelic rock curated by legendary rock journalist and Patti Smith guitarist Lenny Kaye. And in honor of its 40th anniversary, this landmark of Various Artists LPs has been reverted back to its original form in the wake of an overkill of spin-off box sets that barely came close to the soul of their maker.

Now a whole generation of youngsters heading back into the garage on the inspirational strength of such new jacks as Lamps, Ty Segall, The Oh Sees and Psychic Ills can dig into the old timers who influenced them, from such big time players of the movement as The Electric Prunes, Nazz, The Seeds, The Blues Project, the Amboy Dukes, Count Five, The Remains and the 13th Floor Elevators to underrated masters like Mouse, The Vagrants, The Barbarians, and The Leaves. Oh, and Sagittarius, whose contribution “My World Fell Down” was a favorite of AOR pioneer Murray the K, who put it into regular rotation on his show for WOR-FM in New York, as indicated in the still informative and entertaining liner notes written by Kaye.

Today, for a minor contingency of rock ‘n’ roll fandom, songs like “Pushin’ Too Hard”, “You’re Gonna Miss Me” and “Psychotic Reaction” are as omnipresent in their inner minds’ jukebox as “Love Me Do” and “Don’t Be Cruel”. Kaye mentions in the new essay featured across the gatefold of this reissue’s vinyl style packaging that he never expected Nuggets to see the light of day.

40 years later, it is impossible to imagine the world without it.

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