Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Outsiders - C.Q. - 1968 - Psychedelic Rock (Netherlands)


The first thing to say is that this is one of the greatest albums in the history of music. It should be required listening for everybody who likes rock. This album deserves to be much better known. It is a very psychedelic album, in fact it is one of the best psychedelic albums ever made. The combination of power, aggression and beauty is still quite stunning after more than thirty years.
Before buying the album I had never heard anything by the Outsiders but was attracted by their legendary cult status and my growing interest in Dutch psychedelic and progressive music of the sixties and seventies. There are many great bands from the Netherlands who are far too little known internationally.
The Outsiders had a short career and this 1968 album was their last. You can almost understand why this was the band's last album. There is a peaking of power and feeling here, which would be next to impossible to repeat. Every track is a masterpiece.
I bought the album a few weeks ago at Fame in Amsterdam and have been listening to it continuously ever since. If you like psychedelia I would be very surprised if you did not like this album. This is not flower power psychedelia and nor is there anything whimsical about this music, that is very hard edged. It is difficult to compare to other bands but the Pretty Things would possibly be the most similar music or the era.

The outsiders should have been huge internationally. The combination of energy and aggression foreshadows punk. It is not everyone's cup of tea. It's probably one of those love or hate albums. If you like psychedelia but you also love the power of the MC5 and Teenage Head era Flamin Groovies I think you will like this album very much. The musicians are superb. Ronnie splinter should be a world renowned name for the things he was doing with the guitar in 1968. Wally Tax, who wrote the lyrics, is one of the best singers I have heard. The drummer and bass player are both very powerful.
This album should have the same legendary status as 'After Bathing at Baxters', 'Electric Ladyland' and other world renowned classics from 1968.

Another comparison I would make is with Love's 'Forever Changes'. Both albums inhabit a unique and idiosyncratic world of genius. Indeed more than inhabiting, they shape their own particular worlds. To me the world of CQ is a much darker world then Arthur lee's.

There isn't a weak song on the album. Particular highlights for me are 'Zsarrahh', 'Happyville', 'Man on a dune', 'the Bear' and 'Doctor'. The guitar of Ronnie Splinter on the latter track is awesomely powerful and innovative. The last song 'Prison song' is possibly the darkest end to an
album I know and an amazing psychodrama in itself. As soon as I had heard this album for the first time I had to play it all again straight away. I have heard thousand of albums and this is one of the few that has compelled an immediate replay.

The 2001 reissue is a piece of art in itself. Pseudonym have obviously put great effort into the packaging and sleeve notes and you will get great pleasure from this, if you choose to buy the disc. Pseudonym are my favourite reissue label, having done an equally beautiful job with the
reissue of Group 1850s Agemo's Trip to mother earth a few years ago.
Buy this album as soon as you can. You will not regret it.
I hope I have made you want to hear this album. If as a result of reading this review you are tempted to buy it please e-mail me and let me know what you think. It would be nice to know I influenced somebody to listen to the Outsiders.(By James The Bin)

Recorded in September 1968 at the G.T.B. Studio, The Hague, The Netherlands.

Tracks Listing
01. Misfit
02. Zsarrahh
03. C.Q.
04. Daddy Died On Saturday
05. It Seems Like Nothing's Gonna Come My Way
06.. Doctor
07. The Man On The Dune
08. The Bear
09. Happyville
10. You're Everything On Earth
11. Wish You Were Here With Me Today
12. I Love You No. 2
13. Prisonsong
14. Do You Feel Alright
15. Daddy Died On Saturday
16. I Love You No. 2
17. Misfit
18. Happyville
19. Prisonsong

Credits
Frank Beek : Bass, Guitar, Organ, Piano, Vibraphone [Vibes], Cymbal, Vocals
Ronald Splinter : Guitar, Bass, Vocals
Leendert "Buzz" Busch : Drums, Congas, Tambourine, Maracas, Jew's Harp [Mouthharp], Vocals
Wally Tax : Vocals, Guitar, Vibraphone [Vibes], Harmonica, Flute, Balalaika, Tambourine, Cymbal, Organ




01

8 comments:

space88 said...

Cool Album!!Many Thanks for this Gem!

danilo said...

Thanks great post.Thanks for sharing too

DanP said...

Wow, that description leaves me no choice but to check it out. Thanks Silverado!

Thea said...

Thank you for this great album

unkerz said...

After reading the blurb,I have to check it out.
Thank You

misfitmanonadune said...

Hi

I've been a bog fan of you blog for quite a few years.

It's an honour to see my appreciation of 'CQ' appear here. I wrote it over 10 years ago for Pooter's Psychedelic Shack, then (and still) one of the best resources on the web for psychedelia.

http://www.pooterland.com/index2/bandsmenu/bands_o/bands_o.html

It would make me even more honoured if the appreciation was attributed to me.

take care

James

SILVERADO said...

It's done, many thanks James for this great review !!!

adamus67 said...

C.Q. was to be the Outsiders last album (their 3rd LP), an attempt to reach the group’s original core audience amidst a troubling commerical downfall. Not only is this one of the best “international” psych albums but it’s as good as anything by the early Pink Floyd, psychedelic era Pretty Things or Love. Its closest reference point is probably the Pretty Things superb S.F. Sorrow – there are no soft, wimpy moments on either of these records, just pure intensity and garage punk muscle. C.Q. is what the Rolling Stones’ Their Satanic Majesties Request should have sounded like.

CQ (an expression used by amateur radio enthusiasts) featured not only the new line-up, with Beek contributing organ and piano as well as bass and all group members doubling on percussion and backing vocals, but also, according to the sleeve credits, new songwriting combinations, with both Beek and Busch making substantial contributions (though both Tax and Splinter claim that they wrote at least half the LP). Regardless of who actually wrote what, the resultant LP stands up as a staggering achievement. Recorded on an eight-track and produced by the group, the stylistic range of the material, the rich variety and maturity of the lyrics and the sheer power and vitality of the music makes this one of the finest LP's of its era or any other. What the group were not to know at the time was that Polydor already had the Golden Earrings, Holland's most successful group, on its books and were determined to concentrate their promotional efforts on them. They conspicuously failed to get behind the Outsiders to the extent that only something in the region of 500 copies of CQ were released at the time and subsequently the album died a grisly commercial death. But unless you've heard this record you have no real idea of the magnitude of the crime.

Though few people realized it back in 1968, The Outsiders CQ was a landmark album for the Dutch music scene, and the crowning achievement for one of Hollands greatest bands. Had it been released by a British or American band, CQ might be mentioned today in the same breath as Ogdens Nut Gone Flake, Odessey & Oracle, S.F. Sorrow, White Light/White Heat, and Were Only In It For the Money-all iconic underground rock albums released that same tumultuous year. The album was recorded at G.T.B. Studios in The Hague and the Soundpush Studios in Blaricum during the summer of 1968. For the first time the group had the luxury of uninterrupted studio time so were able to work out ideas right there in the studio, rolling tape as they went, then listening back and discussing what changes should be made.

C.Q.’s strength is in it’s consistency and diversity. No two songs sound alike yet every experiment is well thought out and successful. The group’s hallmark start-stop punk rhythms are firmly in place on many of C.Q.‘s tracks but by 1968 the Outsiders had grown considerably, incorporating more folk-rock and psych sounds into their repertoire. Psych cuts such as the very European sounding “Zsarrahh” (supposedly a nod to Wally Tax’s Russian roots), the brief “Bear,” an avant garde folk-rock cut titled “Prison Song” and “C.Q.” heralded a new, more experimental outfit. Other cuts such as the sensitive “You’re Everything On Earth,” a bluesy, spacy cut titled “It Seems Like Nothings Gonna Come My Way Today,” and “I Love You No. 2″ were folk-rock gems that showed off Tax’s soft, expressive side. That being said, it’s the harder cuts that warrant the greatest attention. “Misfit,” “Doctor,” “The Man On The Dune,” ”Happyville,” and “Wish You Were Here With Me Today” are masterful acid punkers. “Doctor,” one of the group’s best LP tracks, features distorted vocals and an explosive fuzz guitar freakout. “The Man On The Dune,” another classic and personal favorite, is a blistering psych punker with jagged guitar fuzz and a strange, unsettling conclusion. It goes without saying that C.Q. is one of the immortal 60s albums.