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.
04. Daddy Died On Saturday
05. It Seems Like Nothing's Gonna Come My Way
07. The Man On The Dune
08. The Bear
10. You're Everything On Earth
11. Wish You Were Here With Me Today
12. I Love You No. 2
14. Do You Feel Alright
15. Daddy Died On Saturday
16. I Love You No. 2
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