Thursday, 20 June 2019

Psychedelic/Sunshine Pop, Rock: Crystal Circus - In Relation To Our Times 1968 ( 2001 Akarma) Vinyl

While not a major find, this collection of material -- all previously unreleased, save the two songs ("In Relation (To Our Times)" and "Merry-Go-Round") from their 1967 single -- isn't at all bad pop-psychedelia. It's rather like finding an unreleased Strawberry Alarm Clock album that might make a decent candidate for the best LP that group ever made, had it borne the Strawberry Alarm Clock billing. Indeed, the Strawberry Alarm Clock influence is pervasive, especially on "In Relation (To Our Times)," but also on "Don't Say I Didn't Warn You," which sounds like the ultimate cross between the Strawberry Alarm Clock and the hardest-rocking sides by Paul Revere & the Raiders.

Most of the other songs have nice, bouncy tunes with major/minor melodic alternations; pleasing sunshine pop harmonies; and appropriately psychedelic organ, fuzz guitars, trippy orchestration, vocal distortion, and odd effects. The lyrics might be superficially far-out, but again, impressions like those recorded in "Circus and Zoo World" are a good complement for this kind of candy pop-psych. Occasionally, they get into more of a straightforward garage-ish hard rock-soul blend, like on "Never Again," but it's the more ethereal and poppy numbers that stand out.(Richie Unterberger,

The band was a lot more unwieldy than usual on their album. And that makes their songs really worth listening to. Enjoy.(Frank)



  1. There appears to be a relationship with the group Indescribably Delicious. Some of the tracks on the latter group's album are by Crystal Circus. Although to be frank I think.

    Greg Russo adds:
    "Indescribably Delicious" was one of many albums that Paul Buff engineered at Original Sound for Bill Holmes' All-American label. The album that you refer to is an illegal release from 1992. By the way, only three tracks are by Indescribably Delicious - the others are by the groups Crystal Circus and Shapes Of Sound.

    "Oscar Brown, Jr.'s "Brother, Where Are You" was released by mistake as the B-side of the Big Brother Featuring Ernie Joseph single "E.S.P." on All-American. There were two different versions of "E.S.P.," so the mistake was made twice! The real artist on "Brother, Where Are You" was Indescribably Delicious."

    1. Hello JohnM,
      thanks for the infos.
      Have a nice weekend

  2. it's also worthy to note that the drummer for Indescribably Delicious / Strawberry SAC (aka Crystal Circus) was Terry Rae who joined the Flamin' Groovies in 1973 after Danny Mihm had quit the band. Of course Terry Rae formed the Hollywood Stars in 1974.


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