Instant Psychedelic Thursday! The first concept album?
"Recorded at Abbey Road, at the height of British psychedelia."
Now there's a thought.
Headheritage.com: The history of rock is littered with lost masterpieces and opportunities missed, but few seem to have been as cursed as "SF Sorrow." You would think that an album recorded at Abbey Road, at the height of British psychedelia, featuring Norman Smith in the producer’s seat, could do no wrong. After all, Smith had worked on Sgt. Pepper and produced Piper at the Gates of Dawn. Unfortunately, line-up problems and label problems delayed and buried the project.
It should be remembered as a classic, however. Smith and the band went to great lengths experimenting in the studio, layering overdubs of odd instruments at odd speeds. What makes this all so much more than the "kids in the candy store" overkill so endemic to the era is the subtlety with which the effects are handled and the fact that the songwriting is first rate. The album was conceived as a rock opera, and inspired Pete Townshend (unfortunately!) to write Tommy. Luckily, the songs are songs first, and the opera concept merely unites the album.
The album had everything going for it, and like The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society and The Zombies’ Odessey and Oracle somehow missed out on canonisation. The sound represents the apex of British style psych, and the songwriting is on a par with the best bands of the time. There’s more to discover with each listen and each discovery is rewarding.