| HIT LIST '99
unreleased gems by this semi-legendary '60s British guitarist/singer/songwriter.
Big Boy Pete is a psyched-out popster with roots rock 'n' roll in his heart.
All of these tracks (minus track one) were deemed too weird for public consumption.
Track one is the demo for his "Babi I Got News For You" 45, which
I guess is one of the more valuable colectable records from that era. Compare
to a more rooted in reakity (though not by much) SYD BARRETT. (JC)
TWIST AND SHOUT - 2000
Boy Pete was the alter-ego for Pete Miller, lead guitarist of the Jaywalkers,
who were one of england"s premier combos. Compiled of tunes recorded
between 1965 and 1969, "Psycho-Relics" observes the renowned musician
at his utmost experimental powers, meaning the listener is in for an enchanting
sojourn of wacky sights and sounds that refuse to follow any set formula.
The disc commences with a demo version of "Baby I Got News for You,"
a tonic pop gem that enjoyed a bit of airplay at the time of its release.
"American London Boy," "Freeloader," "Have you
Wished" and "A Light in the Sky" sit tall as other riveting
items on the album, which are consumed by unique hooks and Pete's delightful
vocals that fall somewhere between a blithe bubblegum pitch and the aching
bellow of Roy Orbison. A liberal quantity of paisley imagery dictates the
record, specifically on the Pretty Things styled "The Mother Seeds"
(Land of Schlimpf and Whatzit,) and then there's "Blue Dan" an
abraisive pile of commotion basically carved of nothing but the deafening
din of a squawking trumpet. Truly wild it is! (Beverly Paterson)
psycho-popster Pete Miller wrote hundreds of songs in his studio between
1966 and 1969, heavily inspired by both Joe Meek and LSD. Aside from a couple
of hits in the UK - "Cold Turkey" and "Baby I Got News for
You," his music was considered a little too weird for the hoi polloi.
He's been generally ignored for the last three decades, a fact that becomes
increasingly puzzling the more you listen to Psycho-Relics. Pete's
songs are reminiscent of those by The Move, also known for their eclectic
approach to songwriting. The Move's psychedelia, however, seems almost banal
next to some of Pete's drug-induced lyrics. Take for example, "The
Mother Seeds. (Land of Schlimpf and whatzit.)" : "Selling a dream
of animal mind, leaving the vultutres way behind / Paraphernalia everywhere,
gleaning the ones who stand and stare, / The chosen apples learn to dance,
/ The special clockwork guiding branch setting the mother seeds." But
if Pete's visions are hallucagenic, his songs are rock-solid, skillfully-crafted
tunes that almost define 1960s psychedelia. Production values on this 15
song compilation - recorded with Pete's group the Jaywalkers - are surprisingly
clean for the time period. Anyone with even a passing interest in the paisely
period should check out Big Boy Pete. Fantastic stuff.
Miller was in Peter Jay and the Jaywalkers under the knob twisting of Joe
Meek, for whom he also worked as a recording assistant, learning the production
trade from a master. Later he also recorded many solo sessions, and with
other artists. Today he operates Pete Miller recording in San Francisco.
This disc is a marvelous compilation of his mid-to-late sixties work, all
of which is artful, poppy, talented, semi-paisley, and well recorded. Much
of the disc is comprised of slightly heavy pop, and sports his excellent
guitar work, most of which is fuzzed out. This is an excellent glimpse into
the world of Pete Miller. (Phil)
Boy Pete Miller is an odd little Roman Polanski-lookin' fellow who also
bears something of an aural and visual resemblance to a young & wasted
Roy Orbison. His "Psycho-Relics" is part two of The Psychedelic
Adventures of Pete Miller (the first being "Homage to Catatonia,"
a previously unreleased collection of pure Sixties tunes. As such it's a
warped and dated sounding album which reflects the influence of vintage
acts of the time. Big Boy rocks out Buddy Holly style on "London American
Boy" and grows wistful on "Farewell Welfare," and the rest
of the album is populated by golliwogs, blue caterpillars, lemon people,
and other lycergic emanations. I myself can't stand that sickly sweet "psychedelic"
Beatles-era bullshit, but if you're looking for a flashback you oughta dig
"Big Boy Pete" Miller has been called one of the most criminally
neglected talents of the late sixties psychedelic scene. Here, Dionysus
dishes out 15 previously unreleased Miller selections to let you decide
whether he was a genius or a journeyman. Either way he never got the big
break, even though Keith Richards publicly admired Pete's playing in his
early band, the Jaywalkers. A prolific composer, Big Boy Pete gives you
the impression that there's always more where that came from. Remember,
this is just Part 2! Only his "Baby I Got News for You" was a
minor hit on the 1965 UK charts, but the version included here is an earlier
unreleased cut and every other cut sidles up to you from the corners of
obscurity. So was he a hack with lots of echo and layered vocals? My take
is that Miller was just one step too far for - maybe a little too "real"
for sixties mainstream charts. In fact "Psycho-Relics" sounds
like "Nuggets", only without the top 100 staples that anchor that
famous compliation of garage and first-wave punk. "Psycho-Relics"
peels back a layer or two of the paisely onion and reveals a quirky talent
whos lyrics are ever so slightly odd and music that was just weird enough
to elude mass acceptance. But really boss nonetheless. Miller's voice goes
from sounding like the Trogg's Reg Presley with a lisp to a pub-rocking
Dave Edmunds. His songs are musically simple but he embellishes them with
falmboyant layers of foppish guitar and the occasional sympathetic drone
of an untutored sitar. Still amid all the self concious trippy quality are
some basic rockers like "London America Boy," a pugnacious chip
on the shoulder about early US rock labels and the power of a secondhand
45 rpm. It's a good buy for psychedelic connoisseurs and a great source
for the hipper bar bands looking for covers that nobody else does. (David
Pete Miller had two small hits in England. As Miller, his "Baby I Got
News for You" is widely regarded as Britain's first psychedelic single
(1965), and '68's "Cold Turkey" (first release as Big Boy Pete)
is just as crazed but heavier. A home recordist with vaults that go on and
on, Big Boy Pete is now the subject of archival releases on Dionysus (and
England's Tenth Planet label). Previously unreleased songs range from robot
voice tributes to various ladies ("Shiralee Part One," "Freeloader,"
"She's the Only Woman," "Shiralee Part Two") to other
subjects quite abstract, such as "The Mother Seeds (Land of Schlimpf
and Whatzit)." More please.