Wednesday, 28 December 2011

The Happenings - Piece of Mind [1969]

Chameleon Impressions

Trying to inhabit the same psyche world as The Freeborne, this band flew the idea of influence too near the plagiarist's sun, and whilst not falling in a ball of flames, its wings must surely have been singed with embarrassment. Essentially a harmony band in the mid sixties performing covers, by 1969 they wanted to move with the rock and psychedelic shift of the time and what they have produced on this album is an extraordinary mix of thieving familiar lines and then crafting songs off these that retained the core of their harmonising vocals. The opening track is the least obviously thieved, but the title reveals the appropriating sham: Where Do I Go - Be In [Hare Krishna]. It is a very pretty track indeed, if you like your spiritual chanting performed by The Sandpipers! And I quite like the prettiness of this and after, but it is also a blatant transformation that keeps reminding you the emperor is nakedly aping others. Second track Heartbeat pilfers the singular echoing note idea from For What It's Worth; third Living in Darkness pinches the opening riff from The Door's Touch Me, and fourth Cold Water swipes the opening melody from Cream's White Room. There are further thefts from The Greatest Show on Earth, Tim Hardin, The Temptation's version of My Girl and Procol Harum's A Whiter Shade of Pale. As I've said, it's a pleasing enough album in the lite-psyche vein, but the pulse of this is pumped by so much stolen property that it should have a swag warning stamped on the cover. It actually puts into perspective the honest use of influence in The Freeborne's much more genuine impressions.


  1. I love the artwork on this album cover!

  2. It is cooler than the music, though I enjoy that too.