Back when I had my stint in college radio, I remember walking into the station one day and having a friend there rush up and put an album in my hands, saying “you gotta hear this!”.
This was the record.
I’ll let Wikipedia do the honors here.
Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era is a groundbreaking compilation album of American psychedelic and garage rocksingles released in the mid-to-late 1960s. It was assembled by Lenny Kaye, later lead guitarist for the Patti Smith Group, under the supervision of Jac Holzman, founder of Elektra Records. Kaye initially conceived the project as series of approximately eight individual LP installments, each focusing on US geographical regions, but Elektra convinced him that one 2-disc LP would be a more commercially viable format. The resulting double album was released on LP by Elektra in 1972 with liner notes by Kaye that contained one of the first uses of the term “punk rock“. It was reissued with a new cover design by Sire Records in 1976.
Lenny Kaye deserves a place in heaven. I don’t know how he managed to convince Elektra the world needed this record, or how he was able to get the rights to all the songs. (Good compilation albums are a bitch to put together because some rights holders can be greedy assholes.) But he did and, boy, am I grateful.
There are few rock albums I would consider essential, but if you love American sixties rock, you pretty much need to have Nuggets in your collection. If you don’t, well, I’ll use this week to give you a sampler. We’ll start with the opener, The Electric Prunes “I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)” — and if those aren’t a quintessential garage band name and song title, I don’t know what is.
What the Prunes lacked in charisma, they made up for in fuzz tone. Rock on, peeps.