Forgotten series: Q65 – Nothing But Trouble: The Best of Q65 (1966-68)

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Were these guys the real deal or what? I just love the tough garage sound seeping from all of the tracks here. Q65 combined the best aspects of the Pretty Things and their main competitors the Outsiders, while by adding their own original inventiveness to the crunchy brew.

Q65, who like the Outsiders hailed from the Netherlands, were bad boys gone wild who forged an R&B/Beat sound that was undeniable — as heard here on “The Life I Live.” “Cry in the Night,” meanwhile, is one of the greatest garage tunes of the ’60s — and the perfect album opener. Q65’s very inventive, but faithful, cover of ‘Spoonful’ predicted the Rolling Stones’ Beggars Banquet sound by a full two years in ’66. “I Despise You” provides the necessary corrosive venom for any teenage boy’s pent-up angst in love gone wrong.

If you listen closely to “It Came To Me” and “From Above,” they could be seen as a proto AC/DC songs, within a garage rock context. It’s not that far off. The drug-referenced “80% 0” is a rare instrumental done in their usual tough style, albeit with some choice organ added for color. “I Got Nightmares” touches on the Pretty Things and Bo Diddley, while the Pretty Things ‘67-influenced “So High I’ve Been So Down I Must Fall: rocks out just a little harder than the Pretties.

“World of Birds,” “Sour Wine” and “Ann” are a couple of fine ballads which add the right amount of tension, grit, and drama to their arsenal. The raga-rock “Just Who’s In Sight,” with flute, is Q65’s answer to the oncoming psychedelia. 1966’s punk-psych rocker “Summer Thoughts in a Field of Weed” similarly predicts head culture by a few years. They go slide n’ harmonica unpluggd blues with “Middle Age Talk,” and include a couple of fine covers in “No Place To Go” and “I’m a Man” — showing this band’s hard-bitten R&B authenticity, with just the right amount of crunch. The set is rounded out by two rare post-Q65 psychedelic tunes by Circus (featuring 4/5ths of Q65), “Fairy Tales of Truth” and “Ridin’ on a Slow Train.”

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