• Although vintage British psychedelia is viewed by many these days as an Alice In Wonderland-style enchanted garden full of beatific flower children innocently gathering flowers or chasing butterflies, there was always a more visceral element to the scene. Pointedly free of such fripperies as scarlet tunic-wearing gnomes, phenomenal cats and talismanic bicycles, the power trio format that was popularised by the likes of Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience spawned a host of imitators. As the Sixties drew to a close and pop evolved slowly but inexorably into rock, psychedelia gave way to a sound that was harder, leaner, heavier, louder.
• Across three discs and four hours of music, I’m A Freak, Baby: A Journey Through The British Heavy Psych And Hard Rock Underground Scene 1968-72 investigates that largely under-documented period, incorporating everything from some of the biggest names in the burgeoning hard rock/proto-metal firmament (Deep Purple, Uriah Heep) all the way down to a significant number of provincial semi-pro bands who gigged extensively but were unable to land a recording contract during their lifetime.
• We feature some of British rock’s pioneering acts (The Yardbirds, The Move), a handful of bands who travelled far beyond their blues boom roots (Fleetwood Mac, Chicken Shack, The Groundhogs), the infamous Ladbroke Grove scene (The Deviants, The Pink Fairies, Hawkwind, The Edgar Broughton Band), a smattering of inspired, where-the-hell-did-that-come-from one-shots like The Velvet Frogs and the mighty Egor, and a clutch of previously-unreleased recordings (The Kult, Hellmet, The Phoenix) that have even eluded the specialist reissue companies and bootleggers…
• Housed in a clambox featuring a lavishly illustrated and annotated 36-page booklet, I’m A Freak, Baby is the most comprehensive and wide-ranging anthology to appear thus far of an underground scene that, in addition to being responsible for some magnificent music, also acted as a signpost to the subsequent emergence of British punk and heavy metal.