Dec 16, 2008
THE PURPLE GANG (TRANSATLANTIC 1968) Remastered + 4 bonus
They adopted the name, The Purple Gang when they changed their image to the well-dressed, clean-cut "gangster" style in the sixties.
Although they were associated with the London psychedelic scene at the time of their near-brush with fame, they originated in Stockport in Cheshire, in north-west England, as a Jugband. In London, they engaged Joe Boyd as their producer, and shared a studio with Pink Floyd as they cut their first single, Granny takes a trip (named after the eponymous shop in the Kings Road). Floyd were making their own first single, Arnold Layne, at the time.
Unfortunately, the BBC spotted the word trip in the title and assumed it to be a reference to LSD. They banned the record from their airwaves. Also noticing that the band's lead singer at the time (Pete Walker) was nicknamed "Lucifer", they said that the group "would not be tolerated by any decent society". An LP, "The Purple Gang strikes" was released in 1968, but failed to sell.
A bit of the hippie acid-folk vibe seeps into one of the better and more mysterious cuts, "The Wizard," which actually does have a trilling electric guitar. A wee bit of British pop-psych bonhomie also colors "The Sheik," "Kiss Me Goodnight Sally Green," and their most famous track by far, "Granny Takes a Trip".
Pirate radio station DJ's such as John Peel praised the group, but without backing from the big record companies, fortune would elude them.Here