Wednesday, May 19, 2021

VA - Let The Electric Children Play, The Underground Story Of Transatlantic Records 1968-1976 [2017] (3 x CD's)


VA -  Let The Electric Children Play, The Underground Story Of Transatlantic Records 1968-1976 [2017] (3 x CD's)

This 3 x CD set from the UK tells the story of the so-called "underground" era of one of Britain's great independent record labels of the 1960's and 1970's, Transatlantic Records. 

In the heady atmosphere of the late 1960's, the sea change in British popular music spearheaded by the Beatles experimentation on the Sergeant Pepper album and swiftly followed by the likes of Cream, Pink Floyd, Traffic, Family, Procol Harum, Jethro Tull and a host of groups and musicians who followed in their footsteps led to the album being seen as the medium in which "serious" musicians would explore and develop their craft. The apparently disparate genres of blues, jazz, rock, folk and even world music were fused together by many diverse acts all of whom were eager to be regarded as progressive in their musical approach. The so-called "underground" audience eagerly consumed this music, which sat alongside the social changes that were also taking place. In the UK, the major labels established imprints such as Harvest, Vertigo and Deram to market music to this audience, inspired by the vision of independent labels such as Island Records. Another, smaller British independent label also swiftly tapped in to this new musical movement, Transatlantic Records. This proudly independent imprint, founded in 1961 by Nat Joseph, looked beyond it's initial folk, jazz and blues output to sign a distinctly quirky and diverse roster of "underground" acts. Between 1968 and 1976 Transatlantic explored all aspects of the progressive and "underground" scenes; from the heavy groups such as The Deviants, Jody Grind, Little Free Rock and Stray, to the acts on the fringes of folk and rock such as Pentangle, Mr Fox, Alan Hull, The Humblebums, Gryphon and Carolanne Pegg, to jazz rockers such as Circus and Marsupilami. (Amazon)

You get here a good cross section and variety of a lot of well remembered outfits from the late 1960's through 1976 by UK outfits on the transatlantic label


1      2      3


Track lists


01 Alan Hull We Can Swing Together 3:30

02 Circus II B.S. 6:31

03 Sallyangie Midsummer Night's Happening 4:10

04 Pentangle Light Flight 3:16

05 Deviants Billy The Monster 3:27

06 Jody Grind Paint It Black 5:06

07 Circus Norwegian Wood 7:18

08 Alan Hull Obadiah's Grave 2:41

09 Gordon Giltrap Lucifer's Cage 3:42

10 Pentangle Once I Had A Sweetheart 4:37

11 Deviants Metamorphosis Explosion 8:54

12 Humblebums Saturday Roundabout Sunday [Si 3:09

13 Little Free Rock Makin' Time 10:28

14 Mick Farren Mona (A Fragment) 3:17

15 Jody Grind Plastic Shit 7:20


01 Stray All in Your Mind 9:24

02 Marsupilami Born to Be Free 5:46

03 Jody Grind We’ve Had It 5:07

04 Jan Dukes de Grey Mice and Rats in the Loft 8:21

05 Peter Bardens Homage to the God of Light 13:34

06 Peter Bardens; Stray Around the World in 80 Days 3:38

07 Mr. Fox Mendle 7:13

08 Marsupilami To the Arena (Prelude) 5:22

09 Unicorn Don’t Ever Give Up Trying 5:08

10 Pentangle Reflection 11:13

11 Skin Alley Skin Valley Serenade 3:44


01 Peter Bardens Tear Down the Wall 7:25

02 Stray Son of the Father 5:50

03 Gerry Rafferty Don’t Count Me Out 3:49

04 Skin Alley Nick’s Seven 5:01

05 Cmu Song From the 4th Era 2:21

06 Cmu A Distant Thought, a Point of 6:48

07 Decameron The Ungodly 4:09

08 Carolanne Pegg Fair Fortune’s Star 10:02

09 Stray Move It [Single Version] 3:22

10 Renia Shelter 4:48

11 Gryphon Opening Move 9:44

12 Decameron Journey’s End 4:42

13 Metro Criminal World 5:26




  1. That is one of the particularly appealing backgrounds of this blog, to show me that just besides groups like "Cream, Pink Floyd, Traffic..." many other bands existed, which must have escaped me at the time and which actually deserved the same attention. This is made possible for me to catch up extensively here, for this again many thanks - and of course for this exciting collection!

    1. Hi WOODY,
      There are always more to it than the major artists/acts. It still surprises me how many great bands can still be found.


  2. Thanks BB,
    After reading the introduction sure this is an awesome comp. I like all these progressive sounds!!!

    1. Hi Il Commendatore,
      It a good write up and is fairly accurate...


  3. Thanks Butterboy, love these comps

    1. Hi Masters 6672,
      That are good, aren't they.


  4. A technical question, Butter: what is the name of the font you've used on this collection's graphics? I first fell in love with its look when I picked up a copy of "This Is The Moody Blues" in the late seventies or early eighties, and would really be tickled to have it accessible for my own graphic use.

    Ah; found it: it's Arnold Böcklin ( ). Thank you for the incentive - and all your work; cheers!