Wednesday, June 23, 2021

VA - A Glass Onion, The Beatles Psychedelic Songbook 1966-72 [2020]



VA - A Glass Onion, The Beatles Psychedelic Songbook 1966-72 [2020]

Looking Through A Glass Onion assembles these disparate strands into one cohesive package, with the studio day trippers, the cultural pranksters, the genre-benders, the folk club stalwarts and the hair-down-to-his-knees prog-rock brigade all grooving up slowly to the starting line. Though largely forgotten now, Liverpool quartet The Beatles were the toppermost of the poppermost in the Sixties, responsible for some of the biggest-selling singles of all time and a series of ground-breaking albums that dictated musical trends until their next LP emerged. With those albums containing numerous potential hit singles, it was inevitable that producers and groups would wait impatiently for the latest Beatles LP to land in order to rush into the studio and clone a track with the aim of scoring a cheap hit single. That process continued unabated for the rest of the band's career, but the results became more interesting with the arrival of the psychedelic and progressive era, when rock started to take itself more seriously and a more self-respecting, artistic approach was called for. Suddenly the cheap imitations were joined by more adventurous interpretations of Beatles material, including some startling re-imaginings of songs that dated back to the salad days of the Lennon/McCartney writing partnership. The result is the proverbial Magical Mystery Tour, a Fab Four parallel universe, a Looking-Glass world in which 'Strawberry Fields Forever' can be an Elizabethan garden party madrigal or a churning slice of Fudged-up sludge, where a spaced-out Duffy Power takes the lyrics of 'Fixing A Hole' perhaps a little too literally, 'Penny Lane' becomes avant-garde easy listening, the likes of Nick Lowe, Alex Harvey and Ritchie Blackmore try out early identities, and the Walrus was Lol. Containing nearly four hours of music and a 40-page booklet, Looking Through A Glass Onion features 68 tracks from various UK acts, with tons of memorabilia and rare photos as well as the usual verbose smartarse annotation shamelessly passed off as informed musical commentary. A splendid time is guaranteed for all. Well, almost all.

I used to be really snooty about Beatles cover versions when I was first getting into them but now I embrace them, and this is an excellent compilation. There are some fantastic interpretations of the Beatles psychedelic stuff. Some really good prog rock/hard rock covers, curiosities, light hearted stuff and everything in between. Including the amazing version of “in my life” by the wonderful Kippington Lodge. (Amazon)



Track lists


01 Camel Mystery Tour 5:26

02 Deep Purple Help 6:00

03 Yes Every Little Thing 5:44

04 Affinity I Am The Walrus 4:04

05 Rainbow Ffolly Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds 3:10

06 Hollies If I Needed Someone 2:20

07 Mirage Tomorrow Never Knows 2:36

08 Kippington Lodge In My Life 3:21

09 Eyes Of Blue Yesterday 4:27

10 Sounds Nice Flying 3:55

11 Design Strawberry Fields Forever 2:28

12 Episode Six Here There And Everywhere 2:11

13 Cliff Bennett And The Rebel Rousers Got To Get You Into My Life 2:32

14 Hair Rave-Up Birthday 2:31

15 Blonde On Blonde Eleanor Rigby 3:16

16 Atlantic Bridge Dear Prudence 7:56

17 Jawbone Across The Universe 3:48

18 Duffy Power Fixing A Hole 2:31

19 Trucial States Oh Darling 3:42

20 Tremeloes Good Day Sunshine 1:58

21 Infinity Taxman 3:00

22 Orange Bicycle You Never Give Me Your Money - Carry That Weight 2:36


01 Spooky Tooth I Am The Walrus 6:26

02 Plastic Penny Strawberry Fields Forever 4:23

03 Rainbow Ffolly The Continuing Story Of Bungalow 3:26

04 Big Jim Sullivan Within You Without You 3:12

05 Gods Hey Bulldog 3:16

06 Freedom Cry Baby Cry 3:43

07 Don Fardon Day Tripper 2:54

08 Frugal Sound Norwegian Wood 1:57

09 Penny Arcade The Two Of Us 3:10

10 Andy Ellison You Cant Do That 2:48

11 Grand Union She Said She Said 3:05

12 Davey Graham And Holly Mother Natures Son 1:57

13 Cliff Bennett And His Band Back In The USSR 2:40

14 Young Idea With A Little Help From My Friends 2:33

15 Shadows Paperback Writer 3:07

16 Phillip Goodhand One And One Is Two 2:06

17 Majority A Hard Days Night 3:34

18 Trucial States Birthday 2:13

19 Linda Peters Get Back 2:03

20 Bo Street Runners Drive My Car 2:28

21 Good Ship Lollipop Maxwells Silver Hammer 3:20

22 Stone The Crows The Fool On The Hill 4:05

23 Young Blood I Will 1:52

24 Hi-Fi s Yellow Submarine 2:30

25 Tomcats Yesterday 2:06

26 Lol Coxhill I Am The Walrus 3:53


01 Jason Crest Come Together 3:04

02 Tomorrow Strawberry Fields Forever 3:59

03 Circus Norwegian Wood 7:18

04 Big Jim Sullivan Shes Leaving Home 2:37

05 Deep Purple Exposition-We Can Work It Out 7:07

06 Affinity A Day In The Life 6:05

07 Andy Ellison Help 2:29

08 Score Please Please Me 2:43

09 Loose Ends Taxman 2:29

10 Eyes Good Day Sunshine 2:03

11 Wilson Malone Voiceband Penny Lane 2:26

12 Young Blood The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill 3:33

13 Real McCoy I Will 1:39

14 Spectrum Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da 3:06

15 Brian Bennett Rocky Raccoon 2:45

16 Ice Day Tripper 2:05

17 Sorrows We Can Work It Out 4:20

18 Octopus I Am The Walrus 5:03

19 Hardin And York Northern Medley 10:15

20 Vera Lynn Good Night 3:19




  1. Hi BB,
    Thanks for this Beatles cover versions comp!!! It's a really good comp to listen to over and over!

    1. Thanks Il Commendatore,
      The Beatles always had great songs. They could be turned into jazz, folk and indie styled rock and still retain the original flavour. Some really great interpretations here.


  2. BB usually i am left thinking "No one can sing the Beatles like the Beatles" but this version of In My Life stops me in my tracks.

    1. Hi lemonflag.
      I love Beatle songs that have reinterpreted. Thanks for the June Tabor - In My Life clip. Its a great version. It highlights the power of the Beatles songwriting.


  3. thanks BB, I was reading that Eleanor Rigby is the most covered Beatle song - I would have guessed Yesterday

    1. Hi Suzanne,
      Elenor rigby is right up there. Here is a list I have. Yesterday is on top.

      1)Yesterday (1965 - Lennon-McCartney) (282)
      2)Hey jude (1968 - Lennon-McCartney) (197)
      3)Eleanor Rigby (1966 - Lennon-McCartney) (195)
      4)Michelle (1965 - Lennon-McCartney) (193)
      5)Let it be (1970 - Lennon-McCartney) (171)
      6)A hard day's night (1964 - Lennon-McCartney) (169)
      7)I want to hold your hand (1963 - Lennon-McCartney) (144)
      8)Something (1969 - Harrison) (135)
      9)She loves you (1963 - Lennon-McCartney) (135)
      10)And I love her (1964 - Lennon-McCartney) (128)


    2. thanks, I like to be proven correct

  4. As always, thanks for what you do. Such a great blog, so glad you found a way to bring it back. This set looks very cool. One of the lesser-loved Beatles tunes that I've always cherished is "Good Night." Most find it overdone, too schmaltzy, but I think it's beautiful. Really like this Vera Lynn version.

    1. Hi Chance,
      Thank you.
      I loved the white album when it first came out. I had a pre-order copy of the white album and excitedly played it to death. I wish I had kept it in good condition. I was one of those people who enjoyed every track.
      Beatle covers are always interesting to me.


  5. somehow I had a copy of this with less songs than this...!?
    glad I had a look at your offer.
    thanks BB

    1. Hi D,
      There is a sampler version , still quite a few tracks, but this is the better one.
      Glad you stopped by to look.


  6. Grapefruit & Butterboy; perfect together.

    Although (hint hint) I tend to think BB's own hand-curated treasury of Beatles covers would give the reissue-meisters over at Cherry Red a neck-and-neck photo finish. I'd add a Stones cover compilation to my wishful thinking except too many damn people have already covered "Paint It Black", with "Jumpin' Jack Flash" a close second.

    But an wide-ranging omnibus of Dylan that piques the interest.

    1. Hi S D Joe.
      Thanks for your kind remarks.
      I think the Grapefruit set is great and they have done a great job too.
      I have a compilation of Rolling Stones covers waiting for the light of day... Also a comp of Bands that sound like the stones. Paint it black is a great song .... Who knows. There are so many opportunities.


  7. Replies
    1. New link established , tested and working.


  8. What a wonderful album !......many thanks for sharing this Butterboy.....Love & Peace ....Stu

    1. Hi Stu,
      I really enjoy cover versions of songs. The Beatle songs here all sound great.
      Glad you like it.