Exposé Online banner

The Collectors — The Collectors
(Collectors' Choice CCM-499-2, 1968/2004, CD)

The Collectors — Grass and Wild Strawberries
(Collectors' Choice CCM-500-2, 1969/2004, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2005-09-01

The Collectors Cover artGrass and Wild Strawberries Cover art

The Collectors hailed from Vancouver, Canada, not exactly a hotbed of the worldwide psychedelic scene, which maybe helps explain why they didn’t make a bigger impact. Their two albums, though released on Warner Brothers, failed to score with the public at the time, and fell into obscurity. Their debut consisted of five normal-length songs on side one and a nineteen-minute suite on side two. The band’s sound is quite remarkable, combining psychedelic folk-rock with prominent flute and sax along with lots of classical shadings. The vocal arrangements are particularly elaborate, sometimes evidencing a hint of Gregorian chant. “Lydia Purple” was chosen by the label as the single, and was the only song to feature outside writers or players (on harpsichord and cello); it’s a decent effort with a passing resemblance to “Eleanor Rigby” and did well in Canada. The group’s own creations are quite sophisticated, and the closer “What Love (Suite)” is really amazing, being a completely composed whole, not padded with any instrumental jamming. I’m reminded of Procol Harum’s “In Held ‘Twas I” (which also dates from 1968) with some spoken parts, some big orchestral sections, and some “freakout” parts. Side one’s “One Act Play” foreshadowed the band’s next move, which was to provide music for a play by George Ryga called Grass and Wild Strawberries. Given the music’s genesis (the band actually played on stage for the inaugural run), it is perhaps less satisfying as an album, but the stylistic adventurousness remains, taking their elaborate vocals and complex structures and augmenting them with elements of blues, early country-rock, and some heavier rock parts. Unlike many soundtracks, there are some great individual tunes like “Things I Remember” and the very strange “Teletype Click” with speed-altered vocals and a killer riff. Other than some unreleased soundtrack work, that was it for what was possibly the most inventive Canadian band of the time. Most of the Collectors went on to form Chilliwack, a Canadian stalwart of the 70s that never had much impact outside their native country.


Filed under: Reissues, Issue 32, 2004 releases, 1968 recordings, 1969 recordings

Related artist(s): The Collectors

Latest news

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Ange - By the Sons of Mandrin & Par les Fils de Mandrin Live 77 – Banco and PFM did it, so why not Ange? The world of rock music has always been dominated by the English language, and many of the bands who sing primarily in another language have seen fit to record...  (2004) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues