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Unknown Mystery 60's Group

  I remember the sixties like a tranquility of incredulity. It was a time of revelation and mellifluousness unlike anything that has transpired subsequently. My proprieties were fashioned by consuming vast quantities of harmony and elevation, never ruminating that it could conclude. But these days’ looking back seems to be my only tonic for overcoming the infertility of today. Discovering bands like the Unknowns has become a way for me to validate the present by illuminating the past. What started out as a happenstance at a flea market in Philadelphia has elongated into a promise of legitimacy encapsulated as yet another reel-to-reel tape that auspiciously appeared on the desk of this Octopus luminary with yet another cryptic message… “Love Songs”. The post-mark on the package imbibed origins of southern Spain but the sounds within chorused the haunting echo of lives and loves once lived and lost. It ws Sartre that said “I confused things with their names: that is belief.” Perhaps that is a colloquialism that amalgamates what was most important about the Sixties, not an unavoidable jiffy but rather a state of being and becoming. Sometimes you just recognize, despite all divergent substantiations, from whence things came.
So I give you once again “The Unknown Mystery 60’s Group – Love Songs.”

Best Wishes,

David Plum, Octopus Recordings

FAN REVIEWS email us your review
  Wow! It's the 60's and the Beatles all over again! If you like the Beatles or 60's rock and roll you will love this album.
  you've changed- An excellent tune. Take some disarmingly simple lyrics from a jilted lover, a Dylanesque vocal (early Dylan, when you could still understand him), and jangly 60's pop guitar straight out of your favorit Monkees track. Bought the whole album and I just want to rec every song!
  I just love this 60s retro sound, done with such love and attention to detail - this could have been XTC doing Dukes Of The Stratosphere the early beat years. Great stuff - get it!!!!!
  I got your package, and I've been listening to it at work. It makes me dreamy and nostalgic for a time I wasn't alive.
    Lavinia - NY, NY
  I couldn't stop laughing as I read through the various notes and bio's. Very impressive site and nice linkage through the check-out process. I'll try and spread the word.
    Matt - Woodlands, TX
  What a wonderful LP. And I would love to have copies of all. Again, good work.
    Doug - St. Louis, MO
  The website is awesome beyond belief.
    SuperBrim - NY, NY

I 'discovered' UM60G a while back, while looking for another record... I was intrigued by the back sleeve story, and as I love 60's era music (despite being born 20 years later!), I thought I could give it a try, and bought it. And instantly loved it. I gave my friends a listen too, and they loved it, alas, the internet crazyness was only at a start in France, and the only way to get the record was to order it from a shop, and it appeared none could get it at that time (or so they said), not even the one I got it from.

A few years back, I found out a Volume II was out, I bought it the next second.

I've recently ripped some CDs as I tend to listen to music from my computer more than from my hi-fi these days, and rediscovered both volume. I did a quick research on Google, only to find out that a third record had just been released. A happy coincidence, I must say! :)

    Morgan - Lyon Rhone-Alpes France
  Forgive me for my lack of knowledge of English
    Teppei - Tokyo, Japan
  2007 release and third installment from this 'unknown discovery from the 60's'! File under Garage, Psych and Freakbeat. When the first of these was released, this was the story: If it is to be believed (and we don`t quite buy it but think it`s a great angle and fun, nonetheless!), a reel to reel tape of these guys was discovered and purchased at an outdoor flea market in Philadelphia, November 1997. Nothing was known about the group or the songs on the tape, hence the title of the CD on it`s release the same year by Distortion - "Unknown Mystery 60`s Group". Here, we have a cross between Buffalo Springfield, The Zombies and The Beatles(in fact, a few songs have downright a David Grahame-esque spirit)--snippets of Arthur Lee in the vocals, Beatle strums and tambourine, more Buffalo Springfield sounds, the anglophilia of Big Star or the better Box Tops records. It is 1966 all over again. Acoustic-electric psych pop with quirky songwriting and tight harmonies.
    NotLame Recording Company
  ...like its predecessor, is full of stellar Beatles ("Rubber Soul"/"Revolver"-era), soft-psych, Big Star, early solo Todd Rundgren, Beau Brummels, very, very British, 60's-inspired pop! It's all brimming with jangly, ringing guitars and innocent harmonies! The lead vocals have a John Lennon-like quality! Will their true identity ever be revealed (our lips are sealed, guys)? Have they truly out-done themselves this time? Will someone ever offer enough for a reunion? A tour? A tell-all autobiography? Will there be a "Volume IV"? Who cares! Just lie back and enjoy the latest installment of this truly entertaining trip! Can't say enough about this one! GREAT!!
    Kool Kat Music
  Yesterday's Reviews Today: Unknown Mystery 60's Group

Home recording and the ease of indie releases have made for the ready sharing of our own private yesterdays. Some yesterdays are better left forgotten, but when shared with passion and craft, there's no need to get hung up on the degree of retro-authenticity of the lo-fi recording, any anachronisms that sneak into the retro-themed lyrics, and the stitching on the band members' Beatle boots. It was through this combination of passion and craft that the Unknown Mystery 60's Group was able to pull the wool over the eyes of garage-collector sheep with their first release, which was successfully launched as having been culled from an unknown, mysterious tape at found at an outdoor flea market. With the newly released Volume III, the band's anonymous archivist in Spain has unearthed more recordings by these mysterious lads that sound richer, in parts, than their first two sets of recordings.

The sound of the latest from Unknown Mystery 60's Group is as homemade and quaint as ever, but there's more room for the songs to breathe and the imagination to wander. This is especially evident on gentle songs like "Butterfly" and "Having You Here With Me", which are fleshed out by light touches of synthesized orchestration (shades of Dave Gregory's underrated work with XTC) and detailed harmonies.

Accusatory "[Insert mid-60s "The" Group] Do Dylan"-like rockers continue to be a staple of the band's output. My favorite is "You've Changed", which hints at Moby Grape's "Omaha" if that San Francisco band spent less time worrying about giving us the finger and more time on their songcraft. Beatles' movie-era-styled numbers also reign, the most "photogenic" of which is "Three Hurtful Things".

As you hum and toe tap along with this CD, you'll not need to break down the meter of the lyrics or plum literary depths for hidden meanings. The Unknown Mystery 60's Group sing about stuff they know in a straightforward, sometimes humorous manner. For private memories, it's hard to be much more inviting.

Ed King