The sole LP of a Caifornian artist, released in Holland, has an impressive opening with the totally Barrett-with-strings "A Real Fine Time". A rather rich production - the basic rock instruments with something like a strings ensemble - often creating an amazing wall-of-sound, contrasting with the unusual melodic lines that Tingley uses in several tracks. This is rather different from the use of strings in other psychedelic records, like in "Forever Changes" and closer to Phil Spector's way. Sometimes flutes, layered vocals, tablas and acoustic guitars are used to give the desired psychedelic (or folky in a few cases) sound. I wouldn't know if the producer (Tony Vos - also jazz saxophonist, DJ in famous Radio Veronica) or Mike Tingley himself had studied the Beatles' arrangements in Rubber Soul or Sgt.Pepper that was released a little earlier, but this album is standing between the psychedelic era of the Byrds, Syd Barrett and Sgt. Pepper. There are a few songs that sound too mellow today and they could never be called psychedelic but rather teenage pop, like "Begin the Sun" or "Crossroads", but this was more or less usual at that time (don't forget that it was released on Decca) Another unusual point is the lyrics: we're listening not just the broken heart stories or the peace-and-love messages that we'd expect, but also political songs, like the marvelous title track (which I feel is a case that the strings are a bit over-used and didn't helped the song much). Also surprising is that this brilliant record remains undiscovered until today, never reissued or even posted in blogland.
Review by Mr. Mike Tingley (from Rateyourmusic): I have been asked to write a few lines for this LP. But where do I start? I think I am just now realising what has taken place. I will start by thanking to everyone who was involved in the making of this record And there are so many that added so much to it. My producer, Tony Vos, whose guidance and supervision I couldn't have done without. My recording technician, Gerard Beckers, whose skill in a control room was consistently outstanding. The drummer, Cees Kranenburg and the bass player, Jan Hollesteller, who both demonstrated the only thing that only a good musician can...talent and plenty of it. And speaking of musicians, I really owe a special debt gratitude to Bert Paige, who did all the orchestra arrangements and to all the studio musicians participated in this LP. There is only one word to describe their contribution to this music...beautiful. There are so many other people directly or indirectly involved, that i could never write them at down on this jacket. But my heart felt thanks go out to each one of them just the same. I was also asked to explain each of my songs. I thought a lot about it and decided that it wesn't fair, in a way, to you the listener. Although, when i wrote each song I had a definite idea in my mind, these wear only my impressions. I feel that if i were to explain each song to you, it wouldn't give you an honest chance to develop your own impressions. And this is what i think is one of the most important parts of any music: the capacity to be interpreted differently, depending on who the listener is. I would like to end by thanking you, the listener, for giving me this opportunity to express the many emotions and thoughts that are contained in each and every groove of this LP.
Born in Anaheim, CA, Mike Tingley recorded this rare LP in Holland. He also recorded several 45s on Philips, including Twenty-Four Floors/You and Me, and Souls of Sanctity/Like A Man on the Canadian label Tulip.
This is personal, ambitious, often innovative and totally sixties music and now you have the chance to discover it.