Song Of A Gypsy is one of those albums which you often see brought up time and time again when people talk about missing gems from the psychedelic era. Created out of a chance collaboration, primarily, by Damon Del Conte and Charlie Carey, it's an album normally more famous for its stories about rare appearances on eBay, rather than the quality of the music itself. That has normally been the case because the quality of the tracks which were out there left a little to be desired, at the very least. On this new reissue, it's apparent a lot of care has gone into maintaining the feel of the original sound, and it's definitely worth your time to get on board with a piece of psychedelic history.

Crafted towards the the end of the 60s, it certainly shows in the composition. This isn't wispy, rambling nonsense, and you may be surprised by the sheer amount of coherence on offer. The longest track is around the three-and-a-half minute mark, which, given the nature of the music, never makes the tracks feel like they are gushing on for too long, and also never makes them feel unnecessarily short. It's got this weird juxtaposition of housing within such short songs such free-flowing hallmarks of the genre. It's impressive.

It's clear to see why the album has lasted in the relative mainstream for so long - it's one of those albums which defines a particular moment in time, albeit a very niche one. Psychedelic rock is one of those genres which manages to maintain a lot of constants throughout its life, and picking this up today, you could be easily led to believe that this is a contemporary album. The eponymous album opener is a little bit misleading in that it seems like it's tacking on from the psychedelic edge of the Beatles, which would be very wrong to take away.

'Poor Poor Genie' remedies this misconception very quickly, and sets you up for the rest of the record very well. One of the more noticeable parts of this record has always been the percussion, and luckily on the remaster they are brilliantly worked on. The set feels alive, in a way it has never done before, and brings it on par with the guitar's incredible energy and rhythm. There are tracks here which will possibly not sit well with those who are more casual listeners, such as 'Did You Ever', with its overly repetitive chorus and hypnotic singing - it's probably going to be the point a lot of people get off the train. For those who stay, you're in for a treat.

In terms of the remastering itself, I've already mentioned the improvement with the percussion, that's a definite. However, there is a really prominent issue with the sound levels not quite mixing over between songs all too well, and very odd fluctuations between songs, coupled with some odd stereo arrangement too. Perhaps this is just something which has happened in the conversion of the originals, but it's something which crops up a fair amount. 'Did You Ever' has a weird moment at about the 2.46 mark. You know, if this wasn't a reissue, I wouldn't be commenting on this at all, probably. That's mainly because this is a great album, and on the whole I'd say the record benefits from the remastering... but, it's just a tad bizarre.

Yeah, so I guess you should go out and listen to this record, see what the fuss was all about. You'll have some fun with it, definitely, but I would say that if psychedelia isn't your thing, this probably won't go any way to changing that, sadly. However, Damon the Gypsy (as he's now known) is a gentleman who deserves your attention. Because fuck you, he's a guy who has gone back and revisited an album so a whole new generation can hear it again. And a big ol' fuck to me for lowering the score because of the occasional poor production; they had to pitch and speed correct this mother so it could be released again, so I think it's probably acceptable all in all. I wouldn't even know how the fuck that would be done without destroying everything valuable in the sound.

In conclusion: just listen to this record, and feel good about the fact that someone spent a lot of time wanting this to be released again for us all to hear.