Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Val Stöecklein Grey Life Dot 1968
I haven't talked about the Blue Things, yet. And, I probably should prior to talking about this release. But, I just picked it up today in a trade and wanted to get it out there.
Val Stöecklein cut this record after leaving the Blue Things. It was supposed to be a smash, a sure thing. If you've heard the Blue Things, you'd understand why, Byrds-esque folk rock with that country tinge you can only find in Kansas and here's the guy from that band, the songwriter. Despite a booked tour and money behind this LP, Val refused to promote it. Needless to say, it flopped. Now, it is a record of debate; compared either to Skip Spence's cult favorite album, Oar or just another MOR folk album from the 60s.
Truthfully, I tend to fall towards the MOR folk. It's pleasant at times, but it's not drug riddled and strange like a Syd Barrett or the Skip Spence album. The second side does contain some haunting tracks that stand apart from the rest. It just doesn't hold together well and falls apart as an album. It seems as if Val was being pushed to move in directions he didn't want to go. Thus the reason he never wished to promote it--probably never felt like his.
Say It's Not Over