Fuzz Acid & Flowers:
Hailing from Houston this was one of Texas' premier psychedelic bands. Their first 45 topped the Texan chart for five weeks and was selected for national distribution by Wand. It was not a national hit and nor were any of their subsequent efforts but all are now sought-after collectors' items. The album was also full of excellent psychedelic rockcuts like Flashback, Scoun da Be, You Make Me Shake and Pluto-Sept 31st. With Gibbons' Hendrix-like guitar work and freaky lyrics some of these are very trippy indeed. Others like Eclipse and Reclipse on the end of Side 2 were very experimental. The album remains rare although there were pirate repressings a few years back. The Eva compilation included all the album, the Moxie EP and their cover of The Beatles' I Want To Hold Your Hand. It does have a disadvantage though of poor sound quality.
The band lasted until 1970 when Moore and later Summers were drafted. Lanier Greig came in from Neal Ford and The Fanatics to fill the keyboard slot but by the end of 1970 the three remaining members had become the first ZZ Top line-up - Gibbons and Mitchell having enrolled at the University of Texas to avoid the draft. Gibbons' earlier bands had been Billy and The Ten Blue Flames, The Saints and The Coachmen.
2. Scoun da Be
3. You Make Me Shake
4. You Don't Know the Life
5. Pluto-Sept. 31st.
6. No Good to Cry
7. Crimson Witch
8. Joe Blues
BILL GIBBONS gtr, vcls TOM MOORE organ, piano DON SUMMERS bs DAN MITCHELL drms
The sole album by the Moving Sidewalks is as fascinating as it is unremarkable. As the birthing ground for legendary blues-rock guitarist Billy Gibbons, one would expect at least a taste of what would later make ZZ Top one of the best touring and recording bands on the planet; sadly, the album offers little in the way of revelation in its 15 tracks. Admittedly, at the time of ZZ Top's 1970 debut, Gibbons' transformation from a journeyman bandleader into a boogie-blues demigod was still not fully realized, but his chops were miles away from what is heard here. Part of that lies in the fact that ZZ Top was less about psychedelia than straight blues; whatever psychedelic touches made their way onto the studio albums were largely an accessory. (They would eventually fully integrate on 1979's Deguello.) The Moving Sidewalks, on the other hand, were psychedelic rockers whose songs hinted at the blues without fully diving in. The songs show little of Gibbons' future promise, and in fact are so thoroughly mediocre (both in writing and playing) that it's amazing to think he was only a few years away from international success. "Pluto-Sept. 31st" shows a clear Hendrix influence (the two guitarists openly admired each other), and as a bonus, Akarma's reissue includes five bonus singles that are some of the strongest material on the album, especially "Need Me," "I Want to Hold Your Hand," and the legendary single "99th Floor."
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