A TRUNK RECORDS RELEASE. THIS IS NOT A REISSUE.
THIS IS THE FIRST TIME THIS SOUNDTRACK HAS EVER BEEN HEARD. CD AND VERY LIMITED VINYL RELEASE.
Well this all started in an antique shoppe. In Hammersmith. I was helping out an antique dealer and a mate called John McCready called. He was and still possibly is a film music enthusiast. We talked about record crap, and then he mentioned this film, Psychomania. He asked if the music had ever been issued, and I said no. The next day on my record round I walked into Dean Street records. They asked me as I walked through the door if I wanted the music from "Psychomania" as the 7 inch had just come in. I paid the extortionate £6 and the rest in now part of my own history.
I traced John Cameron, and at the time was more interested in Psychomania than I was "Kes". But Psychomania ownership was all over the place, and it's taken about 4 years to sort out the rights. Then I saw Kes on the telly and a whole other thingy started. Bloody good job too.
Anyway, once I'd got the rights straightened out, away we went. The reels arrived and I got to work, trying to improve the sound quality as they had degraded a bit in storage. It was all recorded in a funny fashion too - at the Shepperton sound stage, a venue more suited to a large orchestra than a small group of jazz dudes. I juggled with the sound quite a lot, trying to get more bass and treble but it the end left it exactly how it came from the reels, so you at home can muck around with your bass and treble controls instead. I also had to rebuild the "Locked Room and Mirror Sequence", a true nightmare in terms of sound and delay. It works though and we have five minutes of hell and feedback all based on reversed vibes and guitar. Very nice.
So now, out on trunk and for the first time ever is the entire musical score. It's funky, weird, rocky and psychy all played and performed by the top British jazz and library artists of 1973. Imagine the Sweeney mixed with a bit of witchcraft and you'll get the musical picture. It's also got a sweet hippy funeral track right in the middle, which is nice. Could you really ask for more in a world so full of mediocrity?
But it's all really down to John McCready and that phone call, this whole sonic adventure. And since I found the single, lot's of people have been diggin hard for it. And paying loony sums for it too - anything from £50 to £250, which is madness. It is good though, and really the only British soundtrack like it. The album now produced has 32 tracks on it. That's nearly 50 minutes of obscure funk hell.
As for the film, well it stars Beryl Reid, George Sanders, Nicky Henson and Dot Cotton from Eastenders in the funeral scene. It was directed by Don Sharp, and I do believe that his son was that bloke who produced the first Massive Attack LPs. But I can't remember his name cos I'm crap like that. Tell me if you know or if I'm talking rubbish.
If you haven't ever seen Psychomania it's a unique British horror and is quite hilarious in terms of language and actual horror, but remains a classic all the same. The opening title with these Bikers from hell weaving in and out of a large stone circle has to be the most memorable you will see. Briefly it's the story of a gang of Bikers called the Living Dead. The gang leader (Henson) has a weird mother (our Beryl) who is immortal, as is her sinister butler (Sanders). Henson finds the secret of his mother immortality (this involves a frog), then tells his gang members how they can comeback alive and wreak havoc. They then all commit suicide. It really is funny. They all get turned into stone at the end. There are some great scenes and some superb furniture along the way. Only the British could make such a daft movie.
It's worth me pointing out two further facts before I hand over to John Cameron - the artwork used comes form the original UK quad poster which I found in Ireland. And this is the second LP from trunk to have a frog croaking on it, the first being The Wicker Man.
This is what John Cameron has to say: RECOLLECTIONS of PSYCHOMANIA 1972
If KES was the best film I ever wrote music for, PSYCHOMANIA was the most bizarre. Jazz and session musicians playing pre-punk 'trash-rock' for a tale of supernatural gore and mayhem, on a Shepperton recording stage more suited to the the LSO than a rock line-up, complete with 'suit-and-tie' recording engineer is one of my more unexpected memories. In a pre-synthesiser age every trick was used: Musser vibes through phase and wah-wah pedals, phased bowed bass, drumsticks inside a grand piano, electric harpsichord through a compressor, Hammond organ fed through a phase unit and Leslie speakers, and wordless solo voice. I know the flautist was Harold McNair, the vibes player/percussionist was Bill Le Sage, and the drummer was Tony Carr. I'm pretty sure the bassist was Spike Heatley , the bass guitarist was probably Herbie Flowers, and the guitarists were likely to have been Alan Parker and Colin Green. As far as the voice is concerned, it was almost certainly Norma Winstone who sang on my 'Marlowe Private Eye' recordings in 1980. Sorry my recollection is a little blurred, hell, it was the 1970's!
There are only 1,000 of the LP available. Buy your copy right now