The tracks I’ve picked are mainly from artists that I feel deserve more credit for their contribution to a particular genre, or the influence they’ve had on the bigger or widely recognised bands we all know and love today. These are largely songs from artists lost in time that I love and appreciate myself, so if I’ve brought them to your attention for the first ever time, I think my job is complete.

#1: Ultimate Spinach – Mind Flowers

My first choice comes from Ultimate Spinach, a band which sadly falls among many of the psychedelic groups that got lost in the 1960s, never to be found again. The song I’ve chosen, which I feel represents them at their best, is ‘Mind Flowers‘, taken from the 1968 album ‘Behold & See‘. At a lengthy 9 minutes, this takes you on the ultimate psychedelic trip, managing to put the majority of today’s dream pop/shoegaze/psychedlic bands to shame. Sadly, Ultimate Spinach faded away from the spotlight, like so many others, thanks to more higher profile acts that emerged into the public eye, like The Doors and Jimi Hendrix, dominating the 60’s music scene in America.

#2: Terry Reid – Seed of Memory

It will always remain a mystery to me how unheard of Terry Reid is among music fans. Many only know the name from him being the original choice of lead singer for a band called The New Yardbirds, better known to you and I as Led Zeppelin. In addition to that, he performed at the very first official Glastonbury Festival in 1971, as well as the legendary Isle of Wight Festival in 1970, alongside Jimi Hendrix, The Who, The Doors, and many others. His music, particularly the song I’ve chosen, ‘Seed of Memory‘, is featured in the Rob Zombie film ‘The Devil’s Rejects,‘ which is how I first came to hear of him, and may also be the song he’s most widely recognised for. An artist I personally can’t fault, I hope one day he’s granted the amount of credit he deserves.

#3: Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band – Observatory Crest

I’m sure a lot of people have heard of Captain Beefheart, but the album ‘Bluejeans & Moonbeams‘ is often considered one of his weakest records. This song, however, ranks high in my list of favourites from Beefheart, but as the entire album failed to make the charts (despite its mainstream sound), ‘Observatory Crest’ really has slipped under the radar. Known for his obscure and innovative blues sound, this shows an entirely different side to his music with this gentle love song, in a more pop direction than most would assume.

#4: Red Hot Chili Peppers – The Brothers Cup

I couldn’t possibly write a list of underrated or unheard of songs without including some funk. Long before ‘Californication‘ and ‘By The Way‘, the Red Hot Chili Peppers put out the album ‘Freaky Styley’, produced by legendary funk master George Clinton and released in 1985. ‘The Brothers Cup‘ wasn’t released as a single, but in my opinion is the funkiest track on the album. It still surprises me that quite a lot of people don’t know about their even funkier origins, and what’s not to love about trumpets and killer bass lines?

#5: Roy Harper – Nineteen Forty-Eightish

Before the likes of Jake Bugg and Mumford & Sons, there was Roy Harper, a true folk legend who hasn’t gained much mainstream success throughout his extensive career. His name may be recognisable from his association with Led Zeppelin, in particular ‘Hats Off to Roy Harper‘, while Jimmy Page even features on the album ‘Whatever Happened to Jugula?‘, which undoubtedly gave Harper a much needed career boost but also marked a pivotal change in sound with the added electric guitar. It’s proven hard for me to choose just one song, but this track sets the tone for Harper’s secret folk masterpiece, the aforementioned concept album.

About The Author