Purple Wine

Side 1: It’s My Mind
Side 2: I’m Lonely, Friends

Sponsored by The Mental Health Council
No catalogue number, Matrix Number: MHC 1

Released: 1971

Here’s what Dominic Reynolds wrote about this record in SFA27.

This EP is a super obscure unknown UK Psych item (overlooked by ‘Record Collector’, ‘Tapestry of Delights’, etc), which was actually issued by the Mental Health Council! Most unsold copies were later removed from the offices of the MHC and destroyed. A few have survived in the collections of band members, their friends and family.

The EP, comprising three tracks: ‘It’s My Mind’, ‘I’m Lonely’ and ‘Friends’, was issued in a specially designed thin white card sleeve, bearing the band name and song titles, together with an illustration (in purple ink) of a wine glass.

It was produced by Bob Hopton, recording engineer Roger Guest (or “Buest” as his name is misprinted on the sleeve!), and the Mental Health Council paid all costs, with a view to re-couping their outgoings and moving well into profit when the EP moved into the Top 10! Oh, those poor misguided bureaucrats…

All three songs stick close to the Mental Health Council’s brief, for which Bill Kirk was responsible, the theme of the tracks being mental illness -alienation, angst, insanity, and horror all loom large.

‘It’s My Mind’ is stunning. Meandering psychedelia with a touch of Hendrix, distortion-treated lead vocal and a spookily-echoed backing vocal whispering the song title over and over, “It’s My Mind…It’s My Mind…It’s My Mind…” . Although it is closer to prog-psych or Acid Rock than to pop syke or psych pop, it is not inaccessible. It does maintain a pop sensibility. The guitar sound reminds me of Human Beast, the harmonies of Czar, and the weird keyboard runs of The Floyd (circa 1968/69). Nice.

Track two, ‘I’m Lonely’, is a poignant, melodic acoustic ballad which builds up slowly, adding shimmering washes of cymbal and low-key Hammond organ and electric guitar; and lyrically veers into weirdo territory (“I didn’t ask to be born this way”). A plea for understanding and compassion. It is pretty damned good, but to a psych-gimmicks-fixated freak it may seem pretty pedestrian – just another hippie/prog ballad.

Purple Wine were unable to maintain the high standard over three tracks, and alas, the closer, ‘Friends’ (a rocking fuzz popper) is nothing very special.

As a whole, these three tracks almost amount to a mini-opera on the theme of mental derangement.

A copy of the EP was sold recently on eBay for a ridiculously low price (due only to its unknown nature). Bearing in mind the present mention in SFA, the scarcity of the release and the brilliance of the A-side, a three-figure sum would seem to be a far more realistic value for what is one of the only known example of a psychedelic charity record!

Dave Moore – guitar/vocals
Bob Tansley – organ/vocals
Brian Cox – drums

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Tracks played on Psychedelicized…

    From 1971 EP
    Purple Wine

  • It’s My Mind