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THE MISUNDERSTOOD – The lost acetates 1965-1966
(UT Records; 2004)

However sure you might’ve been that “Before the dream faded” on Cherry Red was the essence of The Misunderstood’s recorded output, this one is just as essential, up to the point that, from now on, no Misunderstood-related audio experience can be imagined without it!

“The only surviving acetates, carefully stored away by drummer Rick Moe” show the band’s development from their basic raw r’n’b roots back in Riverside, to their psychedelic-pioneers status that they achieved in London.

The CD comprises five recording sessions throughout ‘65-’66, the first three taking place at the local Locy Sound, resulting in the first, Brit-r’n’b-boom inspired, version of “She got me” (also given the proper buzz’n’fuzz garage-punk treatment by the end of the year) and, an unusual for the band, moody teen ballad “End of time”. Besides the mentioned re-working of “She got me”, the second session brought a rare, straight-forward sounding, but still GREAT, piece of beat-pop of “Don’t break me down”, as well as two Animals-inspired tracks (with the band name also coming from their take on “Please don’t let me be misunderstood”). “Why”, recalls the bass-lick of “We’ve gotta get out of this place” and the cover of “Bury my body”, outshines the Newcastle lads’ version.

After less than a month, The Misunderstood were back in Locy Sound, to record “Got love if you want it”, that doesn’t really match The Yardbirds’ own take from the tune’s beginning, but after a little less than a minute and a half, they burst into the first of the rave-ups, worthy of anything that the “five-live” had done, keeping the vibe through “Thunder ‘n lightnin’” too. The very first version of their classic “I unseen” comes from the same session, already featuring the famous 12-string riff, though a bit more laid back and still not “Beck-ed up” enough. After the lap-steel wiz-kid Glen Campbell replacing guitarist George Phelps, the John Peel-arranged Gold Star Studios sessions took place in August’66, resulting with their self-released single and what’s left unreleased is “Who’s been talkin’”, taken towards another dimension by what you’d call an already mature, self confident, r’n’b outfit. It’s after their relocation to London, that the FREAK started to creep heavily into the BEAT, as heard on their first UK session at IBC Sound in September’66, represented by 4 demos of later re-recorded tracks (My mind, Find the hidden door, Children of the sun, I unseen-version 2) , already way ahead of their time, practically inventing the psych genre.

It’s important to point out that you should not be taken aback by the fact that these recordings are from the acetates, because the research/mastering team of Mike Stax and Alec Palao makes it look and sound better than many of the “taken from the master tapes” ones. Also, considering the lengthy Ugly Things mag feature on the band, the label couldn’t have picked a better choice for it’s debut release.

---Goran Obradovic / POPISM radio show; Serbia & Montenegro

The Misunderstood
The Misunderstood story from Before the Dream Faded album
The quirky Misunderstood book
The Misunderstood Script "I Unseen"
The Misunderstood Novel-in-progress, "I Unseen"
The Misunderstood on MySpace
The Misunderstood in Wikipedia