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The Berets - The Mass For Peace (1969)


Writing these descriptions can sometimes be a drain on the brain. I mean there’s only so many ways you can describe the gazillion ‘70s folkrock groups that are out there no matter how good they are. I find myself longing for something unique, something coming from a totally different angle. Leave it to the aptly-named Avant Garde label to introduce the fresh sounds of this Italian group to my weary ears. Originally released in Italy in the native tongue, it was re-recorded in English for the American market. Call it fun, bouncy, ‘60s electric pop/psych - the kind of grooves you can imagine Patty Duke or Gidget dancing to. ‘Gradual’ sounds like perfect music for a Batman chase scene. All right, don’t wanna sound sacrilegious here - the lyrics are all very worshipful, sung with conviction (and strong Italian accents). High degree of electric twang plus psychy organ, fuzz guitar (some quite loud), harpsichord, and tasteful use of pop horns and strings. A few ballads tossed in; don’t worry - they comprise some of the best songs. Took a few listens to catch on - now I’m completely hooked. Is that George Bush doing the narration on the opening song? See also La Messa Dei Giovani. (Ken Scott - Archivist)

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