The End – Cardboard Watch (1968)

Of the thousands and thousands of obscure ’60s psych songs I’ve listened to, The End’s “Cardboard Watch”, from the hidden gem psych album Introspection, is one of my favorites. From the Stairway To Heaven-like intro chords, to the Ringo-style ‘falling down the stairs’ drum parts, to the wonderful gentle harmonies of Colin Giffin & Nicky Graham, to especially the forefront placement of the Mellotron, I just love this song.

The End’s debut album was produced by the Rolling Stones’ Bill Wyman and mixed by Glyn Johns. From a bio of the band:

It was during this time that Bill Wyman suggested that The End concentrate their energies on recording material for an album aimed at the UK market that was so openly embracing Psychedelia following the success of The Beatles’ “Strawberry Field Forever” single and “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album.

While there’s better quality audio, and a better studio take, here, the video below, which has the band hamming it up on the streets of Madrid, is from the 1968 Spanish movie Los Chicos Con Las Chicas, and is more fun to watch:

Other excellent tracks from Introspection include:

  • Under The Rainbow: Pure psych bliss: organs, tablas, lots of dynamics.
  • Shades Of Orange: This song is arguably the album’s high point, and has found itself on various psych compilations. Amazing arrangement. Eastern vibe; Beatles piano, horns, and choppy guitars on the chorus; very Walrus-y.
  • Don’t Take Me: Soaring harmonies, a swinging drum beat, and psych guitars.
  • Loving, Sacred Loving: If Syd Barrett wrote a song on a harpsichord, it might sound something like this.
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