The Twilights – Blue Roundabout (1968)

As an aficionado of Beatlesque pop psych, “Blue Roundabout” is a true gem. Like The Easybeats and The Bee Gees, The Twilights were one of Australia’s answers to the Beatles, putting out only one album, 1968’s Once Upon A Twilight… (a really great, great record.)

The band tried to make it in Swingin’ London, but headed back to Australia in short order and broke up around 1969. Some cool Wikipedia facts:

One major achievement was the opportunity to play a week’s residency at Liverpool’s legendary Cavern club to an enthusiastic response. Thanks to their contract with EMI, the band also had the chance to record at the Abbey Road Studios, teaming with renowned producer-engineer Norman “Hurricane” Smith, who had been the engineer on almost all The Beatles 1962–1966 recordings and who went on to produce Pink Floyd‘s debut album (The Piper at the Gates of Dawn) and The Pretty Things classic psychedelic concept album S.F. Sorrow. The Beatles themselves were at that time recording their classic single “Penny Lane” and The Twilights were invited to sit in and observe their sessions.

The beginning of “Blue Roundabout” has some beautiful, natural distortion guitar chords against that Ringo ‘falling-down-the-stairs’ drum technique that became so big post-Beatles, before dropping into the main groove which features a driving, Macca-like, bass pedal bass-line. There’s an Eastern flair to the verses’ melody line. Piano accents come in mid-verse, and nice pop harmonies elevate the chorus. The song features a 3/4 time bridge section with a nursery rhyme melody, which contrasts with the 4/4 verses, conjuring the seminal influence of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” with its 3/4 time verses and 4/4 time choruses. And the tone of that brief, post-bridge guitar solo is just fabulous.

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