Kaleidoscope was an English pop-psych band that released two albums on Fontana: Tangerine Dream (1967) and Faintly Blowing (1969). In 1970, they issued From Home to Home on Vertigo as Fairfield Parlour. Their proposed fourth album (a double) was recorded in 1970/71 but vaulted until 1991, when it appeared as White Faced Lady.
Members: Peter Daltrey (vocals, keyboards), Eddie Pumer (guitar), Steve Clark (bass), Danny Bridgman (drums)
Kaleidoscope formed in late 1963 as The Sidekicks, a London R&B/beat group comprised of singer Peter Daltrey, guitarist Eddie Pumer, bassist Steve Clark, and drummer Danny Bridgman. Their initial set consisted of Rolling Stones, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and Mose Allison covers. In August 1964, they demoed four songs: “The House of the Rising Sun,” “Mona,” “High Heel Sneakers,” and the band original “Drivin’ Around.”
In February 1965, The Sidekicks played the Starlite Ballroom in Greenford as the opening act for Van Morrison‘s Them. On April 5, they opened for The Who at the Lakeside Club in Hendon, where Peter Daltrey lent his tambourine to Who frontman Roger Daltrey (no relation), who smashed it mid-performance. After an unsuccessful audition for Kinks producer Larry Page and a sequence of false starts, The Sidekicks renamed themselves The Key in November 1965.
During 1966, The Key developed a set of originals composed by Pumer (music) and Daltrey (lyrics). They demoed “You’re Not Mine,” “Holiday Maker,” and “Cold Sunday Morning 6:15,” but the tapes were confiscated when talks collapsed with the financier. After months without live work, they opened for The Mojos at Brunnel College that September. Their new stage act featured smoke bombs, blood capsules, and a poetry-reading girl. Late that year, their demo impressed music publisher Dick Leahy.
On January 2, 1967, the group signed to Fontana under a new name, Kaleidoscope, inspired by the burgeoning psychedelic movement.
1967: “Flight from Ashiya”, Tangerine Dream
Kaleidoscope debuted with “Flight from Ashiya,” a lumbering waltz with droning bass and ringing guitar tones. The title comes from a 1964 Yul Brynner movie about a US Air Rescue Service mission from the Ashiya Air Base in Japan. However, the lyrics concern the impending crash of a commercial plane: “visions of childhood rush past my eyes, in seat number 30 somebody cries.” The song appeared as a single in September 1967, backed with the uptempo, brassy “Holidaymaker.”
Both sides of the single appear on Kaleidoscope’s debut album, Tangerine Dream, released in November 1967 on Fontana. It features eleven Daltrey–Pumer originals, including “Dive Into Yesterday,” “Dear Nellie Goodrich,” “The Murder of Lewis Tollani,” “Please Excuse My Face,” “(Further Reflections) In the Room of Percussion,” and the band’s theme song.
Leahy produced Tangerine Dream between February and September of 1967. Clark plays flute in addition to bass. Daltrey and Pumer share keyboard duties.
Tangerine Dream sports a cover photo of Kaleidoscope in patterned psychedelic garb and accessories (beads, scarves) against a cellophane backdrop with orange bubble lettering. The back cover features liner notes by Daltrey, who offers a fantasy account of the band’s story, wherein the members (identified as Petre, Enak, Dios, and Santeeze) fish for musical notes in the Sea of Silk to write songs for a festival, arranged by King Kyzanzeer for the village of Now.
1968: “A Dream For Julie”, “Jenny Artichoke”
In late January 1968, Kaleidoscope issued their second single, the non-album “A Dream for Julie” (b/w “Please Excuse My Face”). In September, they released two non-album sides: “Jenny Artichoke” — inspired by Donovan‘s “Jennifer Juniper” — and “Just How Much You Are.”
The three 1968 non-album sides, along with a mono version of the first single, are included on CD pressings of Tangerine Dream, starting with the 1998 German reissue on Repertoire Records.
1969: Faintly Blowing
In March 1969, Kaleidoscope issued their fourth single, “Do It Again for Jeffrey,” backed with “Poem.” The b-side appears on Faintly Blowing, released the following month on Fontana. The albums features eleven additional Daltrey–Pumer originals, including “Love Song for Annie,” “Snap Dragon,” “A Story from Tom Bitz,” “Black Fjord,” “The Feathered Tiger,” and the title track.
The same month as
- Tangerine Dream (1967)
- Faintly Blowing (1969)
- White Faced Lady (1991 — recorded 1970)
- From Home to Home (1970 — as Fairfield Parlour)
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