Oliver – Standing Stone

Guerssen Records has reissued one of the UK’s most enigmatic and unusual private press psych folk rock LP’s, Oliver’s Standing Stone.

Originally released in 1974 with only 250 copies, Standing Stone is a strongly enigmatic record that contains everything from Holy Modal Rounder-like acid folk to damaged psychedelic blues rock. The whole record has a dreamlike aura to it, largely due to the fact that just about every track, even the more conventional numbers, had been saturated in a variety of trippy effects.

Oliver (full name Oliver Chaplin), was a farmer in the Welsh countryside. He had his brother Chris, a BBC engineer who previously worked with Syd Barrett, come out to his land with a tape machine to record his debut album amongst the scenery and his animals (some of whom can be heard on a few of the tracks).

Some cuts on this record, like “Tok Tic,” sound like more lysergic versions of the lo-fi folk rock tunes that could be found on Link Wray’s homemade classic self-titled LP. Meanwhile others, such as the chaotic “Trance,” are feverish acid rave-ups. Despite not featuring much in terms of bass or drums, the Chaplin brothers were able to create a clear yet intensely thick sound. Armed with just acoustic and electric guitars, the pair utilized overdubs and copious amounts of distortion and tape echo to create a chaotic rush of noise that would be fitting for a full 4-piece band.

Sadly, despite gaining the interest of JJ Cale and Virgin Records, Oliver decided to quit the music business after the release of this, his only record. At the very least, we thankfully have people like Guerssen Records now to keep this music alive in the ears and hearts of modern listeners of daring sounds.

Click here to preorder your copy of this classic DIY acid nugget on vinyl, CD or digital today ahead of its June 24th release.


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Published by Record Crates United

Keith Hadad, the creator and manager of RCU, has been a contributing writer to Elmore Magazine and Thewaster.com and maintains a regular column, “Keith Hadad’s Choice,” in Blicker magazine. His writing has also appeared in the Smithsonian Folkways' Guest Blog and the Optical Sounds Fanzine. Also, please check out the blog's super-active Instagram account, @recordcratesunited for daily blurb-styled music reviews.

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