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Designer, historian and writer Phil Smee shows us his record collection

Even if you’ve not bought a record from Phil Smee's Waldo’s or Bam-Caruso labels, you’ll own something that he designed, from Motörhead to Return To Ommadawn. He opens up his archive...

"I’ve been into music ever since I was able to know what was going on, so that’s the late 50s. I loved guitar music: Duane Eddy, The Ventures, The Shadows… Then The Beatles happened when I was 13. If you lived through that era, it’s almost as if music was being invented.

1966 was such an important year. I was 16 and lived just outside St Albans. There must have been a dozen venues in town so you’d go to Market Hall and see The Birds, Pretty Things or Small Faces, or Faulkner Hall and see The Zombies. In ’66 guitar music went from being beat music to The Yardbirds’ Happenings Ten Years Time Ago, or what The Who were expanding into. Years later, when I was compiling the Rubble series I coined a phrase to describe the bridge: freak beat. Then The Beatles brought out Revolver, an enormous leap from the pop of Rubber Soul. It ended with Tomorrow Never Knows, arguably the first real concept prog piece. I bought my copy in The Record Room, probably served by my friend Mac [MacLeod] who played guitar with Donovan. Not only was the music different, but also the sleeve. The doors of experimentation opened and everyone started doing it.


From the archive

From the archive

From the archive

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