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As up to now, the only 2 recordings heard by the record collecting genre Graded Grains, the now "legendary" 1960's pop ~ psych band originating from Exeter, Devon, are the two virtually non-listenable tracks taken from a worn-out acetate, both of which were bootlegged on the 1980's compilation album titled "Chocolate Soup For Diabetics".

From the early 1964 monica "The Flowerpot Flyers" when they were ton-up tearaways on repainted push bikes, to the first band name and line-up as "The Spartans", the then temporary "Clockwork Orange", and finally the settled "Graded Grains", the history of this band can now be divulged, including photographs, a documented account of many of the venues that they appeared at, etc. The book published (Oct 2003) includes 5 pages on The Graded Grains.  

Is that Paul McCartney behind in one of his disguises?

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There is an official release of a compilation album that features
 four Graded Grains tracks, recorded in 1969.. read on..

Compiled and realised by Nigel Lees (author of much of Record Collector magazine's long running series 'The British Psychedelic Trip'), 'Alphabeat' marks the debut release on his own label Top Sounds, a collection which brings together 13 rare slices of pop, psychedelia and progressive rock recorded during 1967 - 1970. Only 2 have appeared previously on compilations, the remainder bar the obscure 1970 45 by Mississippi have never been released and make their vinyl and CD debut on 'Alphabeat'. All tracks have been professionally restored and the release includes an informative and profusely illustrated booklet which features histories of all the artists, together with many photos which have never been published before. The release has the blessing of at least one member of each group and in some cases several, and is presented in authentic 60s fashion with a laminated sleeve.

Many of the selections on 'Alphabeat' were not even known to exist before the release of the compilation, and few connoisseurs of obscure late 60s pop, psych and prog will be disappointed with it's contents. Dubbed from a master supplied by a Belgian television company 'Foxy Lady' and 'Toad' were recorded live at a pop festival in mid 1968 and prove The Barrier to be as exciting on stage as on their best singles from the same year, whilst Mississippi impress with their heavy bluesy rock which is lifted from their lone and very rare 45 from 1970. The pigeonholing of Breakthru as a lightweight pop act through their only single 'Ice Cream Tree' is devastatingly dismissed by the unveiling of 2 incendiary slices of psychedelically inclined rock recorded at a Birmingham studio in late 1967, and an unknown group who recorded at R.G. Jones' OAK studios sound uncannily like The Game 3 years on with the slow burning 'First Back From Heaven'. The Pathfinders' 'Pumpkin Lantern' has appeared before on compilations on a number of occasions but thanks to the discovery of another acetate copy, it's presented here in premium quality together for the first time with it's previously ignored but very special rendering of the Bee Gees' 'To Love Somebody'. Graded Grains have presented psych collectors with a mystery and an enigma since their acetate of 'Animal Magic' and ' Lucifer Sam' was unearthed for 'Chocolate Soup For Diabetics' Volume 3 way back in the early 80s, and such was their dogged obscurity that some came to believe there was no such band called Graded Grains at all. Top Sounds however are able to present 4 tracks recorded on the continent in Paris in December 1969 which beautifully exhibit authentic pop psych with a marked Barrett era Pink Floyd influence, one of which is a later (and much cleaner!) take of the famed 'Animal Magic'. And last but by no means least the legendary blues band Black Cat Bones prove their versatility and deliver an uptempo psych flavoured rocker called 'The Warmth Of The Day', which aside from inclusion on a fairly recent bootleg was only previously been available on the rare 1969 promotional for the QE2 ocean liner '.

1.THE BARRIER - Foxy Lady (Jimi Hendrix) 4:23
  Recorded live at the Jazzbilzen Festival in Belgium, August 1968
2.GRADED GRAINS - Gabriel Says Yes (John Gregory, Ian Street) 3:28
  From 5 track LP acetate recorded in Paris,1969
3.THE PATHFINDERS - Pumpkin Lantern (Frazer Watson, Ronnie Leahy) 3:00
  Emidisc acetate, circa mid 1968
4.BREAKTHRU - Here Comes The End (Abingdon, Aflalo,Booth, Garrattley Leyland) 3:04
  Tetlow Studios acetate, recorded in Birmingham, late 1967
5.GRADED GRAINS - Animal Magic (John Gregory, Ian Street) 3:37
  From 5 track LP acetate recorded in Paris,1969
6.MISSISSIPPI - Mr. Union Railway Man (Alex Holt) 2:32
  Originally released as a single, Fox Records FOX 1,1970
7.UNKNOWN GROUP - First Back From Heaven (Unknown) 4:30
  Oak Studios acetate, circa 1970

1.GRADED GRAINS - On The Dole (John Gregory, Ian Street) 4:36
  From 5 track LP acetate recorded in Paris,1969
2.THE PATHFINDERS - To Love Somebody (Robin and Barry Gibb) 3:00
  Emidisc acetate, circa mid 1968
3.GRADED GRAINS - Harry The Hermit (John Gregory, Ian Street) 3:40
  From 5 track LP acetate recorded in Paris,1969
4.BLACK CAT BONES - Warmth Of The Day (Paul Tiller, Bob Weston) 3:18
  Recorded July/Aug 1968,originally released on the promotional album for the QE2 liner 'Come Aboard! QE2', Sceptre Records SALR 1216,1969
  5.BREAKTHRU - Spoonful (Willie Dixon) 5:03
  Tetlow Studios acetate, recorded in Birmingham, late 1967
6.THE BARRIER - Toad ('Ginger' Baker) 4:25
  Recorded live at the Jazzbilzen Festival in Belgium, August 1968

ALPHABEAT CD ~ hand no'd. Includes a 16 page Booklet
UK 19 * Europe 22 * Elsewhere 25


ALPHABEAT Vinyl LP ~ hand no'd.  Includes a 12 page Booklet.
UK 29 * Europe 37 * Elsewhere 43

Prices are inclusive of p&p. Cheque or C r e d i t   C a r d  payment accepted:

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Two concert posters that include the Spartans + two others that include Graded Grains 

Now --> you can see the Spartans on original film
Also check out the other submissions by Brian Day
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Information ~ contacts required for other local-to-Exeter bands that own unreleased recordings GuildSetSingle.jpg (51149 bytes)

Photographs and information courtesy of John Gregory

Copyright Peter Rice  Destiny One

 Site contents

The Graded Grains Exeter's cult pop ~ psych group !  John Gregory lead guitar and vocals, plus Bud Street,
Cliff Andrews, Terry Pascoe, Tommy Searle, Roger Collett, John Carpenter, Dave Smale, Steve Orgee, Gary Gray.
The Graded Grains Exeter's cult pop ~ psych band ! Exeter, Devon - not ALL cream & cider !