From the opening riff of the Flies’ hard-edged debut single for Decca, ‘(I’m Not Your) Stepping Stone,’ you might think that here was a band who were destined for glory—possibly even fame and fortune. But their story, like that of many awe-inspiring UK underground bands from the 1960s, was not a success story. Yes, the Flies had a few other releases on Decca and RCA, none of which attained any chart success. If not for the inclusion of this one slab of fuzz psychedelia on the legendary compilation “Chocolate Soup for Diabetics”, the Flies would perhaps have remained unknown to devotees of the 1960s psychedelic scene.
Still, this was a band that played major gigs with the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Pink Floyd, the Moody Blues, and Traffic, and were a big part of the mayhem at the legendary 14-hour Technicolour Dream event in London in 1967; this is a band whose key members founded bands like Please, T2, Bulldog Breed, Gun, and Infinity, and whose producer was Ivor Raymonde, who co-authored and arranged Dusty Springfield’s big hits for Philips (and also sired Cocteau Twins’ bassist Simon Raymonde). Although commercial success eluded them, it is fitting that the Flies have now achieved cult fame—their singles, which range from freakbeat to Mark Wirtz-esque pop/psych, merit the acclaim, and their introspective demos are perhaps even better.
Tracklist: (I’m Not Your) Stepping Stone / The Magic Train / House Of Love / Turning Back The Page / Gently As You Feel / Talk To Me / Tired Of Waiting For You / Just Won’t Do / (I’m Not Your) Stepping Stone / The Magic Train / Alexander Bell Believes / A Hymn….With Love / Sincerely Yours / Where / There Ain’t No Woman / Winter Afternoon / It Had To Be You