The Electric Banana: The Complete deWolfe Sessions (1967-1978/2019)

So, just to put it right out there, there is not actually a band called The Electric Banana, as perfect a name as it would be for an obscure 60s psychedelia band.  And actually hearing the music of this not-a-real-band band was, at least until recently, something of a chore; none of their music streams on Spotify, and the original albums are rare and long out of print.  But last year there was an official compilation released, and you can still find it on Amazon; I haven't heard it (I have earlier versions of the releases), but if you can find it, by all means pick it up before it, too, disappears into oblivion.

Anyway, the Electric Banana were an alter ego of the Pretty Things.  You can read the history elsewhere, but it was essentially a side project of the band, a way to make a little money on the side by intermittently recording songs for a film library, to be used as backing tracks in low budget movies (and for that reason, every song was recorded in both a vocal and instrumental version).  The Banana, like the Pretties, evolved over the course of a handful of records from a bluesy British Invasion band to trippy late 60s psychedelia to early 70s hard rock.  And as with the Pretty Things, it's the psyche stuff that I find most appealing.  And, somewhat surprisingly, some of the band's best songs were recorded under the Banana moniker, never making it onto official Pretty Things releases (though a few showed up in alternate versions).

The best of these include "I See You" (which appeared in a cleaner, less heavy version on the Pretties' psychedelic masterpiece SF Sorrow); the frenzied acid rock of "Alexander" and "Blow Your Mind" (as great as anything the Pretties released in their own name); the rollicking psychedelic boogie of "It'll Never Be Me" (which sounds like a near-perfect SF Sorrow outtake, another one of the band's finest tunes); and the proto-prog-hard rock of "Eagles Son" and "Grey Skies."  But there are plenty of other great, long lost tunes buried here and worth checking out; it's all but essential for Pretty Things fans, but plenty of fun for anyone who enjoys obscure British psyche.

Here's "It'll Never Be Me," from a forgotten 60s film that used the music, and in which the band appeared:
"Eagles Son":
Here's an audio rip of most of the band's output: