My Top 1000 Songs #552: Strange Roads

[I've been writing up my Top 1000 songs on a daily basis--you can see them all in descending order by hitting the All My Favorite Songs tag.]

I've written before about how The Action's Rolled Gold is one of history's Great Lost Albums. The British Invasion act had some perfectly fine R&B-flavored mid-60s singles, but their best work sadly remains unfinished. They recorded a number of mono demos around 1967-1968 which saw the band pivoting into a more muscular proto-power-pop, in line with the Who & Small Faces, with some psychedelic touches. The songs finally saw light of day in 2002, and they're fantastic--but, alas, still in that raw demo form.

Hard to pick a favorite, but "Strange Roads" stands out for its compelling riff and anthemic vibe, as much a Summer of Love declaration of independence as any Forrest Gump soundtrack fodder hit of the day. You've gotta kinda close your eyes and imagine how it might sound with proper recording and some of the bum notes fixed, but as the blueprint for arguably one of the best records of the era you can get most of the way there.

A few years back, SoCal indie psych band Sidewalk Society created their own version of Rolled Gold, demonstrating how it might have sounded if fully fleshed out (and, yeah, it would've sounded great!); here's how their "Strange Roads" came out: