My Top 1000 Songs #584: Mr. Mind Detector

[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.]

Before pivoting into 70s hard rockin' boogie mode, Status Quo were fine (and underrated) purveyors of late 60s British psych-pop. "Pictures Of Matchstick Men" is the primary legacy of the era, both because it's a fantastic song and perhaps due to its lifeline being extended by a few nifty cover versions. Less known, but every bit as definitive a document of the psychedelic heyday, is "Mr. Mind Detector," off 1969's Spare Parts. It feels like a clearinghouse for every psychedelic trope of the era: ticking clocks and percussion bouncing between speakers (definitely a track built for headphones), Sgt. Pepper-inspired orchestral flourishes, trippy reverbed vocals, etc. Kinda like they knew the era was being wrapped up and they just wanted to throw it all out there!

But the gimmicks alone wouldn't work without what is at heart a surprisingly melodic pop song, both the acid-drenched minor-key verses and the buoyant sunshine-pop chorus. Hear it once, hum it forever. It's a cool relic that should be better known, though its relative obscurity keeps it from being just another failsafe staple dusted off when some random soundtrack album needs to thoughtlessly accompany a 60s flashback.