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Monday, September 15, 2008

A Chance Encounter with Gun

posted by on September 15 at 17:04 PM

During a five-minute browse in Everyday Music recently, I heard a great psychedelic-rock song I’d never heard before—and I’ve heard hundreds. The tune lasted the duration of my brief visit. I headed to the checkout counter to identify the CD and it turned out to be Gun’s self-titled album from 1968, which also boasts the hit single “Race with the Devil,” which has been covered by Judas Priest, Black Oak Arkansas, and Girlschool. The song that had charmed me to my curled toes was titled “Sunshine.” (If you were in a rock group and didn’t have a track called “Sunshine” in 1968, you’d be let go from your record deal.)

Cover art by Roger Dean, dude.

The perfunctory video below is a dud, but the music itself is quintessential psychedelia from an unlikely source; it’s hard to imagine a less psychedelic moniker than Gun. Further, “Sunshine” was an anomaly among the heavier proto-metal fare that predominates Gun, making its glistening, filigreed levity all the sweeter. There’s something so archetypically late-’60s about this tune, as if Gun had tapped into the era’s collective unconscious and plucked this song out of the pot-intensive, incense-laden air.

Trivia: Gun members Adrian and Paul Gurvitz went on to join Cream drummer Ginger Baker in the Baker Gurvitz Army, of whom I’ve only heard this unappealing song.

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"Sunshine" was the b side to "race with the devil". Thought I would throw that one out to you for free.
Cool song but sounds better as a well worn 45 rpm disc.

Posted by Biggie J | September 15, 2008 5:59 PM

OK, but ultimately meh. I'm surprised that this particular song prompted you to wax all Hallmark.

This would be a great opening theme for the Special Olympics, though. Or "King of Queens."

Posted by Matthew | September 15, 2008 8:32 PM

Man, I love the Gun! I have both LPs and a couple UK 'b' side only tracks. That last song on the s/t LP, of course I forget the name, is genius..."Sunshine" is their most pop-sike...and SO good. I play 'race with the devil' out occationally, such a bouncy track, but it was never really a popular sike/clubby hit tho'....prolly as it's common.

@ 2 - Special Olympics, huh? not sure exaclty what that means...

Posted by nipper | September 16, 2008 12:30 PM

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