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Non-Prog CD Reviews

The Mirage

The World Goes On Around You

Review by Gary Hill

This is a collection of music from an outfit that went by a number of different names. They seemed to touch on as many types of different 1960s music, too. The first two discs are made up mostly of stuff that was recorded under the name "The Mirage." Disc three was an album recorded under the name "Lockjaw." While most of this music might not be all that unique, there are a few songs that really do stand out, and it's all entertaining. It's an intriguing look into the past with some music you might have never heard before. I should mention that I previously reviewed a couple songs from this set on another collection. I've used parts of those track reviews here for the sake of consistency.

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Track by Track Review
Disc One
Singles & BBC Sessions
It's in Her Kiss

Rock and roll chording brings this in. The cut has a real Beatles styled rock and roll based pop sound to it. It's bouncy and fun, but it's not all that unique.

What'cha Gonna Do About It
I really dig the old-school guitar soloing on this thing. This rocker is less purely pop-oriented, but it's a stronger tune as far as I'm concerned. It reminds me a little of something Spencer Davis or even The Yardbirds might have done.
Go Away
This time we get some hints psychedelia. The doo wop styled vocals don't work that well for me, but this cut is catchy and entertaining. There are more Beatles things at play on this one, too.
Just a Face
I like the vocal arrangement on this a lot. I'm reminded of a cross between The Beach Boys and The Association here.
Tomorrow Never Knows
Here we get a cool rendition of the classic slab of Beatles psychedelia. There are no big surprises here, but this works well.
You Can't Be Serious
More of a mainstream rocker, this is a fun number. It does have a bit of Beatles vibe.
Hold On
We get more of a psychedelic rocking arrangement here. This cut is so cool. It still manages to be quite accessible.
Can You Hear Me
This balladic number makes me think of The Beach Boys to some degree, but also The Beatles.
The Wedding of Ramona Blair
This bouncy little number makes me think of the Syd Barrett era of Pink Floyd quite a bit. It’s a fun tune. The trippy jam outro, with its bits of backwards masked music, is quite tasty.
Lazy Man
Here we get some tasty psychedelic pop rock. This is a cool groove. It's quite catchy, too.
Mystery Lady
Pop rock, jazz and psychedelia are all on the menu here. This is another bouncy tune. It's also an entertaining one.
Chicago Cottage
I love this song. It has some classy mellower psychedelic pop grooves to it. It has some rather proggy turns in some ways, too.
Here Comes Jane (As Yellow Pages)
I dig this hard rocking jam. I can hear hints of things ranging from Thin Lizzy and Sweet.
Ding Dong Bell (As Yellow Pages)
There is more of an Association sound on the vocal arrangement here. This is playful, but not all that strong.
With some jazzy bombast, this is a playful cut. This is another that has some leanings toward prog, but in a playful, goofy, way.
The World Goes on Around You
The keyboard sound that starts this is decidedly proggy. This has a later era Beatles kind of sound to it, but it also has some definite proto-prog in the mix. This is among the stronger material here.
We Can Fly (As Portebello Explosion)

There is a definite proto-prog meets psychedelic pop rock vibe to this cut. I really love the intricacies of the musical arrangement. The vocal arrangement is rich and layered, too. This is another standout of the set.

Hot Smoke and Sassafras (As Portebello Explosion)
Here they try their hand at the classic tune from Bubble Puppy. This rocks out more than I remember that song doing. The psychedelic angles are preserved and delivered with all the style one expects. I love the piano based instrumental break on this. It is pure prog goodness. This version reminds me a little of the band Tomorrow.
The Wedding of Ramona Blair (BBC Session)
I like this version of the tune a lot. It's not a big change, but it does feel a little proggier.
Hold on (BBC Session)
A cool psychedelic rocking groove is on display here. This works well.
What'cha Gonna Do About It (BBC Session)
The recording on this version of the song feels a little noisy.
Strange Feeling (BBC Session)
I dig the guitar solo on this a lot. The tune is a classy rocker.
Another Saturday Night (BBC Session)
'This cool ditty has a fun rocking performance here.
Ebaneezer Beaver (BBC Session)
Another solid psychedelic pop rock tune, this again makes me think of Tomorrow to some degree.
Disc Two
The Wedding of Ramona

They bring a bit of a goofy world music element to the early parts of this. The psychedelic, proto-prog angles really show up later, though. While the first part doesn't work that well for me, they really make up for it later.

Ebaneezer Beaver
Hard edged psychedelic rock is the order of business here. The number drops back for a mellower section, and this thing really shows off all kinds of classy psychedelic and proto-prog vibes.
Mrs. Busby
I love the bass work on this thing. This cut has plenty of psychedelia on display, but I'd definitely consider it to be early prog.
I See the Rain
This is dramatic and magical. It has plenty of both psychedelic tendencies and pop rock hooks. It's just so effective and packed with emotion.
My Door No. 4 (Aka Lonely Highway)
The strings on this go a little over the top, but this is a pretty psychedelic pop rock number that works well.
Hello Enid
I dig the harder rock psychedelia of this cut a lot. The vocal arrangement is classy, and the whole tune works well. There are some odd little excursions along the way that bring a bit of a proggy edge to it.
Is Anybody Home
Bouncy psychedelic pop is on the menu here. This is catchy and fun. It definitely has a healthy helping of The Beatles in place.
What Do I Care
A driving rocker, this has some real charms. It's fairly big change, too. This is more mainstream 60s rock, but some of the guitar fills bring hints of psychedelia.
How's Your Pa
A bouncy cut, this has a lot of old-time music and some folk angles to it. It's another bit of variety in an entertaining package. I really like the piano jamming later in the track quite a bit.
Lazy Man (Alternative Version)
Beatles-like psychedelic rock is in the driver's seat here. It's a winner. The guitar is so oddly compelling.
See My World
The recording on this is a bit muddy, but the classy psychedelic pop vibe works well, anyway.
Cathy Must Fly (Aka Katherine)
Bouncy folk pop rock is on the menu here.
You and Me Baby
While this is largely another psychedelic pop rocker, it does have some real prog elements at times. The vocals at times lean toward something like The Beach Boys.
Go Away (Demo Version)
This is stripped back to just a bouncy little folk rock styled cut.
Wild Thing
Here they do a less garage-band like version of The Troggs' classic. I think it loses a bit with the more mainstream pop arrangement, but it does bring change, and that's a good thing. It should probably be mentioned that they came by the Troggs link somewhat naturally in that Troggs manager Larry Page was also involved with The Mirage.
Gone to Your Head
This is energetic psychedelic pop rock that's fun.
I Want Love
Feeling a bit like early Beatles, this is an entertaining cut.
One More Time
A vocal heavy number, this one doesn't work all that well for me. Something just seems awkward about it.
That I Know
Classic 60s pop rock sounds are on display here. This is a fun tune.
I Love Her
Early Beatles-styled rock and roll makes up this number.
Love Is Where You Find It
Here we get another cut from much the same clothe as the previous, but this feels a bit more "garagey."
Ebaneezer Beaver (Acoustic Demo)
This tune is still special even in this format. A lot of that comes from the involved and intriguing vocal arrangement.
The Wedding of Ramona Blair (Backing Track)
Here we get a variant of this song. As you can guess from the parenthetical, it's just had the vocals removed from the mix.
Disc Three
Honeysuckle Redwood Cabin

This cut has a lot of down-home sound to it. It's a driving rocker that's a lot of fun.

I dig this tune quite a bit. It has some folk rock in mix, but it's also built with healthy helpings of psychedelia in the mix. I really love the keyboard parts of this. They bring some proggy tendencies. I'm reminded a little of things like Procol Harum and The Strawbs on this tune.
How's Ya Pa?
I like this version of the tune a lot. It's bouncy and fun. It has both some down-home textures, but also some early Pink Floyd angles. It's a classy song that works so well.
Brave White Knight

I love the harpsichord on this cut. The track is a rather proggy, but also psychedelic pop rock based. I can make out hints of early Bee Gees on this. The number is one of the standouts on the set.

Bulldog Goes West
I dig this energetic rocker. It's another classy tune.
Across the Universe
Here they cover The Beatles again. This really feels a lot like the original. I mean, it's a great song, and therefore this works well. I just think someone ought to do a bit more to make a number their own if they are going to cover it.
Million Times Before
This cut sounds a lot like something that would have been done by Bob Dylan. I had to check the credits to make sure it wasn't written by Zimmerman or even The Byrds (who often covered and sounded like Dylan). This is very much a folk rock tune. It's effective, but not one of my favorites here.
Money Is
I dig the organ that starts this. The cut has a real good time 1960s rock vibe to it.
Mister Custer
This is a fun romp. It's in line with the rest of the music on this disc, playful 60s rock.
Song for Sunny
Acoustic guitar and vocals are on the menu here. This is a classic folk rock tune. It gets electrified further down the road, but the main concept isn't greatly changed.
Chicago Cottage
This is cut is a bouncy little pop rock tune that's so much fun. The organ really brings something cool to it. So does the mid-track twist. This reminds me a little of Donovan here.
Jeremiah Dreams
It wouldn't be a stretch to believe this was some long lost Beatles psychedelic rocker. That said, I can also make out more of those Tomorrow references. Call the influences how you like, but this is a classic sounding tune. The instrumental section later in the track has some killer guitar and piano work.
Way Down Down
Here we get another mainstream rocker for the era. This has plenty of down-home elements.



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