In the labyrinth of British rock history, some bands flicker like shooting stars, briefly illuminating the music scene before vanishing into the night. 23rd Turnoff is one such enigma, a group that shone brightly with their sole memorable single, only to disappear, leaving behind a trail of psychedelic intrigue. Their fleeting existence, however, is far from a forgotten echo. Thanks to Think Like A Key Music, the mesmerizing recordings of 23rd Turnoff are resurfacing in a compelling CD reissue this November, offering a sonic time capsule to both die-hard psych aficionados and curious new listeners.
The story of 23rd Turnoff is a tapestry of near misses and what-ifs, woven from the vibrant threads of the 1960s Liverpool music scene. From their inception as The Kirkbys, witnessing The Beatles’ epochal rise, to their transformation into The 23rd Turnoff, their journey was a rollercoaster of musical evolution. The group’s initial recordings, produced by visionaries like John Schroeder and Phil Solomon, encapsulated the Merseybeat sound but hinted at a deeper, more experimental undercurrent. Their sound, a blend of haunting harmonies and cutting-edge production, was both a reflection of its time and a beacon of the psychedelic era’s dawn.
It was in 1967, under the influence of the era’s swirling psychedelia, that The 23rd Turnoff truly found their voice. Their music, written by the cult Liverpool hero Jimmy Campbell, characterized by its lush orchestration and introspective lyricism, painted vivid pictures of an era teetering on the brink of cultural revolution. Songs like “Michael Angelo” and “Leave Me Here” are not just tracks but time capsules, capturing the essence of a generation’s hopes, dreams, and disillusionments. The CD reissue, meticulously restored by Prof. Stoned, offers a fresh perspective on these forgotten gems, infusing them with a clarity that transcends time.
This November, let’s rewind the clocks and immerse ourselves in the psychedelic wonder of 23rd Turnoff, a band that, despite its brief flight, left an indelible mark on the canvas of musical history.