Beautiful People: If 60s Were 90s


This came out ages ago in 1992. We were never too sure of it at the time, being massive Hendrix fans and unable to see the point of adding dance beats to a genius, but it seems much better all these years on. Perhaps we all need cheering up just now. (Though it did cost us a whole day listening to every Hendrix album, including a joyful rediscovery of Three Little Bears).

The big idea was getting riffs, vocals and lead breaks from Hendrix and adding trippy dance beats. One single was called Rilly Groovy, which is probably all you need to know. It was rilly well done and respect paid to Hendrix; this was no Baby I Love Your Way/Freebird monstrosity.

The Beautiful People had a long and winding road to existence, starting with (no, really) Eric Clapton, finally ending up with Tom Kane and Colin Baldry, who decided to name the band after Kane’s Acid House promotion company Beautiful People, the naming itself coming from author Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters. In 1994 Beautiful People toured Europe supporting Hawkwind then did the UK on the Oasis Definitely Maybe tour.

Now it’s back, a triple CD selection of the best remixes by Youth, PM Dawn and others we’ve not heard of, a remastered CD of the original, plus a DVD of all the band’s live television performances, music videos, scrapbook coffee table book blah bah.

This being 2021 not 1992 we’ve had the album sent us as a download so we’ve got no scrapbook, just a lot of songs. It kicks off with the original album, which is better than we remembered it. The songs are based around lyrics from Hendrix and their associated riffs, opening with Comin’ To Get You, a song built around that famous line repeated.

Get Your Mind Together is based on the line “You just can’t believe everything you see and hear, can you?” from Exp on Axis Bold As Love, which we seem to remember was an early experiment on playing with stereo. Spanish Castle Magic is in here, and tunes from Foxy Lady and Voodoo Chile to The Wind Cries Mary and Wild Thing also feature.

The original album is better than the remixes, which are just there as hooks we think. Youth’s dub mix of Comin’ To Get You is pretty good but adds a lot of bells and whistles to what was basically a perfectly good track to begin with; we’ve moved from complaining about remixing Hendrix to complaining about remixing remixes of Hendrix. The song If 60s Were 90s itself is good. Rilly Groovy, in fact.

About jerobear

Weekly newspaper editor in Cheshire, England. I blog my editorials and the CDs I write about. I play drums, drink coffee, play music, meditate. I hate filling in forms.

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