Courtesy of the good folks at Sundazed Records I just glommed a copy of "Ain't It Hard! Garage & Psych From Viva Records." I'm not a total geek for this sort of 60s vault plundering, but this particular comp has a lot more going for it than the usual fuzztoned mishegass. Viva Records, whose existence I must admit I was unaware of, was the short lived imprint of Snuff Garrett, one of the major indie producers of the period; he brought the world Gary Lewis and the Playboys, among many others, and his house band/staff included such future notables as Leon Russell and J.J. Cale, both of whose instrumental and production skills are in prominent display. Lots of fun stuff here, but the Second Helping's "Let Me In" -- featuring 19-year-old Kenny Loggins snarling like a cross between Van Morrison in his Them days and wingnut radio host Mark Levin -- is pretty much worth the price of admission in itself.
Incidentally, if you don't know Sundazed Records, you should -- they do definitive reissues of all sorts of worthy stuff, not just Sixties teen punk. Lots of soul, surf, folk, country and beyond, all with great sound and terrific liner notes.