[I originally posted this back in December of 2010; I'm reposting today for three reasons. 1) The song in question popped up on my iPod's shuffle the other day and I was impressed anew; 2) I'm still in Divshare hell, so no player widgets till the middle of the July; and 3) It appears that new friend of PowerPop Vickie Rock actually got to see this lot perform back in the day, to which I can only add -- I'm not worthy. In any case, this is still a pretty amazing story. -- S.S.]
You know, it's still quite remarkable to me what you can find on the Intertubes just by looking around.
From 1966, and (deservedly) on the top of the charts in some parallel universe somewhere, please enjoy The Misunderstood and their rather mind-boggling pop psychedelic debut single "I Can Take You to the Sun."
I had never heard of these guys until a few weeks ago, actually. The short version: Brit Invasion-inspired California garage band with all the usual influences. Then they added a steel guitar player(!), got discovered by the guy who would later become John Peel, moved to England, got signed, and impressed people as being innovators in a league with The Yardbirds and Pink Floyd despite the fact that none of their singles sold. Eventually, one of them got drafted and the whole thing kind of fell apart by early '67.
Most of the rest of their recorded output from that period is equally if not more impressive, IMHO. On the other hand, I'm not sure their failure to break through commercially was simply a matter of bad luck -- their original songs (to my ears) lack that certain something, despite the performances being tremendously imaginative and accomplished. Still, they seem to be one of the more tantalizing Might Have Been stories from the period, and as I said, it's kind of wondrous that you can still stumble across stuff like this unawares.
POSTSCRIPT: I should add that there's a really terrific compilation of the Misunderstood's studio work available over at Amazon here. Plus, you can read a very entertaining band history by Ritchie Unterberger over here.
Also: Pedal steel monster Glen Ross Campbell went on to play with a UK blues-bashers Juicy Luicy for a while and did a stint in Joe Cocker's backup band. He's since moved to New Zealand where he is still active in music.