Of the thousands of 1960s garage bands who progressed from garage rock to psychedelia, The Misunderstood were quite possibly the best. They were a legendary group who at the peak of their powers, could meet groups such as the Yardbirds and the Animals on a level playing field. In Rick Brown they had a commanding vocalist who at the end of the group’s legendary run began writing songs that are now acknowledged psychedelic classics. Their lead guitarist Glenn Ross Campbell had an unorthodox playing style but what he lacked in technical form he made up with in innovation. In 1966, they were a force to be reckoned with.
The Misunderstood started out in Riverside, CA in the mid 60s. They began playing the blues, much like their British Invasion counterparts the Animals and the Yardbirds. The second side of Before The Dream Faded is made up of recordings from this formative era (1965). While these songs aren’t up to the standards of the first side (6 psychedelic era tracks from 1966), they are still enjoyable pieces that show the group developing a signature sound. Among them, “I Need Your Love” is a fine garage cut that weds Mersey style harmonica with raw, under-produced American garage. Another track, “Who’s Been Talking” is a strong rendition of an old Howlin’ Wolf blues classic. The best song on side B is a powerful psych rendition of “I’m Not Talking.” This gem features squalling feedback and a huge, guitar-heavy sound that could only be compared to the Yardbirds. The only real dud on this album is the sappy teen ballad “Like I Do.”
In 1966, just before Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles and Pink Floyd began recording their great psychedelic era material, the Misunderstood walked into the studio and laid down 6 outstanding tracks that even today are still revered as some of the finest rock n roll ever cut. Most of these tracks are originals although note the radical psych reworking of “Who Do You Love” and the hard rock arrangement of “I Unseen.”