By now psychedelic music is a mainstay of popular taste. But questions of its origins still linger. As such, Bear Family Records now submits Wild Boy: The Lost Songs of Eden Ahbez as fresh evidence in the quest for answers. Over the past 20 years Eden Ahbez has gone from cult figure to harbinger of the '60s flower-power movement. This notion is born out largely by his 1948 anthem of universal love, "Nature Boy," and his rare solo album from 1960, titled Eden's Island – one of popular music's earliest concept albums. Wild Boy: The Lost Songs Of Eden Ahbez both expands the Eden Ahbez catalog and deepens the notion of a psychedelic movement having roots in the 1950s.
Side-one acts as a compilation of music that Ahbez wrote in the aftermath of "Nature Boy." Inclusion of songs like "Palm Springs" by the Ray Anthony Orchestra and "Hey Jacque" by Eartha Kitt give listeners the chance to hear obscure cuts by big-name artists in the context of Eden Ahbez for the first time. Side-two shows the songwriter inching closer to Eden's Island and the actual hippie movement, with absurdist rock/exotica tracks like "Wild Boy" and "Surfer John," as well as sweet psych-pop like the unreleased "Monterey" (featuring Paul Horn on the flute). The album ends with an unreleased cut, titled "The Clam Man," which Ahbez recorded as an ode to a fellow bearded hermit down in Baja, CA.
In total, Wild Boy: The Lost Songs Of Eden Ahbez offers seven unreleased cuts and as many rare singles to produce an overview of the songwriter's lost work from 1949-71. What Eden Ahbez misses in hallucinogenic content, he more than makes up for with his primitive chord structures, expansive arrangements, and lyrics about travel, leisure, free-love, and spirituality. As such, the canon of psychedelic music and that of Hippie #1 just got bigger.
● 180 gram vinyl
● 14 rare/unreleased recordings
● Guest appearances by Paul Horn, Eartha Kitt & more
● Fully annotated with never before seen pictures