Time Before There Was… Time

It’s a wonder this lost heirloom of ’60s psychedelic lore has remained unreleased for so long, but let’s be thankful it’s even available at all since it’s surely one of Toronto’s great musical moments. Though they were predominantly based in Buffalo, NY, Time took two trips to Toronto in January 1968 to record this whimsical album’s worth of dramatic psychedelia, jaunty pop and ethereal folk-tinged contemplation. At the time, Time kind of fit in with the sounds being produced by medieval-obsessed radicals Pearls Before Swine, as well as the British psych-folk movement, though they were sadly out of place in blue-collar Buffalo, and broke up a few years after this out of public indifference (following a short stint where they relocated to New York and reformed as Think Dog, whose own aborted demos are available as Dog Days). Among these 11 songs, the epic opening track, "A Song For You,” with its wild trip of a middle section and plucky acoustics, multi-tracked studio flourishes and whispered vocals accenting the melodic bookends of the song, is probably the best moment here. The heavy circular freak-out and eventual break-down of "Introductory Lines,” the gentle, snappy lament of "Sad Benjamin” and the Velvet Underground-ish "At Shadow’s Eye” are also highly memorable though. Some of this salvaged album plods into melodramatic medieval (Normal)