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Cold Sun – Dark Shadows (LP)

29.00 38.00  inc. VAT
24.65 32.30  inc. VAT

Vivid peyote-induced psychedelia from Texas sounding like an impossible meld between the Elevators and the Velvet Underground but possessing a strongly unique disposition.

Recorded in 1970 but never released at the time, featuring future members of Roky Erickson’s backing band Bleib Alien / The Aliens.

Formed in Austin in the late 1960s by visionary lyricist and autoharp player Billy Bill Miller and his friend Tom McGarrigle on guitar, Cold Sun evolved from a band called Cauldron (later Amethyst) which at one point featured drummer John Kearney from Roky Erickson’s first band The Spades. Miller, a proto-Goth figure always dressed in black, highly influenced by Joe Meek and vintage sci-fi / horror movies, started to experiment with weird noises out of his electrified autoharp, favoring the audio-oriented drug mescaline over the LSD associated with hippies. Amethyst jammed with musicians such as Benny Thurman from the 13th Floor Elevators and Steve Webb from the Lost And Found (another International Artists band). The definitive Amethyst line-up, with Hugh Patton on drums and Mike Waugh on bass, played at venues like the I.L. Club, a historical landmark of Austin blues & psychedelic music.

It was through Mike Waugh’s friendship with Elevators drummer John Ike Walton that Billy Miller and the band (still unsure about their name but calling themselves The Daily Planet, changing it to Dark Shadows, and then to Cold Sun) hooked up with the local label / studio Sonobeat (Mariani, Wildfire, Johnny Winter…), who expressed interest in recording an album with the intention to shop it to a major label: thus, the now-legendary Cold Sun album was born. The band, driven by Miller’s strange electrified autoharp sounds plus the massive fuzz guitar of McGarrigle, dressed with feedback and futuristic lyrics, laid down several tracks in between rehearsals at Miller’s house on Castle Hill (west Austin). The album opens with “South Texas” (“the ultimate psychedelic track,” according to Patrick “The Lama” Lundborg), climbing to a psychedelic summit with the final 11 minutes of the fervently intoxicated “Ra-Ma”.

Never released at the time, the Cold Sun album languished in oblivion and the musicians moved on to other things. Billy Bill Miller along with drummer Hugh Patton founded Bleib Alien (later The Aliens), the famous backing band of Roky Erickson, with Billy being essential in bringing Roky back to music after his stay at Rusk Mental Hospital.

It wasn’t until 1990 that the Cold Sun album was finally released on vinyl by the Rockadelic label (in a tiny edition of 300 copies), followed by a new edition on German label World In Sound in 2008, now out of print.

Sourced from the same audio master as the original Rockadelic LP, the sound has been vastly improved thanks to the meticulous and careful restoration / remastering by audiophile engineer Ezra Lesser, who has also penned the definitive story of Cold Sun for the liner notes.

*Audiophile restoration / remastering by Ezra Lesser

“One of the most important psychedelic records, and unlike any other one.” – Paul Major

“Cold Sun is an anomaly in Texas psych history. As significant as Bubble Puppy or Moving Sidewalks but in no way similar, the Austin quartet cut one cult classic in its brief existence, the spell-binding Dark Shadows, which Jello Biafra called “the best psychedelic album I know of.” – Austin Powell (Austin Chronicle)

“Billy Miller invented Post-Punk in 1970” – Julian Cope (Head Heritage)


Heavy Psych, Psychedelic Rock (60s-70s)

Weight 0.6 kg


Catalogue Number: GUESS236UPC: 4040824093624 SKU: CR06101

Additional information

Weight 0.6 kg