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Albums Of The Week: Fleur De Lys | Circles: The Ultimate Fleur De Lys

Get up to speed on this long-forgotten British rockers from the swinging ’60s.

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THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Atlantic Records, Andrew Loog Oldham, Shel Talmy, Cream and Isaac Hayes — all these and so many more turn up in the story of Southampton band Fleur De Lys. You may not have heard of them, and if you have it may be just because of their glorious cover of The Who’s Circles — the ultimate freak beat anthem which this compilation is named after — but the singles they released in the second half of the 1960s are one of the greatest collections of singles by any band, ranging from R&B through freakbeat and psych and back into club soul.

Emerging from the English South Coast’s competitive club scene, they signed to Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham’s pioneering indie label Immediate, where they recorded two singles before being taken under the wing of Frank Fenter, who worked out of the U.K. Polydor office, running the U.K. arm of Atlantic. The group went through numerous lineup changes as they recorded a series of singles which are now some of the most collectible of the era.

This compilation contains all the singles that they released for Immediate, Polydor and Atlantic (where they pipped Led Zepplin to become the first U.K. signed band to that legendary label). It has been produced with the full co-operation of the group’s Keith Guster, using previously unseen photos and illustrations. It’s compiled by Eddie Piller and Dean Rudland and the band’s official biographer Paul ‘Smiler’ Anderson, who has contributed an extended note that tells the band’s story in compelling detail.”