6 Songs, 14 Minutes

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About The Third Bardo

The Third Bardo recorded just one single, "I'm Five Years Ahead of My Time," which appeared on Roulette in 1967. That one single, however, is lauded by many collectors as one of the greatest 1960s garage/psychedelic tracks. With its mysterious lead guitar lines that recalled the theme to the Twilight Zone, Eastern-like minor melody, creepy organ, and one of the most definitive sub-Jagger garage snarl lead vocals ever, it was worthy of more exposure than it got. However, although it got some airplay on the East Coast, it was pulled off the radio, lead singer Jeff Monn has recalled, because of perceived drug associations, although in fact there are no overt drug references in the lyrics.

The Third Bardo's material, oddly, was produced by Teddy Randazzo, who had been a singer in the 1950s, and then later producer for Little Anthony & the Imperials. His session with the Third Bardo was far weirder than could have possibly been expected given his resume, the group laying down ominous psychedelia with Eastern-influenced melodies and odd sound effects. Six tracks were recorded at the Third Bardo's one and only session, much of the material co-written by Rusty Evans, who had helped craft similarly strange stuff for the Deep. Aside from "I'm Five Years Ahead of My Time," however, just one song, its B-side "Rainbow Life," was released. The other four cuts (including an alternate version of "Rainbow Life") would surface much later on Sundazed's 2000 10", six-song EP The Third Bardo.

After the Third Bardo broke up in 1967, Monn went solo and did an album for Vanguard in the late '60s, changing his name to Chris Moon for another solo album that came out on CBS/Kinetic in 1970. Jeff Beck considered hiring Monn as his singer in 1971, but the pair didn't hit it off and nothing came of it. "I'm Five Years Ahead of My Time" became a cult favorite among '60s collectors after its inclusion in the Pebbles reissue series, and was selected for the expanded Nuggets '60s garage box set in the late '90s. ~ Richie Unterberger

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