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The Deviants

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In the late '60s, the Deviants were something like the British equivalent to the Fugs, with touches of the Mothers of Invention and the British R&B-based rock of the Yardbirds and the Pretty Things. Their roots were not so much in the British Invasion as the psychedelic underground that began to take shape in London in 1966-1967. Not much more than amateurs when they began playing, they squeezed every last ounce of skill and imagination out of their limited instrumental and compositional resources on their debut, Ptooff!, which combined savage social commentary, overheated sexual lust, psychedelic jamming, blues riffs, and pretty acoustic ballads -- all in the space of seven songs. Their subsequent '60s albums had plenty of outrage, but not nearly as strong material as the debut. Lead singer Mick Farren recorded a solo album near the end of the decade, and went on to become a respected rock critic. He intermittently performed and recorded as a solo artist and with re-formed versions of the Deviants. Farren died in July 2013 at the age of 69 after collapsing on-stage at a Deviants show in London. ~ Richie Unterberger

Top Songs


1967 in England

Years Active:

'60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s