Mojo (Publisher) - 10/03, p.1325 stars out of 5
- "...'Psychotic Reaction' was the quintessential garage tune....The rest of the LP's thrilling too..."
Includes previously unreleased tracks.
Liner Note Author: Alec Palao.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Sol Ellner; The Squires; John Michalski; Roy Chaney; Butch Atkinson; Kenn Ellner; Skip Cordell; John Byrne.
Though Collectables' Psychotic Reaction: The Complete Psychotic Reaction did include every one of the band's 18 officially released tracks, Big Beat's Psychotic Revelation: The Ultimate Count Five does indeed replace it as the ultimate Count Five compilation. It's not just because it includes every one of those 18 tracks and then some, with half a dozen unreleased outtakes, demos, and unedited versions. It's also because there's a great 24-page booklet on the history of the band by Alec Palao that clears up much of the mystery surrounding the Count Five, with quotes from most of the members. While the additional material is neither that revelatory or voluminous, it does include some nice bonuses. Prominent among them is the original unedited version of "Psychotic Reaction," with a previously unheard tag and key change at the end, though Double Shot Records was wise to release the reassembled version that became the big hit. Also on hand is an unedited version of "They're Gonna Get You" from the Count Five's sole LP, as well as a demo of the group's non-LP single "Contrast" and some fair unreleased originals by John "Sean" Byrne. The excellent packaging doesn't disguise the failure of any of the band's other material to come close to matching the garage-psychedelic classic "Psychotic Reaction," or how derivative much of it was of British Invasion bands (particularly the Yardbirds). Still, they did conjure some above-average tracks like "Double Decker Bus," the psychedelic-tinged "Peace of Mind," and the poppier psychedelia of "Merry-Go-Round," making this ultimately worthwhile for the committed '60s garage fan. ~ Richie Unterberger