Tim Rice & Friends “That’s My Story” CD (Sunbeam)

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Before penning lyrics for Jesus Chris Superstar and Evita, Sir Tim was a London songwriter on the make. This 21 track pre-history compiles the stagey novelties, production disasters and starlet-crooned pop ditties he helped birth from 1965 through 1969. Featured cuts include The Mannfred-esque sounds of The Shell, usually elegant vocalist Murray Head delivering the snotty put-down “You Bore Me” over a Hollywood Argyles-style studio slop backing, sexy girl vocalist Ross Hannaman evoking M. Faithfull on “Down Thru’ Summer” and the hippie apocalypse on “1969” (about as far as Gainsbourg and Birkin’s erotic year as can be imagined) and Tales of Justine’s utterly daft psychedelic morsel upon a sunflower called Albert. About as mixed a bag as it sounds, but quite a fun slice of times.