Les Fleurs de Pavot - S/T (1968)
This is considered to be one of the finest French psych records out there, and rightly so. Les Fleurs de Pavot were far from being actual hippies, however--their image was created by their Svengali, Jean-Pierre Rawson, in an exploitative effort that was rather typical of the era. The band had issued several EP's as the serviceable beat quintet Les Bourgeois de Calais before Rawson decided that transforming them into hippie freaks (one of them was supposedly named Jesus and from San Francisco) was the way to go. The album was produced by the unbelievable dream team of Jean-Claude Vannier and Bernard Estardy, and it shows...the arrangements are brilliant, the lyrics reference drugs as often as possible, and the atmosphere is highly lysergic. This album doesn't need drugs to be enjoyed--nay, this album IS drugs.