Episode Six – Mr. Universe

Ah, Episode Six. Formed in the summer of ’64, this somewhat “under the radar” group was quite active up until around 1969, when Ian Gillan (vocals) and Roger Glover (bass) went on to do a little thing called Deep Purple. Interestingly enough, Sheila Dimmock (keyboards) went on to be a part of an early incarnation of Quartermass in late ‘69, before eventually being replaced by Peter Robinson. Between 1966 and 1967, Episode Six chucked out more than their fair share of singles for Pye Records before finally putting out their self-titled LP in ‘69 (also on Pye), right around the time they split up. One of their singles, Love, Hate, Revenge, was covered by a very well-known New Zealand group called the Avengers. And while it worked out well in the end for these jangly sounding Kiwis, it did not manage to do much in the way of benefiting the Six, the cats who actually penned the track. C’est la vie, eh? None-the-less, Episode Six’s back catalog is truly terrific, if not entirely underrated. And there is a standout for sure, a track called Mr. Universe.

Released as a single in 1968, Mr. Universe captures something very unique, both lyrically as well as musically. There is an overwhelming sense of urgency in Gillan’s voice as he does his thing on the vocals, forcing the listener to believe that when he asks, “May we rest upon your cold shoulder?” he is making a serious inquiry, reaching out to the stars for permission. Well, that’s what we get from it anyway. We can’t blame you if you don’t though, because in ’68 when this gem came out, no else seemed to be able to wrap their heads around it either. It’s a shame, really, as Episode Six were bigger and better than people allowed them to be — seems as though it took Deep Purple to make that happen. But, that’s neither here nor there. So, give Mr. Universe a solid listen and let it take you to wherever it is that you want to go. Oh, and if you happen to hear Mr. Universe whisper some answers to you as you doze off in your nice, warm bed tonight, then please be sure to let us at the Sound Show know all about it in the morning, because we’re still waiting to hear back from him ourselves.

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