The Deviants were the closest thing the ’60s British rock scene had to The Mothers of Invention, with a Stooges-like fondness for fuzz guitar freakouts thrown in. And playing the Frank Zappa role as lyricist, singer, and provocateur was Mick Farren, one of the most intriguing figures to emerge from the UK underground. Farren actually had a much longer and distinguished career as a writer than he did as a musician…he penned a total of 23 novels and 11 works of non-fiction, all of them redolent of his unique sensibility (his 1976 article “The Titanic Sails at Dawn” for New Musical Express predicted the rise of punk rock). And on the music side, he never did anything that wasn’t extreme, collaborating with Lemmy of Hawkwind and Motörhead and Wayne Kramer of the MC5 among others residing on the cutting and bleeding edge of rock and roll. 1969’s Deviants III was the third and last record he cut with his band The Deviants (the other members went on to form Pink Fairies); despite the strains in the band and Farren’s later panning of its quality, it’s regarded in some quarters as a masterpiece, capturing the dark side of the end of the ’60s with such songs as “Billy the Monster” and “The People’s Suite.” Our reissue features the rare gatefold art that came out on the Sire label in the States, with a black and white “nun’s habit” vinyl pressing limited to 1000 copies. Farren collapsed while playing on stage with a re-formed (but not reformed!) version of The Deviants in 2013 and died soon thereafter…a fitting way for the unrepentant radical to go. R.I.P. Mick Farren.