By now psychedelic music is a mainstay of popular taste. But questions of its origins still linger. As such, Bear Family Records now submits ‘Wild Boy: The Lost Songs of Eden Ahbez’ as fresh evidence in the quest for answers. Over the past twenty years Ahbez has gone from cult figure to harbinger of the Sixties flower-power movement. This notion is born out largely by his 1948 anthem of universal love, Nature Boy, and his rare solo album from 1960, titled ‘Eden’s Island’—one of popular music’s earliest concept albums. ‘Wild Boy: The Lost Songs Of Eden Ahbez’ both expands the Ahbez catalog and deepens the notion of a psychedelic movement having roots in the 1950s. Side-one acts as a compilation of music that Ahbez wrote in the aftermath of Nature Boy. Inclusion of songs like Palm Springs by the Ray Anthony Orchestra and Hey Jacque by Eartha Kitt give listeners the chance to hear obscure cuts by big-name artists in the context of Ahbez for the first time. Side-two shows the songwriter inching closer to ‘Eden’s Island’ and the actual hippie movement, with absurdist rock/exotica tracks like Wild Boy and Surfer John, as well as sweet psych-pop like the unreleased Monterey (featuring Paul Horn on the flute). The album ends with an unreleased cut, titled The Clam Man, which Ahbez recorded as an ode to a fellow bearded hermit down in Baja, CA. In total, ‘Wild Boy: The Lost Songs Of Eden Ahbez’ offers seven unreleased cuts and as many rare singles to produce an overview of the songwriter’s lost work from 1949-71. What Ahbez misses in hallucinogenic content, he more than makes up for with his primitive chord structures, expansive arrangements, and lyrics about travel, leisure, free-love, and spirituality. As such, the canon of psychedelic music and that of Hippie #1 just got bigger.