1001 Albums: Piper at the Gates of Dawn

#89

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Artist: Pink Floyd

Album: Piper at the Gates of Dawn

Year: 1967

Length: 41:51

Genre: Psychedelic Rock / Experimental Rock

Why’d’ya have to leave me there
Hanging in my infant air
Waiting?
You only have to read the lines
They’re scribbly black and everything shines

And it happened. I was wondering when I’d get to Pink Floyd. I knew they would come around eventually, I mean obviously they would be on the list… how could they not? They’re one of those bands, you know? The kind that evveryyoooone talks about as being soooooo amazingly amazing that they’re amazingness cannot be topped by how amazingly amazing they are? Also, I knew because I’ve already looked at the list and know they have at least three more albums on it… so… yeah….

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t looking forward to listening to this album… or any Pink Floyd album really. If you didn’t catch on my sarcasm in the last paragraph… I’m not a fan at all. I had the pleasure/displeasure (depending how you look at it) of listening to their entire discography a little over a year ago. Boy was I met with such a mixed bag of feelings and had no idea how I felt about them at all. To this day I still don’t know how to feel about them. All I know is that, I’m not crazy about them and you won’t find me seeking out to listen to their work or buy their albums, however… I can see why people would love them.

And I mean normal music-loving people and not pretentious stoner dudes who think getting high and listening to Dark Side of the Moon somehow elevates them to a transcendent state of mind that is awe-inspiring and mind-blowing, because seriously if you need drugs to enjoy something… that’s not a good sign. I hate those people. But… I do have good friends who re level-headed and grounded who love Pink Floyd and I can see their point-of-view.

This really is something different and unique. To call this psychedelic music is a little bit of an understatement. This takes the idea of psychedelia and turns it up to 11. If you told me Syd Barrett was high on LSD (which he was) then I would not be surprised. I’m actually more surprised that the rest of the band were pretty much sober. Only the whacked out mind of a man whose mind was slowly deteriorating would be able to come up with something like this. Which, sad story, actually happened to Syd Barrett. There’s a really heart breaking story where Pink Floyd were recording an album and some fat kinda sad dude walked in and it took them a long time before they realised it was their old friend Syd. They mentioned it as one of the saddest moments they ever experienced in their life. Even around this time, Syd would sometimes be so far gone, they’d have to drag him on stage and he’d just stand there with his arms hanging down. The crowd went nuts anyway because they just loved Syd, for better or worse. Syd seemed to have that kind of power over people and I think this debut album perfectly encapsulates everything that Syd Barret was, from the mind-warping to the insanely genius.

Every song is a little bit of him. You could get a straight-forward psych song such as Lucifer Sam and then have to sit through 9 minutes of almost hard-bop style jazz (Interstellar Overdrive). There’s even songs that trick you, starting off as a straight-forward song only to switch over and take you on a mind-bending trip (Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk). Anyone whose really into this style would easily put this at the top of their lists, and as much as I recognize all this… it still wasn’t for me.

No matter what anyone tells me and no matter how much I see it, I’ll never be into Pink Floyd. I just don’t get it, I guess. First time I heard this album a little over a year ago, it actually gave me a massive headache. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing in retrospect, but headaches are never a good thing for me. I wish I could love them. I wish I could see what dorm room stoners see when they put a Pink Floyd album on. But I just don’t… maybe my personal tastes in music just suck, or maybe their just different, or maybe I’m counter-counter-culture and like just being against the norm… who knows?

Pink Floyd will always be one of those bands that left a mark on music history, alongside The Beatles and Led Zeppelin of every cliched top 10 list. But looking past my personal feelings… I guess I can see it and I guess that’s all that matters… I guess.

Well, I might be slowing down with the albums again for the next week or so. One of my favourite bands just released a new song and I have plans to write a separate article ranking their albums from worst to best. They have roughly 23 albums… so that might take awhile to plan out. But I’ll still try my best to get an album on the list checked off once in awhile.

Song of Choice: Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk

-Bosco

 

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1001 Albums: Disraeli Gears

#88

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Artist: Cream

Album: Disraeli Gears

Year: 1967

Length: 33:37

Genre: Psychedelic Rock / Blues Rock

“It’s getting near dawn,
When lights close their tired eyes
I’ll soon be with you my love,
To give you my dawn surprise
I’ll be with you darling soon,
I’ll be with you when the stars start falling”

My mood’s been kind of weird these days, hitting a bit of a down. Not going to go into details so I’m going to try my best to stick to talking about Cream.

Cream was a nice little treat for my otherwise crappy day. I already knew their big hit “Sunshine of my Love’ thanks to Guitar Hero and just… you know life in general. It’s a pretty big song for them, hard not to have heard it at all unless you’ve been living under a rock. I actually didn’t expect it to suddenly come on… I mean I should have, but I didn’t look ahead or even think about it in general, so when it came on I definitely got excited. You know the type of excitement when  a song you know plays and you’re all like “Hey I know that song! I KNOW IT! EVERYONE I HAVE HEARD THIS SONG!!!!!!! HEY!!!! HEEEEYYYYY!!!!!” I was alone so screaming that out didn’t really have much purpose or effect in general.

As much as the band was trying to get away from their blues rock roots, they still managed to incorporate it with their new psychedelic sound they were aiming for,  creating a nice blend of both styles. Was nice to hear Eric Clapton again after hearing him on The Bluesbreakers album. I should have know it was him just based on the sound of the guitar work, which is very much his own sound, but I never caught on it seems. To be honest I should have just known he played on Cream in general because that’s just general music knowledge but whatever we all have brain farts once in awhile. My point is, it was nice to hear him play again. I know a lot of people aren’t crazy about Eric Clapton but there’s no denying he does what he does very well and can really create a guitar groove that you can get lost in.

Musically I feel I don’t really have much to say. For the most part it’s just some really good shit. I thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish and didn’t find a weak moment in the whole album. It was such a treat to sit through this album and feel myself grooving to Ginger Baker’s drum beats and Eric Clapton’s solos. The song writing is overall damn solid and the album really evokes a mixture of the summer of love with some hard rock sensibilities which I’d take over any type of hippie-dippie music any day. It’s like if you grabbed everything good about it and pumped it up to make it rock a little more then you would probably have Cream… probably. I honestly don’t know what I’m talking about.

There’s some interesting stories surrounding this album. Ok, not that interesting but more… amusing. One interesting note is that they actually recorded this album in a record three days which if you have heard the album know that’s one hell of an impressive feat. I think they were on a race with time because apparently their work visas expired their final recording day, so they really had to crank this out as quickly and efficiently as they could. Well, it definitely paid off because the final result is simply amazing.

Another funny story is where the title came from. I mean, Disraeli Gears is a rather odd title for an album and isn’t mentioned anywhere in any of the songs or seems to have anything to do with the album. According to Ginger Baker it was a slip of the tongue by one of the roadies who called the Derailleur Gears racing bikes Disraeli Gears by accident. The band found it so funny that they just had to name their album that. What do you expect from a band who gave themselves such a self-indulgent band name. We all know they named themselves Cream from the expression “Cream always rises to the top” to show off their over-confidence as a band. I guess they just knew they were the top of the top. Or at least believed that. Maybe not the top, but definitely up there.

I’m going to start mentally preparing myself for the next album, which I am not looking forward to at all. Until then, I’ll try to keep Cream in my mind to keep me sane.

Song of Choice: SWALBR

-Bosco

 

1001 Albums: Forever Changes

#87

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Artist: Love

Album: Forever Changes

Year: 1967

Length: 42:05

Genre: Psychedelic Rock / Baroque Pop

“What is happening and how have you been
Gotta go but I’ll see you again
And oh, the music is so loud
And then I fade into the

Crowds of people standing everywhere
‘Cross the street I’m at this laugh affair
And here they always play my songs”

Well, well, Love, we meet again. Feels like not too long ago we encountered each other for the first time and here we are again. What will you bring for me today? What wonders and marvels will be at my ears this time around? I loved Da Capo, will I love this one as much? Who knows but the excitement and anticipation is killer as usual (even though the album has already started playing as I write this). We shall see.

It seems there’s a lot of history associated with this album. Coming so soon off Da Capo, the band was in jeopardy of breaking up due to a lot of struggles within the band itself. Members doing drugs, fighting for control and just not agreeing (especially between Arthur Lee and Bryan MacLean, the two main songwriters) with the former even refusing to tour for some time, it seemed they had one last shot to give it a go. Trying to capitalise on the whole flower power and summer of love movement happening t the time, they decided to make it a more hippie style album, especially compared to the last one. It seems Arthur Lee, despite being part of the counter culture never subscribed to the whole flower power idea, stating that sunshine wasn’t enough to cure all the darkness in the world. SO as much as this album has those sensibilities of the hippie movement, there’s Arthur’s frame of mind sprinkled throughout to never get it to that point.

This is considered one of the greatest psychedelic music albums of all time and I guess I can sort of see why that is. Musically it’s incredibly strong and the band seems to be tighter than ever. They’ve expanded their talent and have grown considerably from the last album, delving more artistically into their work and pushing their song writing to the limits. However, it’s not really doing much for me. I think that’s more due to the style rather than the music itself. There’s a lot of elements of Folk here and we all know my sentiments towards folk, a genre I respect but just am not into. The only song I’ve previously heard from this album is “The Red Telephone” while taking my psychedelic music class. It was that and “7 and 7 is” that introduced me to the band. I always loved the latter way more than the former… so maybe that should have been an indication of how I’d feel about this album.

You really do get a sense that Arthur Lee is trying to take snapshot of how things were. A moment in time, a memory that he wanted to preserve before things got really bad. You can hear it in the music and in his vocals. He sings with a sort of desperation that’s hard to recreate. A desperation to just keep things together and make sure that they stay together. It’s almost sad, but never quite gets there.

As “The Red Telephone” plays it brings back vague memories of when I was in that class. Times seemed great. Had a best friend at the time (we’ve sadly parted ways in a really bad way) and we were in the class together, cracking jokes and all around just having a good time. It’s funny how life goes, eh? You think you have things set and things will stay that way. But sometimes even the best things turn bad. One second you’re super close to someone and love them and the next you find yourself hating everything about them. How does that happen? How do you go from being so close to so distant like you’ve never known them. Feeling like you suddenly are nothing and are made to seem useless and worthless in someone’s life is never a good feeling… but how can someone do that? How can someone just click that part of their brain off and throw someone away so easily like they’re a toy that they’re done playing with? How can some people be that awful?

God dammit album… what are you doing to me? I wanted to be happy not reminisce about sad shit. This album seems to have a weird power over me as it plays. It must be the vibe. Definitely has this solemn aura that just affects you. Funny, how music can do that to you sometimes…

Before this gets worse, I’ll sign off here and let the album finish.

Song of Choice: A House is not a Motel

-Bosco

PS. Finished it and I have to say it’s a really solid album and is strong overall. Good shit.

 

1001 Albums: Goodbye & Hello

#86

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Artist: Tim Buckley

Album: Goodbye & Hello

Year: 1967

Length: 42:41

Genre: Folk Rock / Psychedelic Rock

If you tell me a lie I’ll cry for you
Tell me of sin and I’ll laugh
If you tell me of all the pain you’ve had
I’ll never smile again

Everywhere there’s rain my love
Everywhere there’s fear”

Ever wake up having one of those existential crises? You know which one I’m talking about? The doubt of where you are in your life, what you’re currently doing with you life. That fear of where you’re headed and what you’ll become. That feeling that you haven’t made a name for yourself at your age even though you thought you’d have way more to your name by now. That feeling of existential dread that you might never amount to anything and continue to feel the way you are.

That one.

I mean, it’s not as bad as it seems. We’ve all gone through those feelings. We’ve all been afraid of our own futures and worried about where we were headed and what we’ll become in our lives. As anything, you stop yourself and realise that you’re the master of your own destiny (unless of course everything is in fact pre-determined in our lives and no matter what we do we can’t change that… but that’s pretty depressing to think about). All we can really do is keep moving forward, learn to better ourselves and become stronger as people and continue to grow. And most importantly, get off our asses and go out and do the things we want to do, no matter how scary.

Easier said than done of course, but possible no matter how difficult. Easier for some, harder for others. At the end of the day we all have our own struggles, the biggest difference is whether we choose to let them over-consume us and control our lives or choose to move past them and come out stronger and bigger than you were before. It’s tougher but I would choose the latter every time.

I woke up with that feeling the other morning after two months of not having that feeling, I guess I was due for it. I don’t know if it’s because I’m 25 and going through a sort of quarter life crisis and just terrified of what am I gonna do with my life, or because I’m just an incredibly anxious person who overthinks everything, either way it was there and kind of shook me up. I realised I sort of need to get up and move… which is taking baby steps, but I feel like if I keep going, things will work out for sure.

This was meant to be more inspiring than sad, but whatever, take from it what you will, I have an album to listen to.

I know absolutely nothing about Tim Buckley and the wikipedia page for this album really has nothing to say so I’m going in absolutely blind with this one. I’m about four songs in and already I’m starting to see the uniqueness that is Tim Buckley. As I’ve said in previous posts, Folk is not my favourite or strongest genre of music, however, Tim seems to completely redefine what it means to be Folk by blending in all these psychedelic qualities to it without ever becoming psychedelic music itself. It’s still very much folk rock all around.

I honestly don’t really know what to say. I am at a loss of words in a lot of ways. Not because it’s boring or uninspiring, far from it actually, it’s a really fascinating album, but because it’s such a unique take on an old genre that I really have no idea how to express it. This ain’t Bob Dylan’s Folk rock, I’ll tell you that. Odd sound effects, trippy, mythical lyrics, strange effects added to the instruments, it’s like what folk rock would be if it tripped on acid. Just a little acid though. Heck, the song that just passed was called Hallucinations… sure felt like one too.

This seems to be one of those albums on the list that were for the most part forgotten or ignored when first released but in retrospect garnered a huge respect and following. The little critique I read called it groundbreaking and revolutionary, which as each tune goes by, I can definitely feel that sentiment. Nothing I’ve listened to has quite been like this and it really stands as being it’s own thing. Even Tim Buckley’s voice, which I honestly thought was a woman singing for a second, is quite unique and adds that extra layer to the music that really makes it pop. But not pop as in popping a balloon or popping corn… that would be ridiculous…

Speaking of popping corn. My friends somehow convinced me to go see It this week. I know that doesn’t seem like a big deal to lots of you, but to those who know me know that it is. I don’t hate Horror movies, I actually have a lot of rspect for them and have been trying to watch all the classics to broaden my movie knowledge in general. But Horror movies don’t sit well with me. Already being an incredibly anxious person and scared of the dark, watching a horror movie is the perfect recipe for making sure I have sleepless nights and nightmares. Can’t control that, has always been that way since I saw Halloween H20 in grade five. Why did an elementary school teacher think it was ok to show this movie to a class of 10 – 12 year olds is beyond me. Lack of judgement? Probably, but then again I had the choice to not watch it if I really wanted to. My curiosity had the better of me. My curiosity seems to do that to me. Screw me over emotionally all the time. You think I’d have learned by now, but nope. Lesson is… never listen to your curiosity. There’s a reason the expression Curiosity killed the cat is a thing. I mean, curiosity is good when used well… but I’ve come to a point that it makes me want to know every detail of everything and believe me… some things… you just don’t want to know. *SHUDDERS*

So yeah, It was good. Thoroughly enjoyed it, didn’t find it scary. Creepy at times for sure, but never scary. Nice story about facing your fears and overcoming them, which is a moral I kind of needed slapped in my face at that moment (no joke).

I’m not here to do a movie review though. Actually I’m not here to review anything technically. I know my posts have slowly become reviews as I listen to more and more albums and get a slightly better ear when it comes to music, but I remember my initial intentions always being about chronicling the journey of listening to the albums, not critiquing them. It’s honestly hard not too. How do you talk about an album without breaking it apart? Especially in a review-like setting? Oh well, I do what I do what I do what I do.

Three songs are left on the album and I still don’t have a favourite. I feel this might be one of those where I have difficulty picking a song of choice. Usually it’s for albums I didn’t really care for and I always feel like following up the song of choice with a little (…I guess) because at that point I just had to pick something. In this case, that’s not the case. I feel a little mesmerised by the whole experience of this album that… I’m not sure exactly what to pinpoint out of it all.

I’m for sure overselling the album a bit, but you have to put it into context. I just went from psychedelic music and The fucking Monkees to suddenly be met with this piece of majestic folk rock. And I’m not joking about majestic, with all the themes of kings and queens and castles. The song of the same name as the album is an 8-minute epic that illustrates imagery of lutes and fools and knights. Tim Buckley almost sounds like a modern day bard playing on the green of the castle, telling medieval style stories to the local peasants.

oh… I think I got it now… cool.

Song of Choice: Goodbye and Hello

-Bosco

 

1001 Albums: Da Capo

#83

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Artist: Love

Album: Da Capo

Year: 1966

Length: 35:54

Genre: Psychedelic Rock/ Baroque Pop

“When I was invisible
I needed no light
You saw right through me, you said
Was I out of sight?

Whoa-oh-oh-oh, my love she comes in colors
You can tell her from the clothes she wears”

I’m doing something I’ve only done once before, I’m writing this as I listen to the album. I figured it’d be an easy way for me to get back into it and not worry about writing a post almost two weeks after originally listening to an album. To be honest, I don’t know what to expect from a band that calls themselves Love. I’ve had exposure to two of their songs (7 and 7 is and Red Telephone) the former of which is actually on this album and if this album is anything similar to 7 and 7 is then I’m in for a treat for sure.

Stephanie Knows Who just played, basically ended almost as quickly as it started. Real shame, I was enjoying that tune quite a bit. Great opener to start an album, it’s dancey and vibrant and full of energy and has some great harpsichord on it, which is always a plus. I wish it was a little longer though, especially compared to the 19 minute song found at the end of this album. Ugh… that’s gonna be fun to sit through. Not like I haven’t before, I mean I’ve listened to Kraftwerk’s Autobahn… many times, which is a 22 minute song that takes up a whole vinyl side like their finale, so it shouldn’t be so bad… will it?

So, I’m halfway through Orange Skies, big difference from Stephanie Knows Who (which is currently my favourite). Definitely hitting on the psychedelic side a little more. It’s got a summer of love feel to it with an essence of being high and floating, which I guess suits the name. There’s some cool flute on it too which I didn’t expect. Overall Decent tune.

Woo, QUE VIDA! I sound way more excited than I am about this tune. It’s along the same lines as the previous one and according to critics is a little unclassifiable as a tune. I guess? I mean it sounds pretty psychedelic with elements of pop… I don’t know maybe that’s just me. It’s interesting actually… apparently this album was a big flop when it first came out and even retrospective reviews are like… I guess it’s ok? With big criticism coming from the finale 19 minute song being the one that busted the album (but in retrospect was… ok they guess?). I don’t know if this is supposed to make me look forward to that finale, but hopefully it won’t be a torturous 19 minutes (which it could very easily be). Que Vida! is still playing and is really growing on me. One of those songs that at first I was like… ok not bad, but kind of stuck by the end. Always give songs a chance.

Fucking yes! Fucking yes!!!! the Proto-punk stylings of 7 and 7 is. Oh man, that fast drumming and guitar strumming, the screaming vocals and the all-around energy of this tune is just so infectious. Another highlight from my famous psychedelic music course. I remember this song just sticking with me hardcore. Another guy in the class hated it. he can go fuck himself, this song is amazing and the exact pure energy I need to get me running through a mine field.

The Castle is hitting it back with the psychedelic style. I feel like this song is always on the verge of becoming something exciting, but always stops itself before it does. It’s pretty smooth and sensual for the most part, but then there’s these drum kicks and bass grooves that kick in and I keep thinking it’s going to Rave-up, but it never does. What a cock tease. But that harpsichord that just kicked in is pretty fabulous, I seem to be getting a new favourite instrument. It so far hasn’t failed to amuse me on any album it has appeared on. Interesting tune, by the end of it it seemed to have shifted gears a little. Still sticking to it’s style but changing in tune a little. Solid stuff.

As She Comes In Colours plays I’m starting to wonder why this flopped. At first I was wondering why this was included on the list at all if it flopped that badly, but 6 songs in and I’m starting to wonder why it flopped. This is a pretty solid album that flows very nicely. The music is accessible enough for everyone to enjoy but still manages to really be it’s own thing. To my knowledge Love was trying out something completely new with this album. I’ve never heard their debut but it sounds like they did an excellent job. (Also that harpsichord is giving me an orgasm… oh man, you never expect it to come in but when it does it’s pure pleasure to the ears, especially in this song). I loved this tune more than I should have but what you gonna do… what you gonna do when they come for you…

Now here it is, the song I’ve been waiting for the entire album. Revelation, the 19 minute song. Strong start, harpsichord opening (which we all know is a huge bonus for me on this album) and kicking into a groovin’ guitar chord riff. A little different than the rest of the album, probably more reminiscent of their debut (which I haven’t heard so this is just speculation). But an informed assumption since this was a jam they did at their live shows way before this album came out. It actually influenced the Rolling Stones to make Coming Home, their 9 minute rock tune, but because Aftermath came out before Da Capo, they got accused of copying them. But does it matter? Their’s was 9 minutes, this is a solid 19 minutes. Another beats completely and should have no comparison. Especially stylistically they may be similar but are really their own beasts entirely. The goal with this song was to capture the energy of their live performances (sounds familiar… I think I read that with John Mayall’s and the Bluesbreakers…). I’ve got a pretty sweet harmonica solo blaring away, did not expect that especially since the harmonica has basically been absent the whole album (or maybe it was there and I just wasn’t paying attention).

Ugh… I’m only 5 minutes in. This song is lucky that so far it’s listenable and pretty great. It changes enough that it doesn’t feel monotonous and there’s always something new happening, with some groovy guitar solos permeating throughout. Actually… these are some solid guitar solos, like damn… I’m engaged and invested in these solos. Not sure where this song is headed and what adventure I have left. I still have a good 11 minutes left on it… so we shall see.

I’m finding myself tapping my foot to the beat. That’s a good sign. I’m really getting into it. Man, this album is way better than I expected it to be. I guess when you enter something with low expectations all it can really do is impress you. And boy has this albums impressed me. I’ve saved every song to my playlist that I share with Sandra. You see, I started this playlist called Bosco and Sandra’s Never Ending Playlist on Spotify, where we basically add any and every song we want to it to make one huge playlist that encompasses both our tastes in music. It’s a nice couple thing to engage in I feel. Speaking of which, me and Sandra celebrated our 1-year anniversary just last month! This is incredibly exciting for me. I know to you, the reader, it means absolutely nothing, but for those who know me know a year is a big deal. I’ve only had one previous relationship that lasted more than a year (2) while all the others never made it past 5 months (except my last one which was 8). Why? I usually tend to lose interest by the 5 month mark, no idea why, many reasons and factors I guess that play into it. So the fact I’ve hit a year and still am crazy about this bubbly ball of positivity is really a good sign. Who knows.

Anyway, like I was saying, the playlist. So every time I listen to an album from this list I add my favourites to our playlist and it’s rare that I’ll add an entire album. It has happened a few times and a few albums have that distinction of being a full save (The Monk’s Black Monk Time and Moby Grape are two members of that club). This is one of them. Especially now as I hit some… saxophone? solo that is just purely amazing. I was nervous about this song but it is really taking me on a trip here, and not the drug-induced type of trip, a musical trip from instrument to instrument, that never veers away from what it set out to do but still manages to pull many surprises out of it’s pocket. Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy.

As Revelation comes to an end, I’ll finish this write-up.. up, as well. Final thoughts: Solid album that I did not expect to enjoy as much as I did. I was pleasantly surprised with it as a whole and feel it should be on a list of albums more people should check out (and it is! hurr hurr). I think it’s pretty fitting that the song ends with a marching band type drum solo that stopped abruptly to give way for that magical harpsichord sound.

Oh Harpsichord… my love… please don’t leave me aloooone, I’ll miss you…

Song of Choice: 7 and 7 is

-Bosco

1001 Albums: Moby Grape

#82

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Artist: Moby Grape

Album: Moby Grape

Year: 1967

Length: 30:47

Genre: Psychedelic Rock

“What is this feeling my heart gets when I see you smile?
And why can’t I say to you “Come with me just for a while”?

I guess I’ll never know why
I’ll just lay here and decay here”

I’ve slowed down quite considerably. I realise I start most of my posts these days with how I keep delaying them and how I ain’t as speedy as I used to, so I’m going to try and avoid repeating that, but just like any marathon, there’s bumps in the road where it seemingly comes to a halt and doesn’t want to move forward. I think this is the longest I have gone without writing a post, more than two weeks, which is crazy for me. If my goal was to complete the list within three years I’m definitely doing a bad job at it. But hey, the goal is to listen to the entire list as long as I eventually do that, that’s all that matters, no matter how long it takes.

It doesn’t help I’ve been a little distracted with life. I seemingly never get a moments rest. I have school during the week then work weekends and if I’m lucky, I’ll have one day off. Sometimes Sandra comes up to visit me, sometimes my parents do. On free nights I hang out with friends… or I sleep. The blog seems to have taken a step into the background and has dropped on the list of priorities and motivations, which on one hand I get why but on the other… I’m not really happy about it. It also doesn’t help that I started doing this new thing with my friends where we’d each suggest three albums we love to each other and would listen to all of them to broaden our music horizons and get to know each other’s tastes better. I’ve been doing that a lot. Still listening to music just not the 1001 albums list. In between those albums I should play one of these so at least I can keep up the rhythm of it and get back into things. That’s always the hardest part when you fall out of routine, getting back into it.

No matter, on with the blog.

I listened to this album about three times. One, because I love it and Two, because of the delays I kept forgetting it. It’s also one of those albums that for whatever reason is only partially on spotify. Like half the songs are there but the other half are grayed out… not sure why. I know that it’s up to the artist or publisher to release the music on spotify and what can and cannot be heard… but why only half an album? Whys hare some but not all? It’s a weird phenomenon that seems to happen regularly on Spotify, but thankfully the whole album was on Youtube. I had to replay it a ton of times so I can listen to it straight through without any ads popping up throughout, which is really fucking annoying, but what you gonna do, beggars can’t be choosers.

So like I said, I really love this album. I had been exposed to Moby Grape years ago in my Psychedelic Music class. Teacher showed us Omaha and I immediately fell in love with it. My friend at the time and I would sing it out loud all the time and would have it play on repeat. Funny story, when the exam came around and it was the listening portion where the teacher plays a song and you have to say the name, artist and two fun facts, this one came on and my friend had no idea what the name of it was. See, he was relying on the fact that most songs sing the name of the song in the song itself, that would jog his memory. Jokes on him because Omaha never appears as a lyric in this song. HAHAHAHAHA.

It’s not that funny, sorry.

It’s kind of sad that more people don’t know about this band. I mean, I would have never heard of them if it wasn’t for that class and I really do thing they’re an incredibly undervalued band that should get wayyyy more recognition than they do. One listen to this album and you know why. They manage to blend so many different styles of music into one album that it’s shocking how well they were able to make it flow despite the stylistic shifts. One second you’re listening to a bluesy rock song, the next a sample from psychedelic music history, and then followed by country influenced riffs, some proto-punk, folk stylings and ballads. An album this uncohesive shouldn’t work on paper but works amazingly in practice and it is mainly due to the talent of the band. Every single member shares in writing credits and it’s a rare moment where every member appears as lead singer at least once and even features a guitar trio the only other band at the time to do this was Buffalo Springfield). And they do it very effectively too. Three guitarists fighting to win a guitar battle and creating a collage of sound that just works so beautifully together.  It’s just a really fucking good album that I honestly feel needs to be noticed way more than it is. There isn’t one bad track on the entire album and even if you’re not crazy about one song, you’ll most definitely love another just because of the variety of styles they offer. This is hailed as a masterpiece and I could argue to agree with that statement. It’s rare that I listen to an entire album on the first sitting and am completely enamoured by it, I thoroughly enjoyed every single song off of it.

I also love some of the history behind this band. The album cover itself generated a lot of controversy mostly due to Don Stevenson flipping the bird on the cover (which would be airbrushed out in future pressings) and the use of the American flag in the background, which for some reason was a big deal and was airbrushed a solid colour (either red or black depending what issue you have) so it looked like a regular flag. They also had issues with their band name. It seems after some weird legal contract they signed, their manager was the full owner of the band causing the band to release future music under names like Grape Moby, Maby Grope, The Melvilles, etc, in order to legally perform publicly without conflict from Katz (their manager). I think this is a big factor as to why Moby Grape sort of fell away from the mainstream eye, their follow-ups would never be as good as this one and thanks to all their legal disputes and lawsuits with Matthew Katz, they seemed to just be in a constant decline of unnecessary headaches and woes. They would probably have been way more successful and even considered in the same light as The Beatles and Rolling Stones if it weren’t for all those troubles.

Fascinating, yet sad story.

I’m glad to see within the music enthusiast’s community Moby Grape is held in quite high regard and deservedly so. If only we could bring their greatness to the masses then that would just be great.

Song of Choice: Omaha

-Bosco

1001 Albums: Electric Music For The Mind And Body

#79

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Artist: Country Joe and the Fish

Album: Electric Music for the Mind and Body

Year: 1967

Length: 43: 30

Genre: Acid Rock/Blues Rock

“She hides in an attic concealed on a shelf
Behind volumes of literature based on herself
And runs across the pages like some tiny elf
Knowing that it’s hard to find
Stuff way back in her mind
Winds up spending all of her time
Trying to memorize every line
Sweet Lorraine, ah sweet Lorraine.”

Man was this a throwback to a few years ago. three to be exact (could be two, I don’t know anymore). Around my final year of university I had taken a course on the history of Psychedelic Music. Knew nothing about it but took it because I enjoyed the teacher’s Rock n’ Roll history class and was excited to learn about a music genre I barely knew anything about and wanted to expand my music knowledge. It was a pretty good class, looking at all sorts of genres that would act as precursors to psychedelic rock, looking at bands such as Syndicate of Sound, The 13th Floor Elevators, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. One of the bands we had briefly looked at would be one that stayed with me since then, one of their songs getting some good playtime on my ipod. It was none other than Country Joe and The Fish.

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No, not that country joe and the fish, although I’m sure he’s doing just fine.

I’m talking about the band. That quirky sounding band that incoporated odd guitar sounds and rhythms, strange vocals and wacky riffs.  Well, that’s what I believed at least from the song that I kept listening to. I was curious to hear what a full length album by them would sound like based on knowing that one song and wouldn’t you believe it, it was nowhere to be found on this album.

For those wondering what it was, it was their live show staple and fan favourite “I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die-Rag”. A protest song that tackled their feelings towards the vietnam war that had you hooting and hollering along as you danced to kazoo like sounds. It was such an important protest song at the time that I’m completely surprised that they didn’t include it on their debut album.

For you’re listening pleasure, here it is:

It’s honestly such a fun ditty that it’s a shame that it’s nowhere to be seen in this album’s 43 minute run time.

But… on second thought, it’s not crazy that they decided to exclude it. Listening to the album, it would have stuck out like a sore thumb. There doesn’t seem to be an appropriate place in the album to put it without it killing the pace and vibe that the album was working so hard to create. I honestly should have expected it from the other song that didn’t get as much airplay on my ipod that we heard in class “Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine”, a staple of psychedelic rock history due to it’s strange and absurd lyrical content of introspection and possible drug induced imagery and it’s swirling keyboards. Wasn’t crazy about it then as I cranked up their protest song, but hearing it here I definitely acquired much more admiration for it.

I really enjoyed this album. Found myself going on quite a trip from start to beginning and never felt a moment where I was taken out of it, each song contributing to that solemn yet peppy vibe that The Fish were permeating throughout. The first half of the album keeps you on your toes with some upbeat blues infused psychedelic rock which slowly deteriorates into harsher and trippier psychedelia throughout the second half. Even though it’s technically acid rock, it feels more like a toned down version of what we would eventually get to know as Psychedelic music but the elements are still there and I can definitely see how this would have helped in developing the genre. From their song “Death Sound” that has some fantastic reverb effects on the guitar to “Section 43” one of the greatest instrumental tracks I ever heard, that takes you on a trip and actually seems to tell a story… in sections, similar to what prog rock would eventually do with their music. Multiple instrumental tracks put together to tell one coherent story. By the time you hit “Sad and Lonely Times” you know you’re in for a bit of a trip as each song starts to get dipped into the acid pool of textures and feelings. “Bass Strings”, “Masked Marauder” and “Grace” (a tribute to Jefferson Airplane’s Grace Slick) feel out of this world and although it’s never at the heights of psychedelic music to come it definitely set the groundwork for it’s successors to reach higher heights that the Fish didn’t hit.

May have been overshadowed by future acts ad albums within the genre but definitely worth a checkout if you can, especially for those keys. Man I love that keyboard work.

Song of Choice: Section 43

-Bosco

p.s. “I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die-Rag” would appear on their second album of the same name. So it wasn’t completely excluded from their discography.