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Electric Music For The Mind And Body

Country Joe & The Fish

1967

Electric Music For The Mind And Body
Album Summary

Electric Music for the Mind and Body is Country Joe and the Fish's debut album. Released in May 1967 on the Vanguard label, it was one of the first psychedelic albums to come out of San Francisco. Tracks from the LP, especially "Section 43", "Grace", and "Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine" were played on progressive FM rock stations like KSAN and KMPX in San Francisco, often back-to-back. A version of the song "Love" was performed at the 1969 Woodstock Festival. "Grace" is a tribute to Jefferson Airplane's lead singer, Grace Slick.

Wikipedia

Rating

2.9

Votes

6958
Genres
Psychedelic Rock

Reviews

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Mon May 24 2021
2

I find it very hard to get excited about an album like this. It was probably big or important in its time (67, right at the beginning of the whole psychedelic pop-rocknsummer of love shit) but this is the same crap I've heard a done much better a million times. I paid more attention to the lyrics to see if I was missing something groundbreaking - cool cats, diggin trips, fuck LBJ, nothing new to see here. And I get that these are cliches now but might not have been at the time, doesn't make them less annoying. It's raw, and I fucking love raw albums, but these guys needed a couple more takes of a few of these songs. And the bluesy track that could have been a nice song was ruined by the loudest tambourine I've ever heard in a song, followed later by the loudest maracas I've ever heard in a song. "Death sound". Maybe I'd have enjoyed it if I'd heard it before I heard Jefferson airplane, grateful dead etc. Or if I never watched ANY Vietnam movies. Or if I dropped some acid first. Other than that, great album.

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Wed Feb 08 2023
2

Well, it’s better than the Grateful Dead, but that’s a low bar.

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Fri Oct 29 2021
1

Electric Music for the Mind and Body by Country Joe and The Fish (1967) McDonald’s moniker “Country Joe” is a reference to Joseph Stalin, and Barry Melton’s moniker “The Fish” is a reference to Mao Zedong (Wikipedia); you see, mommies, daddies, and managers were post-WWII socialists. This was music that was loved at the time because it was so ‘counter-cultural’. And it was loved by people who celebrated their difference from the mainstream by imitating each other. This mindset was perfectly parodied by Dick Shawn in the 1967 Mel Brooks classic “The Producers”. The ‘message’ is carried by trite lyrics that clunk along and stop just short of expressing feeling. It’s what you get when you turn red diaper babies loose in the studio. Lyrically, the album seems to be excusing itself by saying, “Since I’m stoned, I don’t have to make sense”. There’s one weeny stab at amateur political satire of LBJ (“Superbird”) that can be reduced to “I don’t like you, nyaah, nyaah”. And when a songwriter says (“Sad and Lonely Times”), “I can’t find the words to tell you how I care”, the listener can’t help but say, “Well, keep searching and get back to me”. Lead guitar has some nice moments (“Death Sound”, “Bass Strings”) with sparkling blues runs, inventive rapid tremolo and tasteful reverb, but it’s slapped against lead vocals that utterly lack soul. Plus, the bass strings on “Bass Strings” are seriously out of tune (actually, this is the case on most of the album). And there’s often an annoying mismatch between the gimmicky guitar effects (e.g., “Porpoise Mouth”) and the lyrical mood. Organ and harmonica on the pretentiously ‘psychedelic’ extended “Section 43” are strictly amateur. The closing track “Grace” (supposedly a tribute to Grace Slick) is so bad I can picture Slick saying, “Thanks, but no thanks.” It’s all about love, peace, getting high, stop the war, yada yada. And it’s all so plastic—an album that begs not to be taken seriously. 1/5

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Wed May 12 2021
5

Was having a bad day. couple of beers and this CD fixed me.

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Wed Apr 28 2021
4

Fuzzy, loosey goosey blues and psych. A pleasant surprise, but I feel like it loses the plot near the end. I like how, at one point, they drop all pretense and just whisper the letters "LSD". Favorite tracks: "Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine", "Love"

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Sat Jul 10 2021
4

On the whole, I liked it. Good, old-school, jazz-infused psychedelic rock. There were some things I didn't like though. The guitars were occasionally too high-pitched and whiny for my liking (although I really liked the more swamp-style twingey guitar parts) and the vocals weren't the best either. Still, a nice listen overall.

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Thu Apr 08 2021
3

blues-y patchouli oil old school hippy stuff. Rugged, gritty, leftist. That classic "I recorded this in a tent" aesthetic.

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Tue Jun 01 2021
5

Probably the best Country Joe and the Fish album

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Fri Aug 20 2021
5

Excellent stuff. Love finding bangers on this list that I've never heard of. Loved the weirdness of it

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Mon Apr 05 2021
3

Who could forget the time that LBJ fought the Fantastic 4 and Doctor Strange? This album is on DRUGS

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Fri Apr 16 2021
3

Meh. Groovy, but only as a period example

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Wed Dec 28 2022
1

Well that Xmas recycling is not going to sort itself, I'd better get a crack on. For some reason our yellow bin cycle doesn't really align with Xmas, so it's a bit of struggle, what with two weeks of normal recycling and then all the Xmas boxes and stuff, but then that's Canterbury Bankstown council for you. Sorry did someone say something about Country Joe and the Fish, sorry, I didn't catch that..on a par with Stephen Stills? I can't hear you over the sound of boxes being scrunched.

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Wed Mar 22 2023
1

Apparently you can judge a book by its cover. My favourite part was the song that randomly played right after this album finished on Apple Music. Check out “Screamin’” by The Paul Butterfield Blue Band.

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Wed Jun 29 2022
5

4.5/5. Might be low-key some of the best stuff from 60s Cali psych at the time

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Fri Sep 09 2022
5

Un viaje sonoro espectacular, recomendable

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Mon Oct 31 2022
5

Really enjoyed this one, especially the dark psychedelic sound that it has.

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Wed Nov 16 2022
5

Groovy, I love it. The first tracks are perfect, the last ones are a bit less interesting to me, but still very good

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Sun Aug 13 2023
5

Well, I approach this with a great deal of nervousness. Country? Ew. Is it actually country? No, thank the lord it isn't. It's psychedelic rock, which is on every measure better than country. Speaking of "country", I absolutely love the filth of "Not so sweet Martha Lorraine". Clearly a reference to Shakespeare's "Country Matters", this is a song about sex. A bookish woman has learnt about sex from books and by rote. She doesn't take pleasure in it, but uses it. She wants him "to die" is obviously, glaringly la petit mort, the little death. Wiping the tears "from his friend's eye" is sordidly descriptive. She's using sex, using it to bring him to climax even - but she's never learnt "the country ways" - she doesn't know how to take any of that pleasure for herself. And he's lamenting that. What a cracking little track and what a story it tells!

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Wed May 19 2021
4

Messy, chaotic, weirdly mastered, and I loved it. I like this kind of fail music.

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Wed Apr 28 2021
4

Great psych album, beyter than early dead.

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Fri Aug 20 2021
4

Liked this a lot. Great guitar, some powerful lyrics, good sound. A K-Town Banger in my opinion.

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Fri Aug 20 2021
4

Yeah I was into this. Blusey aand cool

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Wed Oct 06 2021
4

I was pretty sure by the album cover that I would be listening to some old psychedlic rock on this one, and that was correct. I also expected that I wouldn't be fond of it. However, I found myself liking the bluesey/psych fusion of it with the occasional twangy guitar. If they had refined this a bit more, could have seen it make a 5. Favorite songs - Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine, Super Bird, but also Love. As is, 3.6/5

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Thu Oct 21 2021
4

I liked this one! Probably a 3.5 but I was into the psychedelic sound and it was deep and complex. Plus there was something a little extra/different with it. A few good stories in the songs and they were all solid until the last one. Would listen again easily so I'll bump up to 4.

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Mon Nov 22 2021
4

Of it's time in the best way, that great late 60's political idealism mixed with psychedelia. Had never heard any of this before, but I may be a new fan.

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Thu Dec 09 2021
4

they're jammin. bluesy with a country twang. nice lead guitar work. a bit psychedelic at times. i liked the keyboard sound. I liked the track Bass Strings a lot. Section 43 was a cool instrumental. At first it was a little too country for me but i liked it as it progressed and got more psychedelic

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Sun Jan 09 2022
4

A surprisingly great album. I wasn't expecting psych rock from a group called Country Joe and the Fish, but this record blew me away. Section 43 is beautiful, and every other track is similarly good.

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Wed Jan 12 2022
4

Surprised by this hidden gem. The harmonica in section 43 is superb, love is a beautiful sound, Death Sound is haunting. Awesome album and pscyhrock at its finest.

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Wed Jan 19 2022
4

I sort of feel this has been overshadowed by what came after, so it's important to remember this did come first.

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Thu Jan 20 2022
4

I LOVE this style of music and this is a great find that I'll have to go back to again and again! The singer has a wonderful tone of voice and the music has a great groove!

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Fri Jan 28 2022
4

I liked this album and admittedly have not listened to hardly any country joe. It was a nice change of pace to hear some good old psychedelic rock. Bet this was a fun band to see live.

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Thu Feb 17 2022
4

Was expecting it to be more experimental silly psychedelic type sounds but was rather straight forward. Overall pretty enjoyable. Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine stood out for having a great groove.

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Wed Mar 09 2022
4

To 5-star or not to 5-star: aye, that's the dilemma. I suppose I need to evacuate some sputum of criticism before I praise. The forays into blues perpetrate a minor incident of white-rocker-trying-to-sing-blues-without-suficient-force-or-authenticity, but in this case it's in no way an unforgivable offence. And thankfully so, because a lot of the album works like a bastard. The initiated will detect a similar vibe to the Doors' first album; two of the main differences is that this lacks the occasional European vibe the Doors generates, and also that Jim Morrison was one of the greatest white blues-hollerers. Of course, the all-American nature of Electric Music for the Mind and Body is hardly a reason to lambaste the album, and it's pleasantly eclectic within its parochialism. Aside from nascent psychedelic rock we have the aforementioned blues, but also pop touches, straight-up rock, some country twangs and mild Dylanesque wit. That said, the album reaches its apex towards the end, where it gets properly psychedelic; LSD explorations are the reason you listen to this. And I was prepared to give it five stars, but a final listen has demonstrated that the album doesn't cohere enough, that the poppiest number is somewhat weak, and by bringing up the Doors' first album, I raised a beast that the album cannot hope to vanquish. 4-and-a-half stars. That, my friends, is hesitancy captured by the graphical representation of luminous celestial entities.

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Wed Apr 06 2022
4

Listened Before? N WOW! Another psychadelic surprise for me! Didn't expect to like this one as much as I did. Putting it into rotation. Added to Library? Y Songs added to Playlist: Death Sound, Porpoise Mouth

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Mon Apr 18 2022
4

Really solid overall. I especially like "Sad And Lonely Times" and "Porpoise Mouth"

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Wed Apr 20 2022
4

At first listen, they sound like Cream. Not a bad thing. I was concerned I was getting yet another ridiculous electric, rave album, but this is refreshingly psychedelic, bluesy rock. There's also a Three Dog Night/The Guess Who. Overall, this album clicks. It also doesn't overstay its welcome at 44 minutes. In hindsight, I see why this album makes the list. Taking into consideration that this is 1967, the band and the album are part of a musical movement, but while they didn't rise to the mainstream enough for me to hear them, they clearly innovated and inspired others who did. Section 43 sounds familiar - and it has a real vibe to it that I imagine played well to Doors audiences. This album is pretty slick.

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Wed Apr 27 2022
4

Here's another one that I never heard and that I was meaning to check out for quite some time now. Thanks, 1001 Albums Generator.  It doesn't sound like anything I was expecting. In the end there was equal parts deception and excitement. The album doesn't sound as filthy as I thought it would. What I hear is something like The Doors with a country singer (which I somehow like) and a little too much white blues (which I dislike), but it is okay. It's not the Buffalo Springfield and it is not the 13th Floor Elevators, but there is a garage undercurrent that I appreciate, and it might be the predecessor of both, and the execution is far more compelling than say Big Brother And The Holding Co. It is an interesting example of early San Francisco psychedelia in any case, and I will give Country Joe & The Fish that. A record with a historical importance that is somehow enjoyable, but I am still to decide whether or not is an album to own. 

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Thu Apr 28 2022
4

As with all output of the prime American Psychedelic era (a really narrow window actually) it’s hard not to judge it in context of that grim looming reality that Hunter S. Thompson described so thoroughly- that this wave would very shortly break, and roll back. For me anyway it makes some of the most intolerable Hippie Shit (e.g. The Masked Marauder) grate a little more. Still, the energy and innovation here are real.

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Wed May 04 2022
4

Very nice discovery. I like the mix of genres in this one.

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Wed May 04 2022
4

This album unlocks a new feature on Spotify that makes the surroundings smell like Patchouli...

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Thu May 05 2022
4

There are albums I listen to twice because I really enjoyed them and albums I listen to twice because I feel like I wasn't listening to/for the right things. This one falls into both.

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Fri Jul 15 2022
4

This is my type of music. Music like this reminds me we all have different tastes in music and so it's ok for most people to like Drake and for just me to like Country Joe or Pere Ubu. The stereo mixing makes it engaging to pinpoint locations of the surreal noises around your room, especially if you're high. It's cool and bluesy, which makes it chiller to listen to compared to the heavier more garage-influenced acid rock of their contemporaries (e.g. Electric Prunes, Big Brother). In a lot of ways this is like a slightly less experimental and more accessible United States of America. A never-ending surplus of fun and surprising moments. I like his dreamy voice and share of high pitched guitars. Lots of variety, just listen to the difference from the acid "Love" (performed at Woodstock alongside the first 2) to the surreal "Bass Strings" to the whimsical "Masked Marauder." Their use of silence and sharp transitions allows these different styles to be coherent and smooth rather than harsh. Will seek out again. Favorites: Flying High, Lorraine, Porpoise Mouth, Bass Strings, Masked Marauder, Grace

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Mon Jul 18 2022
4

A good album, but the styles of the songs vary too much, from simple rock'n'roll and blues rock to tracks that lean into folk and prog.

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Wed Aug 10 2022
4

A hair greasy and honky for one's tastes, but the bluesy mood and tempos are well sustained and the cuts land coherently and, for the most part, effectively. One worried about the novelty act factor (partly because of the silly name), which never materializes so score one for low expectations. "Sad and Lonely Times" is terrific. There is overindexing on the organ on the latter half of the record, which overreaches generally. But, as a whole, the album works well as a jaunty melding of blues and psychedelia and just a touch of country (alas, the silly name works out to be inapt). Glad to have heard.

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Tue Aug 16 2022
4

Unusually unknown bluesy grooves - really enjoyed it. It is a very much a period piece but there are some tracks here that really groove

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Thu Aug 18 2022
4

Didn't really know what to expect, but I liked this!

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Sun Sep 11 2022
4

used to listen to my dad's Country Joe records when I was a kid, though I'd never heard this one. Not in love with all the songs but the bluesy psychedelic thing is pretty great.

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Fri Sep 23 2022
4

Pretty basic blues album, liked the jams a lot

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Sun Oct 02 2022
4

Acid soaked bluesy Summer of Love goodness.

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Sun Oct 02 2022
4

I'm listening to this record on the way back from teaching some disabled children how to swim. It's really cheered me up after a few of the weaker children drowned when I dunked them under the surface. Well done, Joe & The Fish, you've really saved my weekend.

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Thu Oct 13 2022
4

The name of the album and the band, combined with the album cover, gave me a pretty clear idea of what the music would be. It did not disappoint.

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Fri Oct 28 2022
4

Yes. Could listen to this album a bunch. Every song isn't great but i like the twang and The vocals are appealing

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Wed Nov 02 2022
4

Good songs throughout, and a cohesive sound that is perfect for an evening on a porch or a leisurely drive. Missing the special something to pump it for me, but still really good.

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Wed Nov 02 2022
4

This was cool! Not very polished or well-produced, but the guitar was great and the vibes were fun, not to mention good songs. Better than I expected for sure.

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Fri Nov 04 2022
4

Et rikt album, et ekte bøljeband band.

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Fri Nov 04 2022
4

Rock psicodélico sesentero. Está bien. Venga, un 4.

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Sun Nov 13 2022
4

Ok, this was the start of something. It was the beginning of something. An era. A generation. And I get it.

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Sun Dec 18 2022
4

One of those songs that will be around forever for good reason.

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Fri Dec 23 2022
4

This album was so damn trippy...but I think I loved it musically. I honestly have no idea why because this spectrum of music usually turns me off. Favorite track: Section 43

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Mon Jan 02 2023
4

I was initially not excited for an album by a band named "Country Joe and The Fish", but this album was actually really good. Even when it was just instrumental pieces, I was entertained, which can't be said for many psychedelic rock albums. It's very close to a five stars, but I just didn't love it enough to give it such a rating. Even so, there were quite a few really good songs on here, especially right at the end of the album, and was nothing I didn't like. Grace gave me chills, which a song has never really done to me before. It's an amazing song. My favourite songs were Grace, The Masked Marauder, and Bass Strings.

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Sun Feb 19 2023
4

Brilliant! I enjoyed the vibe

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Thu Mar 09 2023
4

Such a fun album. Provides the perfect soundtrack for when structures are crumbling around you and you need to transform trauma into hilarity!

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Thu Mar 09 2023
4

Pluspunkt: erinnert mi an The Doors Punktabzug: erinnert mi an The Doors

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Wed Mar 15 2023
4

A little bit of a lot of genres

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Sun Mar 26 2023
4

Didn't know a single thing about this but it's rather good psychedelia with Flying High the best of a decent bunch.

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Tue Apr 04 2023
4

Best: Super Bird Worst: Grace

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Sun Apr 16 2023
4

Debuutalbum van psychedelica-pioneer Country Joe & The Fish, en een van de eerste albums binnen het genre uit San Francisco. Sterke tracklist, goed luisterbaar. leukste nummer: Love Het nummer "Grace" is een hommage aan leadzangeres Grace Slick van Jefferson Airplane.

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Sun Apr 23 2023
4

A bit of psych a day keeps the doctor away.

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Wed Jun 28 2023
4

Very good, I liked it quite a bit

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Mon Jul 24 2023
4

4.0 - Considering some other 1967 releases ("Sgt. Pepper's", "Velvet Underground And Nico", Doors' debut, "Surrealistic Pillow", "Are You Experienced") it's no wonder this records feels like a footnote. Still, it certainly outshines other albums within the psychedelic canon (see "The 13th Floor Elevators"). This feels like a complete and cohesive artifact of the Haight-Ashbury sound and there are genuinely trippy, LSD-laden jams. Particularly, "Porpoise Mouth" and "Section 43" create a swirly, colorful atmosphere in the middle. "Bass Strings" is also a highlight.

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Wed Jul 26 2023
4

It was pretty good. I'd listen to it again. Wasn't my absolute favorite, but it had some tracks to listen to again.

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Wed Aug 09 2023
4

What an awesome surprise of an album. Guess they didn’t like LBJ much?

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Sun Aug 13 2023
4

Fantastic bluesy album with some psychedelic influences

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Wed Aug 16 2023
4

Lots of good tracks, interesting 60s vibe. Probably not the best album in this style I've listened to, but knowing they were one of the first to do it gets an extra star

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Thu Aug 24 2023
4

I really like their sound. The songwriting isn't that great, and maybe that's why they're not really remembered all that well compared to their colleagues. Best track: Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine

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Thu Aug 31 2023
4

Late 60's San Francisco sound from Joe and the Fish. It's full of peace and love and a touch of the brown acid. Very good stuff. The music, I mean...not necessarily the acid. But, hey man, it's your trip.

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Fri Sep 01 2023
4

Knew very little about them including style of music. I knew they played Woodstock but that’s about it. Early psychedelic stuff. Quite interesting and worth a listen.

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Mon Sep 11 2023
4

This sounds like a mix of early Dead and Velvet Underground. While the musicianship isn’t quite on the level of other early psychedelia I was deeply impressed by the lyricism

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Wed Mar 31 2021
3

Àlbum interessant però alhora un xic dispers. Barreja molts elements, rock, blues, psicodèlia, i tot i que l'inici és molt potent la segona meitat no acaba de fer-li justícia. Malgrat tot, un disc interessant, un descobriment. I una confirmació més de la bona collita del finals dels 60.

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Wed Apr 28 2021
3

Yeah this is okay. Between 2 and 3 for me.

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Wed Apr 28 2021
3

My favourite sort of 60's music, a bit of psychedelia

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Sat Jul 10 2021
3

Are there any 1960s psychedelia albums that didn't make this list?? This one has quite a clean, robust sound, somewhere on the rockier end of the psychedelia spectrum of this period. Some blues and r&b influences sneaking in. But there are also some space-age moments and a little psych whimsy here and there. I can respect the quality of this, even though it's not to my tastes. 3*

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Thu Apr 22 2021
3

I don't know what I expected, but this is

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Thu Apr 15 2021
3

Solidan acid/psiholedijski album. Jednostavno ovakvi albumi ne pašu toliko kada je vrijeme depresivno. Više paše na lijepo vrijeme time je odmah i pozitivniji mindstate i za takvo vrijeme ovakvi albumi bolje pokazuju svoju sliku. Nisam imao puno vremena za preslušavanje albuma pa vjerujem da nije u potpunosti opravdana ocijena, ali tako je kako je. 3.3/5

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