It is different, it is very experimental, but also very good
4.7 - Yes! This is finally a psychedelic sound that redeems the genre for me, after having choked down so many other buttoned-up commercial examples that crowd this list. Wonderful and incredibly forward-thinking use of noise, electronics and field recordings, all of which add so much dimension. I'd argue the use of secondary sonics rivals contemporary bands like Stereolab and Broadcast. Truly a "garden of earthly delights" that belongs in the psychedelic pantheon alongside "Os Mutantes", "Sgt Pepper" and just a handful of others.
that was a pretty cool album, I’ll probably need to listen to it again to “get it” but from what I heard, I really liked it 9/10
“The United States of America” by The United States of America (1968) If you’re a fan of “American Metaphysical Circus” by Joe Byrd and the Field Hippies (1969), you might want to know that “The United States of America” was Byrd’s immediate predecessor album. Very narrow niche appeal. But wow. You should not listen to this music while on acid. I make that recommendation on good advice from someone I trust, not from any personal experience (heh, heh). This experimental musical product was an early exploration of synthesized sounds and the John Gage school of what I call anti-music music. It’s really cool. Weird, avant-garde, whimsical, chaotic, and horrifying to boot, performed by musicians who actually know what they’re doing and seem to not give a shit. This is an effort to go exponentially beyond Sgt. Pepper, but unlike The Beatles, these folks really want to mess with your mind, and they have some seriously political burrs in their saddles. Serving up induced psychosis, nymphomania, sadomasochism, “queer” appetites to satisfy, and other naughty bits in the lyrics, they deliver sonic distortion as an art form, with frequent departures from melody altogether. Very nice (undistorted) fretless bass by Rand Forbes throughout, and quite pleasing lead vocals by Dorothy Moskowitz. Oh, and I should mention—they’re communists. God, I love this country. One can discern numerous synchronization and pitch problems, but this is still in the analog epoch, baby. Anyway, not only does this music not age well, it was rendered obsolete as the vinyl was still cooling, but who cares? “And the price is right: The cost of one admission is your mind.” 3/5
Wasn't for me
who names their band this? Yea this sucks. I mean I appreciate weirdness but it's not good.
sack of shite
Whats the difference between avant garde and just annoying?
My wife while listening to this album: “ This sounds like the music that would play when a clown comes to murder you”
I didn't know the band. Pretty solid psychedelic rock. Not a single song I don't like.
Oh fuck ya this is my shit. I sort of recall the name/co ver art but glad to listen to this. "Creating the electronic sounds on the album was difficult because of the technical limitations. Byrd recalled "the only available functioning keyable synthesizers were Robert Moog's at +$20,000. We were left with whatever sounds I could squeeze from three variable wave shape generators, modulating one another." ... this is my shit. This is basically the Beatles "Number 9" meets The Velvet Underground. I can't believe this could chart on the billboard 200 (hit 181). The album also has some beautiful Can-like frenzy in the guitar playling, in some ways this is Krarutrock... Yankrock? The very Nico-esque vocals are a great pairing with all the other weirdness going on. This is the stuff that only could get a label's backing in the 60s/70s for sure. It's almost perfect that this was the only album that happened, then everything fell apart. It's STILL forward thinking, like a fucked up National Album that we deserve.
Some 60's psychedelia sounds top cheesy for me, but I like how this band does it. Too bad they only stuck around for 1 album. The experiments were promising. Worth investigating further.
Tres bon album psychedeliqu rock. 4.25. Il y a de l’influence sgt pepoer je trouve.
Rock psicodélico muy ecléctico. Curioso.
This is certainly a weird one. So avant-garde, with the eerie synthesizer noises and the penchant for ending songs with screeching orchestrations. I like the female vocalist. She reminds me of a more pleasant melodic version of Nico. Their record company was brave to release this, knowing it had zero commercial potential. I wanted to give it a 5, based on the first 8 songs (of the original 10-song LP), but my co-judge was far less impressed after I forced her to listen to it twice, to and from from dinner at The Drake last night.
I don't it is not that bad, but the try for psychedelic rock just doesn't succeed for me.
Crazy album! Very progressive for it's time, unique instrumentation. Liked it a lot.
Bitvis obegriplig, svårlyssnad och hysterisk. Men sjukt kul.
i don't know if i can do this album tonight, let's see. this first song is pretty good once it actually starts. i love the weird noises/interruptions in the second song <3 i liked 'the garden...' within 5 seconds lol. i've been loving the lyrics so far ah. huh who's this man. every song is doing something different, 6 songs in i've no idea what's to come next. 'where is yesterday': lyrics are so good, melodies are so good, the harmonies, the eerie vibe, everything i love. track 10 was a journey lol. 'no love to give' is the only song i don't totally love so far. track 13 is pretty much the same as track 5 but they switch singers, idc about different versions of the same song. well i'm done. the songs that i love make me want to give this record a 5 lol they're that good. it would be a 5 if the album was only tracks 1-11, around 40 minutes long, way tighter.
Trippy, psychedelic, and experimental in the best ways. Lots of interesting musical ideas on the album and a feeling that the group had a good time cutting the record.
Really nice , relaxing 4/5
Great for putting on while you’re doing something else. Ambient but not dull
Solid psych rock. A lot of interesting and experimental sounds going on.
Picked this one up at Hidden World the night of the FoD show. It's a trip to be sure. Definitely has a chaotic atmosphere from the synths that I feel a kinship with. A landmark album really considering its use use of synths for its time. I like that the synths are a bit more crude than keyboard controlled Moogs and that they were also used to process other sounds. Definitely drawing from a variety of atypical influences to produce a very unique sound. Wish they were able to go on to make more music and refine their sound but I'll take this wild ride of a record. A very enjoyable experiment.
An absolute trip, but I just couldn't pull myself away? 4/5.
This was interesting, def part of the psychedelic wave and reminded me of the Mama's and Papa's. Showed there was more to the 60's than the Beatles.
Fuckin weird and kinda loved it. Like sgt pepper crossed with os mutantes
I’m not convinced this is as far ahead of its times as it seems to be getting sold to me as. The electronica doesn’t really innovate anything Raymond Scott wasn't doing a decade earlier. Musically, where it doesn’t reflect a lot of other psychedelic rock of a similar if not earlier vintage, it frequently shades to the tedious side of avant-garde. I’ll take Wikipedia’s word for it that the lyrics are political: I wasn’t hearing it. Still, it does synthesize these things to an unusual degree and has enough solid gems to scrape a bare four stars. I’d listen to it again.
This is great. really thought this was going to be the usual late 60s rock I have been getting through this, but instead it was lively, different, fun.
Better than expected. Cool 60's psych grooves and I love the retro sci-fi flair and early prog experimentation!
A contender for the most experimental rock album of the 60s. The production is super lofi for 1968, but the melodies catch on, and the vocals are very appealing to listen to. Her voice reminds me of Nico and Grace Slick. Most of this album sounds like a reaction to Sgt Pepper with the influences of music hall, circus, and vaudeville in several tracks. However, it still holds the 60s badge pride. I would mostly classify this as psychedelic pop, as it mostly follows the formula of groovy 60s pop rock, but there's a lot of acid rock, as well as plays on free jazz, medieval polyphony, medieval folk, vaudeville, space rock (was that even invented yet?), classical, Eastern (Japanese?), ragtime, and whatever you call the genre of beautiful strings that play in 1930s movies, among many other genres. There are signs of early dream pop (Cloud Song) and chamber pop (Stranded in Time) here too. This album could be found abrasive to the average listener, especially with the low production. I found myself loving every song. There are groovy moments to rock to and dreamy moments to relax to. Lots of creative moments to appreciate everything going on. Despite the different styles, it's focused, with nice transitions in styles between and during songs. Wish there was more music like this, but at least we got bonus tracks just as peculiar.
I had to give this one a second listen to really gather my thoughts on it. Some of the fully musique concrete stuff that bookended the album was a bit too all over the place for my liking, but otherwise this was a really exciting album that went all in on a lot of genres and pulled it off. Definitely one I'll be coming back to
Would give this a half star if it was an option. I could hear a lot of similarities to other bands I like in this. Also a lot of weirdness I did t really like.
"You can never come down" is definitely worth a listen - v funky baseline and lyrically great also. "Do you follow me" definitely touched a nerve with me, especially the 'do you wanna feel real' line.
I somehow thought it was president of the united states haah Not a bad bang tho, they only have that album
Weeeeeeeird album. Velvet Underground but weirder.
molto hippy primi elettronici anni 70
If I had to sum this album up in one word that word would be “drugs.” If I had to sum it up in four words those words would be “a lot of drugs.” Odd bird that it is, I still enjoyed a wide swath of it. Way, way too long for its own good (see above) and not something I’m likely to return to. But if you told me this album influenced a whole slew of musicians that I like a lot I would not be surprised in the least. Because all musicians are drug addicts.
Count on the avant-garde to keep it weird. Not hearing the legendarily subversive screed I was promised here. Killer Mike voice: I’m glad Che’s dead. 5/10
First off: WTF with this band name and album title. And the song titles seem SUPER heavy handed. These folks had to have been on a shit ton of drugs. Didn't love this one, but I didn't hate it either.
I get it but not my thing
Yeah, not bad. Suffers a fair bit from the rather quaint production job, which was seemingly "reverb up to 11", the musicianship doesn't quite match ambition. However, there's definitely some craft and charm to this quirky little curio. I really liked the female vocals, almost offhand and diffident in delivery. A couple of songs stick, most faded almost as soon as the album stopped, but a pleasant trip whilst it lasted.
Old timey JPEGmafia
strange but compelling. sometimes sounded like foxygen, sometimes like the dead kennedys, sometimes like a little boy playing the fife. not the best running music
Not available on my end
It's a bit rough around the edges, but some cool early electronic/psychadelic music
Moments in here, will give this a more intense listen as it is not an easy background album
Kind of a mess. But, it's supposed to be, after all, the cost of one admission is your mind. I'm not sure if the price was right though. Standouts: American Metaphysical Circus - It's an interesting mess of a song. I Won't Leave My Wooden Life For You. Full of unnecessary sound effects. Could have been on the Dr. Demento playlist. Stranded in Time. The most Beatle song on the album. Not bad though.
A very good album, shame there isn’t more from them.
Trippy, fun little record.
3/5 - Interesting, but not for me
Psych rock needs to be really good for me to enjoy it. It wasn't bad, but great for the tech limitations.
about 250 ugs
Better than other psychedelic rock. I zoned out for a period of time while listening to the album. 2.5
Very high 3. Lot of great songs on this album like Lump and Peaches but the back half was largely unnecessary. Stranger was the underrated hit for me
In a word: quirky. Apparently this was the only album made by the band, and what an album it is. Mostly quite psychedelic, with plenty of tinges of folk and Americana. The lyrics are pretty interesting too, putting the utopian American lifestyle under scrutiny in a much different way than our previous album from Curtis Mayfield. Where it doesn't work for me is stuff like the off-key, wonky carnival music. It serves a purpose, but it makes listening less enjoyable. I made the mistake of listening to a one hour version with ten bonus tracks, so the length bugged me but it makes sense that the album proper is less than 40 minutes. I would've enjoyed that more, but still a surprisingly good album. Favorite tracks: Hard Coming Love, I Won't Leave My Wooden Wife, Osamu's Birthday, Where Is Yesterday. Album art: Nothing very interesting. Band photos in the shape of a vinyl record? As if to say "We Are Musicians." Doesn't do enough to denote how weird the album is. 3.5/5
Interesting group…. Was OK
This is pretty weird. Impressively weird for 1968. Like the previous album by Grizzly Bear, it stays just the right side of weird to be more fun an interesting than it is annoying. 2.5/5.
It's difficult to listen to this and appreciate how it sounded in the context of the time. Hearing it now, it doesn't sound particularly unusual or ground breaking, but it's enjoyable nonetheless
Respect for that experimental content.
Who gave these cats a record contract?? That's what I want to know. It is THOROUGHLY weird, but thankfully vibes with my specific brand of attention- and hyperactivity-related deficits. I will be returning to this a few times. I feel like they took Sgt Pepper's a few steps into another dimension. Also sounds GREAT for being recorded and mixed 50 years ago. The bass, drums and voice are clear and deep. Could really do without the pipe organ cameos tho. Circus music doesn't belong anywhere.
Weird, but nice..... But weird
Of the experimental sounds of the 60s, this one didn't grab me at the same level
Geil experimentell, von Zirkus bis Jefferson Airplane alles dabei, teilweise voll dicht und bunt, am ende aber bissl beliebig und ohne roten faden
Na bist du die sind schräg. Progressiv! Oder einfach nur Drogen?Eh geil, aber unruhig macht mich das schon. Die ganzen Instrumente im Hintergrund sind irre... Bin total hin und her gerissen zwischen voll interessant und kaum auszuhalten. The Mars Volta der 60er...und Drogen
The United States of America is a new band and new music for me. My best guess at classifying this music is Psychodelic ¿Folk? Psychedelia is interesting to me more often than not. "Coming Down", "Love Song for the Dead Ché", "Stranded in Time" got my attention and could attract a second listen. I wasn't sure what to do with some of the oddities like "I Won't Leave My Wooden Wife for You, Sugar". I did not like "The American Metaphysical Circus", but that was because it was two (¿or three?) songs being played at once and I don't like that much noise. ¿Did I like the album? I'm not sure. ¿Did I dislike the album? No. (2.5 rounding up to 3)
Yeah this was interesting
I liked this a lot more than I expected. Excellent musicians and really good song writing. I liked that pushes the edge of experimental music rather than breaking the bounds. Some experimental music just gets too far out there. Not necessarily a bad thing, just that it becomes less enjoyable as listening music and more of studying music, if that makes sense.
Disc arquetípic de la contracultura dels seixanta. Psicodelia a tope, lletres subversives, fet i dissenyat per disfrutar sota l'efecte de drogues alucinògenes. Importa més el concepte que les cançons. Molt del moment, d'un estat d'ànim
Yikes. This is trippy stuff. Can't deny their prognosticating either. We are definitely living in the American Metaphysical Circus now. This album claims to have no guitar (other than bass) on it, which is crazy after listening to "Hard Coming Love." "The Garden of Earthly Delights" could use less laser beam sounds, but it's a decent song. "Where is Yesterday" and "Coming Down" are wacky little experimental songs. I like them enough. They push this thing to 3-stars.
Honestly, I almost bailed after the first song. Glad I didn’t! While still weird throughout, definitely got better for me.
What. The. Fuck. This was so weird, but also fun. Having never heard of this band before, I did not know what to expect, and having listened to the album, I'm still not entirely sure. The United States Of America, much like its namesake, ran the gamut of sounds and influences, with lots of simple but groovy drums, era appropriate B3 Hammond organ, womp-y bass lines, and vocals that are equal parts spacey and fuzzy, with the sporadic instrumental breaks that deny structure or genre; what sounds like a Theremin features heavily, but subtly in the album, alongside accordion, sitars and other instruments that sound would sound more fitting a 70s animated feature (Yellow Submarine comes to mind). As a matter of fact, Stranded In Time sounds almost like Eleanor Rigby, with its playful strings and poppy vocals, right before it breaks into full organ flourishes. While it might not be something this writer would enjoy, exposure to this album sounds like a glimpse into the nascence of experimental music, with all the limitations and innovations of its era. Not something I would revisit to enjoy, but rather to break the aural monotony.
Good rhythms kept me listening.
2.5/5 Interesting album. I liked it, but none of the songs really jumped out for me. It was all okay, maybe I will listen to it again. Favourite song: - The American metaphysical circus
I liked this. It has an obvious 60's vibe but also some of it sounds very contemporary and some interesting use of mixing and cutting. glad i listened to this.
More interesting than it is good. The first track had me intrigued but I kind of started losing interest as the album went on. I could see myself maybe enjoying it more if I spent more time with it.
Another of the psychedelic rock albums from the 60s. It was okay, but not particularly memorable and it doesn't surprise me that it isn't first in line of the albums that are remembered.
never heard of this before, obviously very influential from Revolution 9 to Broadcast and The American Analog Set. interesting
Weird but cool
Felt like either a parody on a critique of life in America, wasn't that enjoyable to listen to.
It's not bad at all, with a few songs like "Garden of Earthly Delights" and "Stranded in Time" being stand-outs. Definitely pretty interesting
I hated every second
Rock psicodélico. Un poco coñazo.
avant guard all the way. Way weird mix of Jefferson Airplane, early pink floyd. Way hard to listen to though
I like how in the American way of love pt 1 they sample the billy boys at 5:30
Had a couple cool songs that reminded me of beach boys mixed with jefferson airplane but also a lot of noise. 2.4
First time hearing these guys, gotta giving them credit for pushing the envelope here. Quite experimental for its time, with musique concrète influences from Stockhausen and early Zappa. I also hear some Stereolab in some tracks. Although very interesting, overall its not very engaging and I can't say I loved any particular song or would seek it out again.
"The Garden of Earthly Delights" y hard coming love. Muy psicodélico que me aburre algo me suena todo igual
Ugh I really didn't like this album. I mostly found the experimentation grating and annoying. Maybe part of it is that I'm stressed about homework so I don't need this noisey music because it's making me even more stressed out but I just didn't vibe with it. There are some songs that save it but whenever the circus music comes in I'm like "here we go again." I also hate the sound effects on the second I Won't Leave My Wooden Wife For You, Sugar. That being said, it's not like the entire album is bad. There are a few good songs and even though I don't appreicate all of the noise it's just a preference and I don't think this album is objectively bad or anything. Some of the wind and string parts are pretty cool. Generally, I find it either annoying or boring. One note: this album must have been the extended version or something and most of the songs that I hated were the bonus tracks. So the normal album is not quite as bad but still not my cup of tea. Favorite Songs: The Garden of Earthly Delights, I Won't Leave My Wooden Wife For You (the 1st one), Stranded In Time Least Favorite Songs: Osamu's Birthday, I Won't Leave My Wooden Wife For You (the 2nd one), The American Metaphysical Circus - Alternate Version Light 4/10
First song stressful. I like more songs than I dislike. Kinda chaotic layering. Love female vocals. It’s like super soft grooving and then madness head banging. Too long.
Don’t even remember
I wanted to like this. I did not. It tries to hard to be inventive but ends up just sounding childish.
As previously mentioned, it gave me whiplash. I did end up staring one song to keep on a future playlist, so not all bad.
Nope. Made me feel crazy, and not in a good way.
A mix between Pink Floyd and the Beatles. Some songs I like some songs I disliked.
Weird, sinister, hillbilly rock. Perfect for metal bands to rip samples from.
Ok, they're good musicians and are being all experimental and avant garde but it wasn't that enjoyable to listen to.
Liked the jams. Went a little long sometimes but was an alright listen
Very 60s psychedelic space rock. Of its time. Bit boring.
Very rough, the experimental aspect is fine, it just sounds bad. If you take away the electronic parts, you have a decent albums so that's what saves it from a 1
Clearly ahead of their time, but a little too experimental for my liking. It generally does not sound that good from 2021 ears.
Blues-y psydadelic weirdness, kinda catchy tho.
There's an old (probably British) saying that "If you've never heard of the band or album before, there's a good chance it doesn't belong on this damn list". I don't care if the UK is pandering to us with this USA named band but I'm good, I have enough to deal with with all the less than mediocre UK bands to deal with the United States of America. Every song felt like it was on the precipice of something better but it never came. I did enjoy the lyrics on Coming Down but not enough to save this album.
Nisam u potpunosti slušao, pustio sam si dok sam Čakovečke i Vitalkine smjese tovario u skladište. Vjerujem da je bolje nego što sam čuo, ali eto ovako.
Couldn't listen beyond the first three or 4 tracks....
Everything I said about Jah Wobble applies to this album, too, but even more, I think. Anyone could write this. It's not horrible, it's just nothing. There's no talent behind this that I can see. Practically random music. Choose a key, write some chords on pieces of paper then pick them out of a bowl. Get a competent guitarist to play them repeatedly in a variety of ways in the order they came out. Speak earnest sounding nonsense over it. There's your top 1001 album.
It was ok. Wouldn’t necessarily turn it off.
This ain’t my cup of tea😕😕
Look, I haven’t used LSD in like 25 years. My brain don’t work like that no more. Plus, random circus music is my least fav. It’s a no for me, dawg.
Weird album and it was kind of all over rhe place. It wasn't that good.
Abwechslungsreich und speziell. Zum Teil ganz cool zB mit den Swing Elementen, zum Teil zu weird für mich mit Zirkusmusik und so…
anstrengend... und irgendwie hört sichs zwischendurch voll an wie beatles. Die ruhigeren Nummern gefallen mir besser
I imagine that those Berkeley students lost their shit completely when this landed in 68, with its trippy weirdness and electro wobbling. It does feel really dated. I'm glad I've listened to it but it isn't something I'd come back to in a hurry.
This is a strange one. It's very psychedelic tinged and arty. Not exactly something I'm all that into.
Psychedelic rock from the late 60s, what a surprise. This shit is such a chore to listen to. 2/5.
One of the few in this project that I have turned off before the end
I tried. I really did. Way to experimental, poorly mixed, jumble of sound. I almost turned it off on track 1, pushed through and made it..but I would much rather listen to anything else.
I'd give it less if i could
Not for me
fuck this shit
Well, first two songs are OK but it gets kind of boring after a while, and a song about fucking Che Guevara? "Communist Rock"? No, thanks... next!
Not available for streaming
Just kind of felt like it was a knock off of lesser quality of the Beatles
Only managed 4 tracks before I gave up.
Electric Prunited States of America
Absolute rubbish - could barely make it through - worse than the prunes and that’s all that needs said
Worse than the Electric Prunes. Hang your heads in shame
Didn’t enjoy this at all
You'd think that if you named your band "The United States of America" it'd call some attention but yikes this is not great. Mediocre singing and playing. Kind of reminds me of a high school band. Couldn't even finish it because it's just so bad. 1/10.
Enticingly unique and unexpected leading into increasingly erratic and annoying.
Given the year this was released, this band seem in some ways very much steeped in the times (lots of psychedlia; cacophony of sounds, instruments, effects; melodies and vocals that sound like the times, etc.) and also a little out there on their own. It mostly doesn't work for me, and frankly I found a lot it annoying, but I appreciate what they were trying to do.
I didn't understand the sound of this album.
Possibly the worst album I’ve ever heard.
Das hab ich gestern gar nicht derpackt...nix zum Autofahren
Wat kakofonisch album, waarbij ik effectief een paar keer grimassen heb getrokken, omdat het echt wat raar klinkt met momenten. Heb er mij echt moeten door worstelen
Sirkusspiladósir, hippahigh fílingur, köntrí, gregorian chants, folk, sítar, kaos. Veit ekki alveg hvernig mér líður með þetta.
03/01/2022 No. Not at all. Absolutely not.
Kind of just noise, may have had cultural relevance at the time but not for me.