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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Guitarman, 1 Jan 2007
By 
Nearly 40 years on this is perhaps one of the most distinctive original sounding West coast album of the late 60's. Worth buying just for the wonderful liquid guitar sound that permeates throughout all the tracks.Terrific example of this is the scintilating lead guitar exchanges on Death Sound Blues climaxing in a dual guitar finale that is simply awesome. Definitely one of the best guitar albums ever made. Subsequent albums were not of the same calibre. Buy this - you will not be disappointed.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 2013 Deluxe Edition - Superb reissue of a psychedelic gem....., 13 April 2013
By 
TCH (Cambs, UK.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Electric Music For The Mind And Body (Audio CD)
This reissue of what is often thought of as one of the first, if not THE first, Bay Area psychedelic long players is a superlative effort. It is really worth purchasing just for the booklet which is a truly fantastic effort with great (and evocative!) pictures including a hilarious portion of a Marvel comic strip ['The Assassination of Nick Fury' apparently] involving the Fish playing as an anonymous assassin closes in on Nick... wow, different times! The booklet includes plenty of the era's famous psychedelic concert posters, a couple of which are, ahem, somewhat less than PC in their depictions of scantily clothed women. The liners are excellent especially the interview segments with the surviving band members commenting on individual tracks; interesting that they all seem to hate 'Sad & Lonely Times' which apparently was a lot better live in a Byrds-style arrangement, shame this was never caught on tape.

The music itself is superb early psychedelia with washes of Farfisa organ (which again the band didn't much like apparently.... they were wrong, it sounds great) and Barry Melton's stinging vibrato'ed acid-guitar - which a decade later influenced the great guitarist Tom Verlaine of NY 'punks' Television. This truly is one of the best psych-albums, dated yes but still potent and more than simply a time-capsule (though it works on these terms too). This reissue is a double disc with one dedicated to the 1st CD release of the original mono-mix which sounds great except for some high frequency distortion on 'Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine' during some of the denser organ/guitar passages (a shame since it is one of the best tracks) but probably is a result of inevitable tape degradation after almost 50-years. The second disc is the stereo version, presumably the '80's re-mix since apparently tape degradation got to the original stereo mix as well, in any case it sounds just fine and on 'pure' sound quality probably sounds better than the mono though personally I prefer the former even with the minor issues I've pointed out.

In conclusion; an essential addition for any psych-rock or 60's music collection - being one the top three psychedelic albums of the '67-'69 era. It is even worth the upgrade even if you own earlier CD releases of this classic; simply for the booklet even if the mono-mix doesn't interest you. Let's hope that Ace/Vanguard can do a similar job on the Fish's 2nd album "I Feel Like I'm Fixing To Die" which is almost as good and after which it was downhill all the way ('cept for a few flashes on the last album 'CJ Fish'....)
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58 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Barrier Bending..., 6 Jun 2003
True to its cleverly pretentious title, "Electric Music for the Mind and Body" ranks up there as one of the most influential debut albums ever released. Remarkable at the time (early 1967) for its innovative use of swirling instrumentation, odd chord sequences, abrupt switches in tempo & strange, image-laden lyrics, and remarkable to this day in that several of its best tracks (in particular the deeply atmospheric "Bass Strings", the wonderfully eerie "Section 43", the bizarrely structured "Masked Marauder" and the even weirder "Grace") remain quite unlike anything heard before or since. And... with only a couple of exceptions, even those that follow a more standard mid 60's format (such as the tightly metered political satire of "Superbird", the rolling jug band blues of "Flying High", the lyrically evocative country-rock of "Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine" and the awesome, almost frightening, straight blues of "Death Sound") still stand out as highly distinctive examples of their time.

Others, most notably Jefferson Airplane and Pink Floyd, were working on the same plot but Country Joe & the Fish were right in there - at the beginning and already out on the edge - incorporating country, folk, blues, psychedelia, eastern raga and elements of free form jazz into their ingenious musical mix and pushing the previously accepted barriers of popular music onto a very different, much richer plane. Brave and effective it remains an essential record: not only because of its impact on the music scene but, more importantly, because of the enduring power of most of its songs.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flying High, 23 April 2013
By 
M. Bobbe "droombolus" (The Netherlands) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Electric Music For The Mind And Body (Audio CD)
The 2013 reissue is a treasure ! Not only Sam Charters' original Stereo mix was restored but the remastering is absolutely breathtaking. Where I found the ol' vinyl often sounded tinny, this RI has a real bottom end through which the interplay between bassist Bruce Barthol and drummer "Chicken" Hirsch finally makes sense. The production as a whole sounds much more well rounded and more akin to the way the I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die album sounds. Where I've always been more fond of the latter ( it was one of my very first underground albums ) I feel my allegiance will probably shift to Electric Music due to this release.

I'll regard the MONO disc as a bonus as its mix is rather crude and makes you feel you've landed in the middle of a band practicing. The ending of Death Sound Blues has been cut off rather carelessly, like someone cut off some seconds by mistake.

The stereo mix alone is worth the price of admission for this 2CD though, it's stellar !

peace,
Martin
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hippy and Trippy, 5 April 2001
By A Customer
The strongest of the Fish's albums this is San Francisco at it's hippie heights. The band is often loose and ragged and the vocals delivered in a dreamlike fashion. But what would you expect from a band in 1967/68 working out of a city whose Haight Ashbury extravagance was inextricably linked to the Hippie movement. A trip, in more senses than one, into late 60s culture.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of the 2013 deluxe version, 12 April 2013
By 
James B. Spink "Jim" (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Electric Music For The Mind And Body (Audio CD)
Alex Palao, who is largely responsible for this excellent reissue package, describes it thus:

"This deluxe edition is the first time producer Sam Charters' original stereo mixdown of "Electric Music for the Mind and Body" has been reissued on compact disc. In the decade after the album was first released, the 2-track master suffered irreparable tape damage and oxide loss. In the early 1980s, a decision was made by Vanguard to remix the record, and that is how it has appeared in subsequent repackages. The mono mix, which has notable disparities to the stereo, has also not been available since the late 1960s."

What Alex doesn't tell us is what the tape source of the stereo mix used here is, but as Ace's Roger Armstrong was involved in the archive research I guess we can trust its authenticity! The two versions included in this release, mono and stereo, have been mastered by Nick Robbins at Sound Mastering Ltd and are up to Ace's usual high audio standard - but listen out for the curious end to "Death Sound" on the mono mix, not Nick's fault I'm sure! Also included is a forty page booklet which contains lots of information about the music itself, interviews with band members, track details, lyrics and many illustrations and facsimiles.

Electric Music for the Mind and Body was one of my favourite albums of 1967 with the music drifting into the night as played by John Peel on Radio London during that magical summer. One of the most important albums of that year this new package from Ace has finally done it full justice on CD. Even if you have the earlier CD release this new version is well worth adding to your collection. Amazon currently has reviews for both versions of the CD grouped together - any review dated before April 2013 will refer to the earlier CD release! I have both and both are good, however the deluxe version is now the one to get for fans and purists.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars classic fish, 8 April 2013
By 
A. J. Elliott "animal" (chesham; united kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Electric Music For The Mind And Body (Audio CD)
I bought the mono copy of this album when it first came out and still go back to it whenever l feel I need a little west coast fix, the record has seen better days so it's nice to see this double CD with both versions on it I still think the mono is the best a much tighter sound, the stereo is still ok you just take your pick. a bit of a shame there's no extra tracks as I heard a bootleg cd a long time ago of outtakes from the original sessions, one of them was a lovely instrumental version of "Grace" but as we all know tapes have a habit of getting lost one way or another and showing up on bootlegs at a later date, but that's life,sure it's a bit dated but for its time it's wonderful
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's psychedelia Jim, but not as we know it!, 4 April 2012
By 
Doug (Edinburgh) - See all my reviews
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A great album in a time of great albums. It has dated a bit - but the music still has that magic something that renders it timeless, great guitar work, fabulous melodies and a touch of the darkness that the Doors exemplified and the VU took to the bank. Very higly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possible fault on mono disc, 13 April 2013
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This review is from: Electric Music For The Mind And Body (Audio CD)
Has anyone yet listened to the latest mono CD just released (April 2013)? I have given the disc 5 stars as the music fully justifies it but the end of track 3 (Death Sound), on the mono copy only, appears to be cut short abruptly. It is not on the stereo copy or any stereo LP I have ever owned or listened to. I have known this album since it was issued and it is a truly sensational piece of music which, apart from the possible fault noted, actually does sound better in the mono version. Help!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic electric guitar sound'. It is what it says - Electric music for mind and body., 26 April 2013
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This review is from: Electric Music For The Mind And Body (Audio CD)
I have been ,looking to buy a Country Joe album since watching a DVD of a live performance at Woodstock. This CD does not dissapoint. - every track is a gem.
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