16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2013 Deluxe Edition - Superb reissue of a psychedelic gem.....,
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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Initial post: 30 Jun 2015 06:01:33 BDT
Great review BUT Amazon has stuck this 2 CD review against a 1 CD version - confusing and not helpful!
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