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The United States Of America

The United States Of America

2 Sep 2008
4.7 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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2:39
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 2 Sept. 2008
  • Release Date: 24 Nov. 2008
  • Label: Columbia/Legacy
  • Copyright: This compilation (P) 2004 Sony Music Entertainment Inc.
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 1:06:26
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B006LZ7AV0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 621 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I got this CD for Christmas on the basis that my wife must have seen it in my 'Items Recently Viewed' section on Amazon (good old Amazon!) and bought it for me as a stocking filler. Psychedelia is such a broad term - if I could define it then maybe I could write about music for a living - how exciting that would be! However all of the elements of quality 'psyche' are here for all - trippy lyrics, ethereal effects, fuzzy guitars, eastern elements - and here too we have the superb vocal skills of Dorothy Moskowitz. There is a lot of experimentation on this album (some great and very informative sleeve notes give a good background) but fortunately with the experiments come good tunes too. There is variation in styles and mood - dreamy, haunting ballads, faster more urgent songs (reminscent of Jefferson Airplane at times), and some great 'goofing around' on the opening and closing tracks. There are portents for the future too - I wonder whether Portishead had heard this album before their great albums released in the 1990s?(particularly the opening number 'The American Metaphysical Circus' which would be perfect for Beth Gibbons) as well as a few influences worn on the sleeves of the kaftan - Airplane as I mentioned earlier, and Revolver era Beatles on 'Stranded In Time' This really is a superb album and a joyous discovery. It is generously crammed with bonus tracks too - some are works in progress for tracks on the album proper but there are some great non album songs to be enjoyed here too particularly the sweet 'Perry Pier'. What golden times the late 1960's must have been - but time waits for no man, and here is as good a time capsule as you are likely to find from that golden era - if you enjoy the heady pot pourri that constitutes psychedelia then you are in for a treat with this album - highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD
I agree with Jim Leven, above; and would add that while some tracks are not particularly good, others are still outstanding after all these years. 'Love song for the dead Che' is ethereal and haunting; 'coming down' a brilliant take on the mood after a trip; and the stunning 'Garden of earhtly delights' with its pumping rhythm and Jeroen-Bosch like lyrics is one of the best numbers of 1968, full stop. 'Hard coming love' and 'the American metaphysical circus' are probably classified as a class B drug, while 'the Cloud song' is a cross between Winnie the Pooh (from which the text comes, obviously) and lying on your back in a timeless summery garden, looking up in the sky and falling up. Great stuff.

PS (later) the track listing on Amazon these days is all wrong, giving bonus numbers, not the original sequence WHICH IS ON MOST CDs! and which goes
side one
1. "The American Metaphysical Circus" (Joseph Byrd) 4:56
2. "Hard Coming Love" (Byrd, Dorothy Moskowitz) 4:41
3. "Cloud Song" (Byrd, Moskowitz) 3:18
4. "The Garden of Earthly Delights" (Byrd, Moskowitz) 2:39
5. "I Won't Leave My Wooden Wife for You, Sugar" (Byrd, Moskowitz) 3:51
Side two
6. "Where Is Yesterday" (Gordon Marron, Ed Bogas, Moskowitz) 3:08
7. "Coming Down" (Byrd, Moskowitz) 2:37
8. "Love Song for the Dead Ché" (Byrd) 3:25
9. "Stranded in Time" (Marron, Bogas) 1:49
10. "The American Way of Love" 6:38
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Format: Audio CD
First off - this is the version to buy. Unlike most bonus tracks, the previously unavailable ones here are essential. Some are better than some of the original tracks, and that's saying something with this album. This was the first album to feature the moog synthesiser, the first heavily electronic album so you would expect it to be little more than a curiosity. Amazingly and stunningly not! Who were they - a group of people centered around Berkeley University, California who came together to make this album and then seemed to disappear. The album is obviously influenced by Sergeant Pepper in its adventurous arrangements and production, but the songs are much better. Gorgeous singing,especially from Dorothy Moskowitz, haunting melodies, and intelligent, imaginative lyrics. This is every bit as good as the Velvet Underground and Nico album, and I certainly play it more often. So strange that this should just appear out of the blue and then end there. Give it a try.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Stumbled across this on Spotify after so many years of trying to track it down and came straight to Amazon to buy it!

This was one of the first albums I ever bought as a totally-straight provincial grammar school boy of 16 - the very first was Floyd's "Piper At The Gates Of Dawn". Arrived at the University of Sussex in the early 1970's and after an introduction to some of the pharmaceuticals of the time all suddenly became clear :-)

This is one of the absolute classics of psychedelia for all of the reasons mentioned by other reviewers. What these people could achieve on 4-track analogue equipment puts a lot of current digital dithering totally in the shade, and the lyrics on tracks such as "The American Metaphysical Circus" can still send a shiver down my spine as I find my 60th birthday horribly imminent.

To whoever re-issued this I can only say "thank you thank you thank you".
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