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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
28
United States of America
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£32.79+ £3.98 shipping


on 28 August 2014
I don't recall seeing this album when it came out in 1968 but like many others had the 'Wooden Wife' track on the CBS promotional sampler 'The Rock Machine Turns You On' (with its immovable '15 tracks for 15 shillings' label) - and still do. I never followed it up, there were other priorities. So, a mere 46 years later I find this reissue...
1967, when this was recorded, is a long while ago and, yes, it shows - but even for the times ('man') it was an oddball. It still is. Like its UK close contemporary, the White Noise album 'An electric storm' (Delia Derbyshire's tape splicing effort from 1969) it can come over as 'novelty', produced for the sound of collage rather than music by technicians, all very clever rather than 'psychedelic music' per se.
The USA album comes on a bit like Jefferson Airplane but with no rock sensibility; Dorothy Moskowitz tries hard to be Grace Slick. The tracks with a social satire lyric are rather Zappa-like but without his overwhelming self importance (and musicality) so bite harder as a result. The American Metaphysical Circus kicks off lyrically from 'Being for the benefit of Mr Kite!' (from another well known 1967 album) but then gets darker. Cloud Song is a straight lyrical lift from A A Milne. Where is Yesterday starts like the Electric Prunes 1968 album 'Mass in F minor'. The end collage of bits of previous songs on The American Way of Love is a great album closer. So far so hippy and with a sprinkling of a few 'trippy' lyrics a splendid time should be guaranteed for all...
While not ostensibly 'musical' the sound of the album is experimental, using such devices as were available at the time, and this can give the illusion of 'psychedelia' - which it was sold as. I'd put it more as experimental, conceptual, or 'art rock' - but without the rock.
The remastered sound on this reissue is splendid. The bonus tracks show the evolution of some tracks, add other recordings of the sessions as well as the rather inconsequential efforts after co-founder Joseph Byrd had 'left' the band - tracks 15-17. No wonder it all fell apart.
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on 1 July 2014
This is an utterly astonishing, truly revolutionary recording. The combination of superb songs, magnificent playing & singing + breathtaking arrangements make for an LP that remains fresh & innovative to this day. The satirical edge to the songwriting & the use of electronics & tape manipulation takes the LP way beyond psychedelic cliche. Hardly surprising it was mostly ignored upon release; we should all be grateful it was made in an era when the suits at Columbia were prepared to take a few risks to see what would sell. Highest possible recommendation; those of you who think that the likes of Jefferson Airplane, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix & the Beatles represent the zenith of psychedelia, you need to hear this, as it makes the best those groups & most others of the era could come up with sound puerile & half-baked.
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on 15 August 2010
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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on 5 November 2014
For anyone who wasn't around in the Sixties-this was a powerful socio/political satire of contemporary American materialist culiure and lifestyle - and for those who only know the Rock Machine' version of 'Wooden wife' this is an early outing of synthesiser (not Moog) -and beware 'Garden of Earthly Delights or ;'Hard coming love' if wearing headphnes- they are STILL pretty powerful stuff !
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on 20 April 2015
Outstanding album - one of the great 1960s US psychedelic albums of its time. The extra tracks are `OK'...the original tracks are still amazing...
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on 22 March 2015
60's electronic weirdness of the first order. Those who have heard 'White Noise' should enjoy this.
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on 18 November 2015
Great thanks
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on 12 November 2016
ok
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on 3 August 2014
Rediscovering music from the psychedelic era and this was awesome going back in time. Worthwhile purchase, as these albums are disappearing rapidly and very difficult to find reissues from this era.
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VINE VOICEon 31 March 2000
This was one of the most soughtafter records in the seventies, listen to it on head-phones and it will astound you. The psychodelic age is typified by this well produced and unusual album, it is well produced, a tour de force.
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