Released in 1969, this must be about the time I bought the album at Woolworths in Ipswich, Suffolk. It was loose in a scattered luckydip of cheap lps presented, as I recall, in a chrome display cage.
There is a strong sense as I listen now that these songs are crafted to reflect their time: the socio/political and even more ethereal themes of the 'flowerpower' generation targeted as a commercial rather than wholly committed audience appeal. 'Sunshine Fields of Love' with its evocation of San Francisco backs this up, as clearly do the Country oriented albums Axton produced from '64 to this date with their more homespun preoccupations.
That said, the drugs lament 'Snow Blind Friend' has its honest and heartfelt core, a song made famous by Steppenwolf as was the other great Axton penned and Steppenwolf cover 'The Pusher', itself made famous in the film 'Easy Rider'. Indeed, those who know just a little of Axton will probably do so indirectly by these two songs, and perhaps 'Joy to the World', or by his screen appearance in 'Gremlins'.
Other songs on this album that resurrect for me distinct memories of the time are 'Beelzebub's Laughter' with its anti-Vietnam war theme, then 'On The Natural', 'Way Before the Time of Towns', 'Childhood's End' and 'Revelations' that all appeal with their late 60s folk inclinations. Axton's singing voice is unique. At times the long notes have the waver of Buffy Saint-Marie but in bass-baritone.