COUNTRY JOE & THE FISH
Electric Music For The Mind And Body
(Vanguard VRS 9244) Original 1967 US 🇺🇸 Mono
Electric Music For The Mind And Body is the debut album by Country Joe & The Fish. Released in May 1967.
Review from Endless Trip
The authentic sound of the Fillmore circa early 1967. In common with most early San Francisco albums, it’s a mixture of cutting-edge psychedelic rock (the eerie ballad ‘Porpoise Mouth’, the relentless, ominous instrumental ‘Section 43’ and atmospheric ‘Bass Strings’ and ‘Grace’) and the material that harks back to an earlier era. Quite a bit of it is dated (bluesy pop-rocker ‘Flying High’, the jokey anti-Lyndon Johnson ‘Superbird’, the cod-soul ‘Love’), but McDonald shows a knack for catchy pop (‘Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine’ and ‘Sad And Lonely Times’) and there’s distinctive guitar from Barry Melton and organ from David Cohen throughout. The lengthy instrumental sections in a few tracks work effectively, and it’s notable how much better they were at translating their live sound to record than the Airplane or Dead were in their early recordings. There’s a couple of tracks I could do without, but it seems pointless to carp; one of the main characteristics of the band was that they didn’t take themselves too seriously, and this album finds them deftly balancing their politics, humour and psychedelic inclinations. The result is an essential period piece, and one of the truest documents of the San Francisco sound. And can you think of a 60s album with a cooler title?
Review written by Richard Morton Jack
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