Saturday, 24 October 2009

REPOST: United States of America (now including the GREAT bonus tracks!)

Recorded in 1967 and released in 1968, this album largely reflects the vision of avant-garde composer Joseph Byrd. The supporting musicians on the album include excellent fretless bassist Rand Forbes who was a modern classical bassist (he bought an electric Ampeg fretless for the occasion), wonderful vocalist Dorothy Moskowitz, violinist Gordon Marron and percussionist Craig Woodson. The album is stylistically diverse and the pieces range from Beatles/Jefferson Airplane influenced psychedelic pop, gloomy quasi-Gregorian chant, through electronic experimentation and spacey interludes, to found sounds and general avant-garde tendencies suggestive of an influence by composers like Cage Stockhausen, and Edgar Varese The use of electronics on this album is very creative for 1968 and includes (most notably) a crude wave generator built by none other than Tom Oberheim (he was responsible for synthesizers like the Oberheim polyphonic for example).

her electronic effects include running the violin through a ring modulator which resulted in the violin sounding like an electric guitar - this is an interesting choice given Joe's desire to get away from the guitar "clutter" as he referred to it as. as ring modulator treatment as well Finally, the wave generator was run through an echoplex (echo device) that added yet another tonal color to the recording. The ten pieces are fairly short and range from the 2'37" Coming Down to the 6'38" The American Way of Love With the exception of the whimsical introductory vocal section of the piece I Won't Leave My Wooden Wife for You, Sugar, all of the music is quite serious Overall this is an exceptional recording that is a refreshing departure from the rock music typically associated with the late 1960's (or at least the music that Rolling Stone Magazine would associate with the 1960s). (review by Jeffrey J.Park -

01.American Metaphysical Circus, The
02.Hard Coming Love
03.Cloud Song
04.Garden of Earthly Delights, The
05.I Won't Leave My Wooden Wife For You, Sugar
06.Where Is Yesterday
07.Coming Down
08.Love Song For the Dead Che
09.Stranded in Time
10.The American Way of Love Medley: Metaphor For An Older Man Part I / California Good-Time Music Pa..
11.Osamu's Birthday
12.No Love to Give
13.I Won't Leave My Wooden Wife For You, Sugar
14.You Can Never Come Down
15.Perry Pier
16.Tailor Man
17.Do You Follow Me
18.American Metaphysical Circus, The
19.Mouse (The Garden of Earthly Delights)
20.Heresy (Coming Down)

The United States Of America:
*Gordon Marron - vocals, electric violin, ring modulator
*Craig Woodson - electronic drums, percussion
*Dorothy Moskowitz - vocals
*Joseph Byrd - vocals, piano, electric harpsichord, organ, calliope, electronics
*Rand Forbes - bass guitar


**SIMILAR ARTIST ==>The Spoils of War