Saturday, February 02, 2008


Digitized from the original vinyl, released in 1968 on Vanguard Records.
Format: Mp3
Bit Rate: 320 Kbps
Produced By: Samuel Charters
Engineered By: Ed Friedner
Recorded At: Vanguard's 23rd Street Studio, New York City
The Fish Cheer & I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die Rag / Who Am I / Pat’s Song / Rock Coast Blues / Magoo / Janis / Thought Dream / Thursday / Eastern Jam / Colors For Susan
Rock & Soul Music / Susan / Mojo Navigator / Bright Suburban Mr. & Mrs. Clean Machine / Good Guys-Bad Guys Cheer / The Street Of Your Town / The Fish Moan / The Harlem Song / Waltzing In The Moonlight / Away Bounce My Bubbles / Cetacean / An Untitled Protest
Country Joe McDonald – Vocals, Guitars
Barry Melton – Vocals, Guitar
David Cohen - Vocals, Keyboards, Guitar
Bruce Barthol – Bass, Vocals
Chicken Hirsch – Drums, Percussion, Bells, Castanets, Sand Blocks

By Yours Truly
I'll admit it, I'm biased about these guys. From the first time I heard "Electric Music for the Mind and Body" I was hooked. To an impressionable youth of 15 or so and a musician, playing in local bands, these guys were something different, something never heard before and if the first album opened my ears, the second album opened my eyes. By the time the 3rd one came out they could do no wrong. Sure, now when I listen to this record it has it's weak points and yes, it sounds a bit dated, but because it was with me during the time when it was relevant those slight flaws are easy to put aside when the melodies and words take me back to a time when it was all ahead of me. I can't imagine this music having the same effect on someone listening to it for the first time in these times but I could be wrong. At the very least these albums in particular and this band in general are a great way to delve into the history of music trying to make a difference in the late 60's.
Gimme an F!
REVIEW for "I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die"

A True Masterpiece of shimmering beauty, September 15, 2000
James T. Jacobs (Normal, IL USA) - (Amazon Customer Review)
The term "psychedelic" is even more elusive now than it was when it was first coined. If you ask someone what it means, you'll likely get a different answer from each person you ask. Does it mean throwing in funny sounds, fuzz and echo to make the music sound spacey? Hendrix and Pink Floyd did this, but they did much, much more. Country Joe and the Fish didn't do much of this, but some of their music still stands out in my mind as some of the very best of that era. One important characteristic of understanding this type of music is that in order to appreciate it, you have to really listen to it. Not as background or just for dancing. This was one of the big changes of the time. Instead of just dancing to music, you sat and listened to it, gathering the beauty, feelings and ideas inherent in the music itself. This album is a perfect example of this. You can't listen to it if you're in a hurry. Especially "Colors For Susan", which is a brilliant, subtle instrumental that paints pictures while you lay back and listen. I'm amazed that someone had the patience to write such a piece. It seems to go on forever, but, when it ends, I'm always disappointed, and want it to go just a little longer. My favorites exhibit a quality that I call, "shimmering beauty". The most outstanding example of this is "Thought Dream". The combination of Joe's smooth, soaring vocals, the melodic guitar figures and the solo organ lines just grab hold and go to the base of my spine and start the shivers right up my back.
The album cover is one of many of that time which pay tribute to the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper cover. The record is also an attempt to, as Sgt. Pepper did, create an album as a whole piece, from beginning to end, rather than just a collection of songs. In my opinion, it was successful. Since I got the CD version, I've listened to it dozens of times, and it still goes straight to my heart, and this is about 33 years later. Country Joe and the Fish, I thank you! =============================
REVIEW for "Together"

Quintessential, September 28, 2000
By Mark R. Dobos (Indian Harbour Beach, FL USA)
More or less a top 5 band of all time, these guys were each one of the best in what they did and the one band that can claim that they were truly at the center of the 60's, given the political element/genesis. this album is essential and all the songs are favorites--i truly bow to this band--i met Country Joe McDonald back in 1992 in Orlando when i was about 19 and was one of the only times i was starstruck--i had him autograph a napkin and told him his music was timeless. this band is actually beloved. from Melton's guitar/singing/writing majic to "Chicken" Hirsh's ultra drumming to Cohen's super-grade organ and piano--this band is what hip is about and they give new meaning to the term "kick tail." This is very much an ensemble album highlighting their many abilities. I cant say enough about them. The true Musike Politicos--not recommended-- Required!

READ THIS for more information on these albums.


Video #1 - 1969 - Country Joe at Woodstock singing "I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die"

Those who don't learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. George Santayana

We learn from history that we learn nothing from history.
George Bernard Shaw

Video #2 - 2006 - Country Joe singing "Support The troops"

This entry is dedicated to my musical compatriot in Hamburg Germany who sent me Counry Joe's "Support The Troops" video, which was the catalyst for this post.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for these: who can have seen Woodstock and not been won over by Country Joe?! I have these, but just wanted to take the opportunity to thank you as well for the two Zephyrs - absolutely brilliant singing and guitar. These were entirely new to me and they should have been/should be much more widely known. This is where sites like yours really do make an important impact on spreading good music.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008 at 5:09:00 PM EST  
Blogger bongolong said...

I was 16 when these came out, and you are right in saying, "these guys were something different, something never heard before". And I too listen to these with a sense of "back then" when the world was truly a different world, and bands were making new music. From the late 60s to the mid-to-late 70s the explosion of musical styles and ideas were huge! And Country Joe & The Fish were riding the crest of that wave!

Sunday, September 7, 2008 at 8:33:00 AM EDT  

Post a Comment

<< Home