fredag 13 februari 2009

Stone Circus - Selftitled (Psychedelic Rock US 1969)

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260:- (normalpris 320:-) (24-Bit Limited Remaster Edition, limiterad utgåva på 400 ex. Nu utgången utgåva sedan länge.)

This Superb Blend of Psych-pop and Experimental Acid Rock Originally Appeared on One of the Rarest Mainstream Lps. Strong, Melodic Songwriting, Well-established Collector's Grail the Legendary Mainstream Label in 1969. 

Recorded by a Bunch of Canadian Musicians Who'd Fetched Up in New York, it Received No Airplay Or Promotional Support and was Soon Deleted, but Has Gone on to Become One of the Most Sought-after Major Label LPs of the Period. Enjoyable from Start to Finish.

Whether you like what Bob Shad and Mainstream did in the late 60's it a matter of opinion. Not sure if some of the label releases would have gotten on a major label, but Mainstream offered us some unusual music mixed with more recognizable bands like Big Brother and the Holding Company and Amboy Dukes.

Stone Circus deserves better than Mainstream-really. It has everything of the period, good songs and vocals, fuzz workouts, organ swirls. Man, there were worse-lots worse. These transplanted Canadians went to NYC to seek their fame. Choose the name Funky Farm, got signed by Mainstream/Bob Shad. He changed their name to Stone Circus (not a bad move)and this LP went the way of most of the Mainstream artists. They did release "Mr. Grey" as a single. Perfect song for the times, but with no promotion, nothing happened.

Albumets baksida
Stone Circus were more than adequate musically. Lyrics are of the time; questions about life and other people's personalities. Jazzier Doors-y opener "What Went Wrong" reminds of Buffalo Springfield's "Pretty Girl Why" and those Classic Four songs. "Adam's Lament," more instrumental than not, is a downright funky look at the happenings in Eden! Aforementioned "Mr. Grey" fits along side S.F. Sorrow. It features a growl-y fuzz bass and takes off into a Ray Manzarek-like break. "Blue Funk" is one of the best tracks here. Smart lyrically, driving bass, and a dreamy little chorus: "you're a blue funk in a green frame. You're a mad monk with a million saints." Along with "Mr. Grey," "Sara Wells" intriques. Sounding like Strawberry Alarm Clock, with a bit more production, this could have been a hit. "Inside Out Man" is "Nowhere Man" four years later.

Every album in the 60's had its 7 minutes plus extravaganza-Stone Circus is no exception with closer "People I Once Knew." Winding itself up with a spoken intro, we are then treated to a major fuzz freakout. It has its moments, but imagine the riff from the Byrds "So You Want To Be a Rock and Roll Star"-only twice as fast. With no nuance or atmosphere, the riff drives you to distraction. The lead and organ breaks are inventive if a little long winded. Arising and descending bass riff break things up creatively. I do believe the more you hear this album, the better it gets. Make to be listened to in the spirit that it was made.

01. What Went Wrong
02. Adam's Lament
03. Mr. Grey
04. Blue Funk
05. Carnival of Love
06. Sara Wells
07. Inside-Out Man
08. Camino Real
09. People I Once Knew