måndag 15 november 2010

Pearls Before Swine - One Nation Underground (Psychedelic Folkrock US 1967)

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290:- (24-Bit Limited Remaster Edition)

One Nation Underground was the debut album by American psychedelic folk group Pearls Before Swine. It was released on the ESP-Disk label in 1967.

It was recorded at Impact Sound in New York City, between May 6-9, 1967, by the Florida-based group, which at that point comprised main songwriter and singer Tom Rapp, Wayne Harley, Lane Lederer, and Roger Crissinger. Percussion was by session musician Warren Smith.

The album presents a mixture of styles - "psychedelic folk reminiscent of Donovan collides with Farfisa-driven punk and hard-to-categorize repetitive minimalism, all thrown together with the undisciplined, creative exuberance of youth".

"Another Time" is an acoustic song, the first that Rapp ever wrote, based on his experience in a car crash where he walked away unscathed, and, with "Morning Song", represents the most characteristic example of Rapp's later writing style. In contrast, "Drop Out!" and "Uncle John" are youthful protest songs. "(Oh Dear) Miss Morse" spells out in Morse code the word F-U-C-K, accompanied by banjo and organ.

The album became the most successful ESP release ever, estimated to have sold between 100,000 and 250,000 copies. Early vinyl copies came with a small poster of the Hell panel from Hieronymus Bosch's "Garden Of Delights", a detail of which was used on the front of the album sleeve.

Psychedelic-folk debut from one of the most erudite, literate minds in rock, Thomas D. Rapp (and the first of his ever-changing Swine). Although the songs here lack some cohesion, this is still a stunning piece of work, from the nightmarish sleeve art -- the "Hell Panel" from Hieronymus Bosch's 15th century painting "Garden of Delights" -- to the strange yet powerful songs. "Another Time," the most memorable selection, is an understated acoustic song, the first that Rapp ever penned, based on his experience in a horrific car crash where he walked away unscathed. Of similar mood is the beautiful "Ballad of an Amber Lady." "Drop Out" is a straightforward song built around a popular credo of the '60s. "Uncle John" is one of the earliest protest songs about the Vietnam War. Strangest (and funniest) of all is "(Oh Dear) Miss Morse," where Rapp adopts a Victorian persona and sounds out the Morse code spelling of F-U-C-K, accompanied by banjo and Farfisa organ.

Considering Rapp's fascination with history, it's not surprising that one of the songs here, "I Shall Not Care," features a co-writer credit to "Roman Tombs." The cryptic words that comprise this song's title were discovered on a tomb that dates to the final days of the Roman Empire.

01."Another Time" - 3:03 (Rapp)
02."Playmate" - 2:19 (Saxie Dowell)
03."Ballad To An Amber Lady" - 5:14 (Crissinger, Rapp)
04."(Oh Dear) Miss Morse" - 1:54 (Rapp)
05."Drop Out!" - 4:04 (Rapp)
06."Morning Song" - 4:06 (Rapp)
07."Regions Of May" - 3:27 (Rapp)
08."Uncle John" - 2:54 (Rapp)
09."I Shall Not Care" - 5:20 (Teasdale, Roman Tombs, Rapp)
10."The Surrealist Waltz" - 3:29 (Lederer, Crissinger)

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