Saturday, August 28, 2021

Fraction: Moon Blood 1971


Heavy Psych mega monster of the best quality imaginable. This is a $2000 mega rarity. Their only album, Moon Blood, was an extremely limited 200 copy pressing. Physical copies were a rarity until the album’s re-release nearly forty years later, in 2010.
It's been said to be the album The Doors had wished they had recorded. If you take The Doors and a way wasted beyond belief Jim Morrisson sounding vocalist and some heavy duty amplification and a dark eerie vibe of say Iron Butterfly or Black Sabbaths debut you will be close to what this monster is all about. Strange apocalyptic lyrics (virtually indecipherable without the lyric sheet) that are not your typical Christian fare by any means.

There are very few albums in the psych/punk/hard rock/private presses strata that garner the sort of universal awe and accolades that Fraction’s almighty Moonblood LP does, and even fewer records in the world that could be dubbed ‘Christian Rock’ incur such fierce devotion. Indeed some records just meteorically lift themselves out any genre tag with brilliance and sheer defiance–and Moonblood is surely one of them.

Based in LA, Fraction was a ragged collection of working-class musicians–the line-up was ringleader Jim Beach–vocals; Don Swanson–lead guitar, Curt Swanson–drums, Victor Hemme–bass, and Robert Meinel–rhythm guitar. Beach himself describes those early days: “The guys met through various acquaintances that we had in LA. All of us had been in bands before, but were seeking something with more teeth. We had a small studio in an industrial complex in North Hollywood and started practicing sometimes as early as 4:30 AM. We all had day jobs, so we did what we could.” Amazingly the recording sessions for the album were recorded similarly on the fly, as Beach further states: “The Moonblood recording took place at Whitney’s Studio in Glendale, CA, early in 1971.
On a strict budget, these songs were recorded in less than three hours””all of them “one takes.” at the Whitney Recording Studio in Glendale California back in 1971, and released on a tiny Christian music label named Angelus. We played, all 5 of us, simultaneously– there were no studio effects, no overdubbing or any additional sound effects added. Basically what you hear is considered ‘old school’ recording.”

This workmanlike description in no way prepares one for the pure tortured genius the session wrought. Particularly noteworthy is Beach’s vocals””as commonly stated, the spirit of Jim Morrison is conjured in his deep baritone, which gives way to unparalleled pained howls, at times bathed in delay which trails into the abyss. Fascinatingly enough, Beach cites the much punker Love as his fave LA band over the Doors, and also gives influence-nods to proto-everything rockers The Yardbirds and to Dylan, whose dark word tapestries surely inspired Beach’s lyrics (though lines from The Doors’ “L’America” pop up on the LP) Whatever the case, the man clearly has a vision, as even the stark sleeve concept is Beach’s own.

Equally as integral to the Fraction sound is lead guitarist Don Swanson””his blown-out fuzz riffs set a template for what is now commonly known as “stoner rock” or “acid punk,” and his solos consist of jagged, wah-wah-ed shards of notes, with his amplifier clearly pushed to the limit.
Beach says: “Don’s guitar was always my driving force and he did everything he could to keep it over the top. You’d never know that (his sound) was coming from an old, broken down Esquire. Don kept it alive!”
The other members contributions shouldn’t be underappreciated though– drummer Curt Swanson keeps things at a constant simmer, and then boils over when the whole band launches into snarling glory. The band and LP as a whole equals something indescribably intense from start to finish””comparisons to the Detroit late 60s high-energy bands like The Stooges and MC5 abound, as well as the sort of late 60s damaged spirit lurking in biker clubs and disgruntled Vietnam vets. The song cycle on side 1 of the LP in particular cuts to the emotional core, with severely charged dark lyrics like “Extend your thumbs and burn the darkness out of her.”
A few short years ago, if you had wanted to listen to this record you would have had to buy a poor quality bootleg or spend upwards of £1,000 for one of the 200 copies that comprised the entire original 1971 pressing.

LA-based Fraction were, in theory, a Christian-rock band, but,  they sound like some seriously deranged and dangerous people. Tapping the same wave of down-tuned, bleakly heavy, savage comedown psych that informed contemporaries like Black Sabbath and the Stooges, Fraction were a working-class group who would rehearse and record early in the morning before going to their day jobs. Thanks to that dedication there is a spacious sort of loneliness at the heart of the noise they make.
The five songs that made up the original album were recorded live in a single three-hour session with no FX and no overdubs – Come Out of Her is positively demonic (and includes a neat little two-bar breakbeat at 2:03). Singer Jim Beach's ragged growl has been likened to Jim Morrison, but there's a desperation and anxiety present here that the handsome, wealthy son of a senior navy officer never had, while guitarist Don Swanson pushes the wah-wah and fuzz to the limit. Moon Blood is a brilliantly odd record, a snapshot of a time where Jesus-freak hippies could still remember what it felt like to have some angry toxins flooding through your brain. Naturally, the band never got anywhere and for decades barely anyone, bar the most obsessed, got to hear them. Until, happily, now.

1971 was surely a post-hippie year packed of new exciting musical directions, a melting-pot of genres where standing shoulder to shoulder with the best bands was a real challenge; and this album shows how broad the range of this beautiful cauldron was. The dense, mystical atmosphere has more in common with a hazy psychedelic dusk than with the moon that gives the album its title. Abstract Christian lyrics scattered throughout the songs guarantee an even deeper aura of mystery to the whole experience. The acid guitar permeates the entire work, dropping lines of venom, poignancy and sorrow. The counterpoint are the vocals of Jim Beach, the true trademark of this band’s sound. His style is immediately recognizable. Soulful and gravely, yet comforting and at times touching peaks of (drug-fueled?) madness. A solid rhythm section (bass, drums and rhythm guitar) completes the lineup.

“The dense, mystical atmosphere has more in common with a hazy psychedelic dusk than with the moon that gives the album its title.”  A masterpiece of dark psychedelia!
Five tracks. Five timeless behemoths that seem to come from an ancient past when music was made purely to enrich the soul.

A driving melancholy opens up the album on “Sanc Divided”, with stripped down guitars setting the mood. And as the mojo of the song grows a whirlwind of fuzz comes in mercilessly.
The second song “Come Out Of Her” has Beach pouring his soul into the music through his soaring vocals. A wah-wah solo takes the listener on a ride on the psychedelic wave until the end of the song. Magic!
Clocking at almost nine minutes “Eye Of The Hurricane” is arguably the magnus opus on this platter. A post-apocalyptic burned out jam with blissful guitar work and rare intensity.
“Sons Come To Birth” is the softer track of the album, a ballad that has all the dynamics perfectly set. The psychedelic undertones are dripping from every riff and together with the driving bass lead us into a groove that sets the stage for some inspired improvisation.
“This Bird” and “Sky High”, that merge one into the other, close the album. Here we find the band dealing with a spoken-word/ poetry section in Doors’ style; a high point of the album that climaxes with an explosion of high-octane rock and roll. Before the final fade-out we hear the band steaming out one last acid freakout with full-force guitar soloing and wailing vocals.

This album will have you coming back for more, a mastodontic work of art that deserves underground cult record status. Far out!

The band had a small studio in North Hollywood industrial complex where they would jam at all different times as all the members were working stiffs and all had day jobs. The band entered Whitney Studios early in 1971 and being on a strict budget the band recorded Moon Blood in three hours with no overdubs or any other studio effects. Basically a live studio recording.

Moon Blood is a heavy climate of spooky stoner rock, acid psych and proto-punk casts Beach's Morrison screaming, howlin' vocals and Arthur Lee(Love) inspired possessed punk-raunch style with Swanson's fuzz-drenched riffs, wah-wahed and jagged solos are the driving force of the album with the high energy stomp of the MC5 and The Stooges with quasi-Christian lyrical references.

In the summer of 1970, the band entered a studio and cut their only album, Moon Blood. Only 200 copies of this little psychedelic masterpiece were ever pressed, making it over the years a mega-rarity going for ridiculous sums of money. This 1999 reissue brings this fuzz and reverb festival onto compact disc for the first time and features three bonus tracks of previously unissued origin, "Prisms," "Dawning Light," and "Intercessor's Blues." Vocally, Jim Beach works the Jim Morrison side of the street while the band works the standard riffs of the era into a fuzz overloaded stomp that sounds like a perfect period piece. Lovers of fuzz-drenched psychedelia will go crazy over this one.

It’s no surprise that this LP is considered by many the Holy Grail of heavy psychedelic rock.


Jim Beach – vocals
Don Swanson – lead guitar
Curt Swanson – drums
Victor Hemme – bass  
Robert Meinel – rhythm guitar


01. Sanc-Divided     3:42
02. Come Out Of Her     4:50
03. Eye Of The Hurricane     8:42
04. Sons Come To Birth     5:17
05. This Bird (Sky High)     8:08

Flac  Size: 194 MB (From the CD)
Wav Size: 643 MB ( From the Vinyl Album)


Thinking of the sanc-divided
Thoughts I have today
Wondering when the Spirit moves me
If I will obey
If I will obey

I can hear the death surrounding
All of his prey
Are my thoughts for real
Must I live in what I feel
Live in what I feel

Living in what we've received
Impartial who might say
Choose widely, counselors of Zion
Wisely as you pay

Put His gifts above the Earth
Without dismay
Can you love His name
Will you cast away your fame
Cast away your fame

Choose widely, counselors of Zion
Wisely as you pay

Put His gifts above the Earth
Without dismay
Can you love His name
Will you cast away your fame
Cast away your fame

Friday, August 27, 2021

Charlie Watts Quintet: A Tribute To Charlie Parker With Strings 1992

Charles Robert Watts (2 June 1941 – 24 August 2021) was an English musician who was the drummer for the rock band the Rolling Stones from 1963 until his death in 2021. One of the band's core members, Watts, alongside lead vocalist and frontman Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards, were the only members of the band to perform on all of their studio albums. He cited jazz as a major influence on his drumming style.

Originally trained as a graphic artist, Watts developed an interest in jazz at a young age, and joined the band Blues Incorporated. He also started playing drums in London's rhythm and blues clubs, where he met future bandmates Jagger, Richards, and Brian Jones.

In January 1963, he left Blues Incorporated and joined the Rolling Stones as drummer, while doubling as designer of their record sleeves and tour stages. Watts's first public appearance as a permanent member was in February 1963, and he remained with the group until his death 58 years later.Aside from his career with the Rolling Stones, Watts toured with his own group, the Charlie Watts Quintet, and appeared in London at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club with the Charlie Watts Tentet.

In the mid-1980s, Watts's previously moderate use of alcohol and drugs became problematic. "[They were] my way of dealing with [family problems] ..." he said. "I think it was a mid-life crisis. All I know is that I became totally another person around 1983 and came out of it about 1986. I nearly lost my wife and everything over my behaviour." In June 2004, Watts was diagnosed with throat cancer, despite having quit smoking in the late 1980s, and underwent a course of radiotherapy, and it later went into remission.

In 1991, he organised a jazz quintet as another tribute to Charlie Parker. The year 1993 saw the release of Warm and Tender, by the Charlie Watts Quintet, which included vocalist Bernard Fowler. This same group released Long Ago and Far Away in 1996. Both records included a collection of Great American Songbook standards.

In 1991 The Guardian described Watts as a "heroic yet quaint archetype... of the "Rock Drummer", and we are unlikely to hear their like again." The Guardian attributed his professional survival to not ever aspiring for stardom nor forcing himself into songwriting. In the July 2006 issue of Modern Drummer magazine, Watts was voted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame, joining Ringo Starr, Keith Moon, Steve Gadd, Buddy Rich and other highly esteemed and influential drummers from the history of rock and jazz.[53] That same year, Vanity Fair elected him into the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame. In the estimation of music critic Robert Christgau, Watts was "rock's greatest drummer".

In 2016, he was ranked 12th on Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Drummers of All Time" list. Variety stated on the day of his death that Watts is "universally recognized as one of the greatest rock drummers of all time". Music critic Rob Sheffield wrote for Rolling Stone that Watts was "rock's ultimate drum god" who "made the Stones great by conceding nothing to them".

This particular set, "A tribute to Charlie Parker" that features a quintet, vocalist Bernard Fowler (who sings "Lover Man" and adds some narration about Parker's life), six strings, harp, and oboe, has renditions of seven songs associated with Bird. Altoist Peter King is easily the solo star, trumpeter Gerard Presencer is decent but not on the same level, and pianist Brian Lemon also gets in some spots; Watts stays in the background. This well-intentioned program is well worth acquiring and its highlights include versions of "Just Friends," "Dewey Square," and "Perdido."

Live at Ronnie Scotts Birmingham UK
Label; Psycho 74321 120412
Country: Italy
Genre: Jazz
Style: Big Band
Year: 1992



01. Intro     0:25
02. Practicing, Practicing, Just Great     6:06
03. Black Bird, White Chicks     5:10
04. Bluebird     4:28
05. Bound for New York     5:46
06. Terra de Pajaro     3:57
07. Bad Seeds-Rye Drinks     4:57
08. Relaxin' at Camarillo     3:54
09. Going, Going, Going, Gone     7:08
10. Just Friends     3:18
11. Cool Blues     3:17
12. Dancing in the Dark     3:22
13. Dewey's Square     5:37
14. Rocker     4:05
15. Lover Man     6:31
16. Perdido     7:19

MP3 @ 320 Size: 176 MB
Flac  Size: 443 MB

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Tindersticks: First Album 1993 (Remastered 2 CD 2004) + Second Album 1995

Tindersticks were one of the most original and distinctive British acts of the '90s, standing apart from both the British indie scene and the rash of Brit-pop guitar combos that dominated the U.K. charts.

Where their contemporaries were often direct and to the point, Tindersticks were obtuse and leisurely, crafting dense, difficult songs layered with literary lyrics, intertwining melodies, mumbling vocals, and gently melancholy orchestrations. Essentially, the group filtered the dark romanticism of Leonard Cohen, Ian Curtis, and Scott Walker through the bizarre pop songcraft of Lee Hazlewood and the aesthetics of indie rock.

Though their music was far from casual listening, Tindersticks gained a dedicated cult following in the mid-'90s, beginning with their eponymous 1993 debut album, which was named Album of the Year

by Melody Maker.
At their best, their 1993 and 1995 self-titled albums, 1997's Curtains, 2001's Can Our Love, and 2012's The Something Rain, Tindersticks crafted richly orchestrated, darkly beautiful music that often felt like soundtracks to imaginary movies. (Not surprisingly, they would find themselves scoring motion pictures after their breakthrough, including several projects with director Claire Denis.) 2021's Distractions saw the group exploring new directions with electronics and ambient textures while still creating music that reflected their own unique musical vision.

The origins of Tindersticks lay in Asphalt Ribbons, a Nottingham-based indie rock band that featured vocalist Stuart Staples, keyboardist David Boulter, and violinist Dickon Hinchcliffe. All three members

formed Tindersticks in 1992; the remaining members included guitarist Neil Fraser, bassist Mark Colwill, and drummer Al Macaulay. In November of 1992, the band released its first single, "Patchwork," on its own label, Tippy Toe. "Marbles" followed early in 1993, as did "A Marriage Made in Heaven," a collaboration with Huggy Bear's Niki Sin that appeared on Rough Trade's Singles Club. Following the release of the Unwired EP on Tippy Toe, the fledgling This Way Up signed the band.

Tindersticks' eponymous debut appeared halfway through 1993, earning rave reviews from most sections of the British press. By the end of the year, the group and the album had won over most of the

U.K. critics, and Tindersticks was named Album of the Year by Melody Maker. Tindersticks spent a quiet year in 1994, releasing a single of John Barry's James Bond theme "We Have All the Time in the World" (from On Her Majesty's Secret Service), a live album entitled Amsterdam, and a cover of Pavement's "Here." Also that year, Tindersticks was released on Bar/None in the U.S. In the spring of 1995, the group released its untitled second album, which featured cameos from Gallon Drunk's Terry Edwards and the Walkabouts' Carla Torgerson. Like its predecessor, it received rave reviews and appeared on nearly every British Top Ten list of the Best of 1995. In November of 1995, the group released another live album, Bloomsbury Theatre.

Tindersticks were quiet for most of 1996, releasing the soundtrack to the Claire Denis film Nénette et

Boni in the fall of the year. The album was comprised of old songs, new songs, and rearranged older material. A new version of "A Marriage Made in Heaven," featuring vocals from actress Isabella Rossellini, was released a few months after Nénette et Boni; the single was later appended to the American release of 1997's Curtains. Their fourth effort, Simple Pleasure (1999), marked Tindersticks' most open-hearted release since their inception.

A new deal with Beggars Banquet surfaced at the dawn of the new millennium, and a replenished unity within the band was found on 2001's Can Our Love.... Later that year, the band provided the soundtrack to another Claire Denis film, Trouble Every Day. The proper follow-up to Can Our Love..., Waiting for the Moon, was released in mid-2003.

In 2005, Staples embarked on a solo project (fueling rumors of a split) and went on to produce two albums. The rumors proved to be partially true as Hinchcliffe, Colwill, and drummer Macaulay left the

group in 2006. The remaining Tindersticks (Staples, Fraser, and Boulter) were joined by longtime associate Terry Edwards and a host of musicians in their return to the studio in 2007. The resulting album, The Hungry Saw, was released in 2008, followed two years later by Falling Down a Mountain. The latter album introduced another revised lineup, this one featuring Earl Harvin on drums and David Kitt on guitar. Tindersticks' long collaboration with Claire Denis, in film and television, was compiled by Constellation into a limited-edition five-CD (or five-LP) package entitled The Claire Denis Film Scores 1996-2009, which was released in April of 2011. The band planned to tour the material in the U.K. in the fall of that year.

Recorded between May 2010 and August 2011, Tindersticks' ninth studio album featured, appropriately, nine brand-new cuts, including the hypnotic first single, "Medicine." The Something Rain was released on February 21, 2012. The band released its latest collaboration with Denis, the soundtrack for Les Salauds (The Bastards), in the fall of 2013, following the film's release.

Tindersticks grew more visually ambitious with The Waiting Room. The set not only featured new material, but each song was accompanied by a different short film. Some of the directors included

Claire Denis, Rose Pedlow, Joe King, Christoph Girardet, and Gabriel Sanna. The set's first single, "Hey Lucinda," offered a duet between Staples and the late songwriter Lhasa de Sela, who passed away in 2010. The Waiting Room was released on January 22, 2016. A year later, they returned with yet another film-centric project, Minute Bodies: The Intimate World of F. Percy Smith. A tribute to pioneering naturalist and documentarian F. Percy Smith, the project found Staples scoring music for an edit of Smith's original footage to create an immersive film experience.

Along with Tindersticks, the soundtrack featured contributions from percussionist Thomas Belhom,

pianist Christine Ott, saxophonist Julian Siegel, and multi-instrumentalist David Coulter. For 2019's No Treasure But Hope, the group aimed for a more organic sound than their previous few releases, with the tracks recorded in a mere five days. Following the release of the album, the group launched an extensive international tour, which included their first appearances in North America in ten years. Tindersticks did a stylistic about-face for 2021's Distractions, a spare, low-key effort with many of the tracks built around loops and electronic percussion.

Artist Biography by Stephen Thomas Erlewine.



Label: Island Records – 981 688-1
Format: CD, Album, Reissue, Remastered (2 CD) Jun 14, 2004
Country: UK & Europe
Released: 1993
Genre: Rock
Style: Art Rock



01. Nectar    2:40
02. Tyed    4:10
03. Sweet Sweet Man Pt 1    0:41
04. Whiskey And Water    5:51
05. Blood    4:51
06. City Sickness    4:00
07. Patchwork    4:40
08. Marbles    4:30
09. The Walt Blues    1:08
10. Milky Teeth    2:52
11. Sweet Sweet Man Pt 2    1:05
12. Jism    6:03
13. Piano Song    2:40
14. Tie-Dye    3:59
15. Raindrops    6:14
16. Sweet Sweet Man Pt 3    1:45
17. Her    3:29
18. Tea Stain    2:07
19. Drunk Tank    4:44
20. Paco De Renaldos Dream    4:22
21. The Not Knowing    4:59
Bassoon – Rosie Lindsell
Clarinet – Ian Bishop
Oboe – Martin Harman
Soprano Saxophone, Arranged By [Woodwinds] – Terry Edwards

MP3 @ 320 Size: 182 MB
Flac  Size: 473 MB



01. The Sorrow The Joy Brings    4:04
02. Fruitless    2:02
03. Whiskey & Water    5:39
04. For Those...    3:58
05. Blood    4:49
06. City Sickness    4:14
07. Patchwork    4:23
08. Raindrops    5:38
09. Piano Song    4:46
10. A Sweet Sweet Man    4:51
11. Visiting    5:25
12. Drunk Tank    5:41

MP3 @ 320 Size: 131 MB
Flac  Size: 323 MB


Label: This Way Up – 526 303-2
Format: CD, Album, Reissue
Country: Europe
Released: 1995
Genre: Rock
Style: Art Rock


01. El Diablo En El Ojo    3:32
02. A Night In    6:25
03. My Sister    8:11
04. Tiny Tears    5:25
05. Snowy In F# Minor    2:28
06. Seaweed    5:13
07. Vertrauen II    3:20
08. Talk To Me    5:00
09. No More Affairs    3:49
10. Singing    0:57
11. Travelling Light    4:51
12. Cherry Blossoms    4:20
13. She's Gone    3:29
14. Mistakes    5:44
15. Vertrauen III    2:20

MP3 @ 320 Size: 154 MB
Flac  Size: 355 MB

Monday, August 23, 2021

Various: Love Is The Song We Sing - San Francisco Nuggets 1965 - 1970 (4 CD Compilation) 2007


Love Is the Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965–1970 is the fourth Nuggets box set released by Rhino Records. It was released in 2007 and packaged as an 8 1/2 x 11" 120 page hardcover book, the first 73 pages of which were made up mostly of vintage photographs. The compilation focuses on San Francisco Sound bands. Its title is derived from the first line of "Get Together," two versions of which open (Dino Valenti) and close (The Youngbloods) the four-disc set.

Rhino's fourth 4xCD Nuggets compilation steps laterally away from the focus of previous volumes-- on two-to-three-minute blasts of fuzzy pop and obscure singles-- to build a panoramic picture of what was happening in Bay Area rock music between 1965 and 1970. The set's own lavishly illustrated and beautifully printed liner notes take pains to emphasize that this isn't a genre excavation so much as it is a musical examination of a particularly volatile point in space-time.

The tracklisting includes transplants like Steve Miller and bands from around the Bay, showcasing bubblegum, folk-rock, proto-metal, Latin funk-rock, garage fuzz, and acid-damaged novelties alongside San Fran staples the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, the Charlatans, Moby Grape, and Quicksilver Messenger Service.

Not all of the music exactly qualifies as obscure, either-- I'd guess nearly everyone reading this has

heard Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit", Santana's "Soul Sacrifice" and "Evil Ways", Janis Joplin's "Mercedes Benz" and Blue Cheer's cover of "Summertime Blues". Context seems to be a leading motive for including these, but they could as easily have been swapped for other rarities. Each disc has a theme: Seismic Rumbles, Suburbia, Summer of Love, and The Man Can't Bust Our Music, and each tackles a slightly different aspect of what made the Bay Area music scene so special.

Seismic Rumbles chronicles the transition from the folk scene to the first flashes of psychedelia, which largely began when Dylan went electric at Newport and convinced guys who'd been playing in old-time jug bands that electric guitars were okay. Six of the disc's 21 songs were produced for Autumn Records by Sly Stewart, who was honing his craft while harboring dreams of a multi-racial, multi-gender band that could pull together the strands of r&b and rock'n'roll and make something new from them.

Among his productions is "Can't Come Down", an early track by the Warlocks, soon to become the

Grateful Dead, and still very much in a blues-rock mode-- it sounds more like John Mayall than "Uncle John's Band". Sly shows up later on disc three with the Family Stone, railing against racial inequality on the funky "Underdog", which quotes "Frere Jacques" in its horn chart as a tribute to brotherhood. The Dead appear two more times, including the rarely heard single version of concert staple "Dark Star", a jazzy wisp of a song that sounds like it was composed as the band played it in the studio.

Many of the bands featured were inter-related. For instance, Grace Slick lent her powerful vocals to

both the Great! Society and Jefferson Airplane, both of which are featured multiple times. The Society's 1965 original version of the massive Airplane hit "Somebody to Love" unfortunately turns out to be a leaden relic, but their other track, the pounding, raga-inspired "Free Advice", was ahead of its time and is easily as thrilling in its dissonance as Slick belting, "Feed your head!" two years later on Surrealistic Pillow.

The compilers have elevated Country Joe & the Fish to a surprisingly exalted position by including three of their songs, including the sound-effects-laden EP version of "I Feel Like I'm Fixin' to Die Rag", which became an iconic anti-war song years later when the band performed it at Woodstock. Perhaps more intriguing is the inclusion of "Section 43", a fluid, mysterious instrumental that features an early dose of the open-ended improvisation that became so important to the San Francisco scene later on.

There was surprisingly little overlap between the scenes in San Francisco proper and its many surrounding communities, and as such the Suburbia disc is the only one that features no bands found on other discs in the set. It's also one of the most solid discs, with its emphasis on tight songs and rough-and-tumble garage rock.

Count Five's "Psychotic Reaction" is fantastic, but feels a bit redundant given that it was on the first

Nuggets box. Marin County's Front Line back vocal harmonies with wild fuzz and organ, while the Sacramento area's Oxford Circle check in with the roiling psych-punk nugget "Foolish Woman", with drummer Paul Whaley slamming away on his toms in preparation for his future work with Blue Cheer. The weirdest inclusion is Teddy & His Patches' "Suzy Creamcheese", a blistering freak-out complete with psychedelic studio effects and a cheeseball monologue about "opening your closed mind" that was reportedly recorded by a bunch of straight-arrow coattail-riders from San Jose.

The Summer of Love disc zeros in on 1967, the year everything came to a head in San Francisco. It was the year hippiedom went national, but it was also the year that largely destroyed the idealistic collectivism that permeated San Francisco in the mid-60s. The Human Be-In, which attracted 30,000 people to Golden Gate Park in January, stoked optimism that at least a portion of society might be on the brink of a truly new way of living.

In a lot of ways, the dream peaked in June at the Monterey International Pop Festival, the first successful outdoor rock festival. But as the summer wore on and wannabe hippies from all over the country crowded into the Haight-Ashbury, the situation became untenable. By the end of the year, many of the original hippies, disgusted by the dilution of what they believed in, had left San Francisco for the hills of Northern California.

Still, plenty of good music poured out of the city amid all the chaos. The Charlatans' "Alabama Bound"

features almost the whole band on vocals, and Dan Hicks' drums play in a unique pocket that doesn't rely on any kind of conventional beat. The Beau Brummels, once cast as America's answer to the Beatles, turn in a sublime bit of pop drama on "Two Days 'Til Tomorrow", Moby Grape's "Omaha" is a small masterpiece of barreling American psych, and Quicksilver Messenger Service's cover of Buffy Sainte-Marie's "Codine" gives you the other side of the drug experience, with David Freiberg's tortured vocal slogging through the song's bluesy downer haze.

Nothing was ever quite the same after 1967 in San Francisco, and it's interesting to note that while music continued to grow in excess and ornamentation in many other scenes (for instance in much of

Europe, where psychedelia gave way to prog), much of the music coming out of San Francisco as the 60s wound down was markedly pastoral and unadorned. Improvisation remained a central feature, but there's far less open experimentation on the final disc, whose title refers to the numerous run-ins with the law members of San Francisco's rock royalty had incurred by that point. Among the best finds on the disc is Mother Earth's psych-jazz waltz "Revolution", which features an excellent, loose horn arrangement.

The set is bookended by two versions of the same song. At the beginning, Dino Valenti's original solo

acoustic version of "Let's Get Together" comes off like a limp Dylan retread with muddled phrasing, but at the end, the Youngbloods turn it into a free-flowing anthem for a dying era, a mix of weary melancholy and wistful optimism (I learned it growing up from TV ads for Time-Life anthologies). By 1970, psychedelia was just about dead in San Francisco, though the city has continued to attract people drawn by the allure of the ideas that fueled the original Summer of Love.

What happened in San Francisco in the late 60s was a key piece of the development of music as we know it today. The social experiments of the hippies largely failed, but the musical experimentation of

the period has kept many of these songs fresh to this day. The San Francisco sound was an important step toward the realization that popular music was true art, and for a fleeting moment, arcane concepts such as John Cage and Allan Kaprow's "happenings" gained real macrocultural currency. It's something that will never happen again, and while this boxed set isn't definitive, it's incredibly well-designed, full of detailed information and vintage photos, and does a good job of providing a highly enjoyable starting point for listeners who'd like to explore further.

Love Is the Song We Sing is divided into four roughly chronological and vaguely thematic discs. The first, “Seismic Rumbles”, covers the origins of the scene in ‘65 and ’66 (barely dipping into ’64 and ’67). The second, “Suburbia”, documents the outlying areas of San Francisco between ‘65 and ’69. The third and fourth, “Summer of Love” (what else?) and “The Man Can’t Bust Our Music”, feature most of the major players and big songs from ‘66 to ’70.

One of the defining traits of Rhino’s Nuggets series is that it achieves a balance between the classic, the forgotten, and the never-known-to-begin-with. Lest you think that Love Is the Song We Song does

nothing but wallow in the depths of one-shots and curios, rest assured there are some bona fide hit singles here, and roughly a fifth of the set will likely be familiar to casual fans of Bay Area rock. In fact, the box does a fantastic job of easing the nervous listener into the proceedings. We get a sloppy but historically important demo of “Let’s Get Together” from Dino Valenti, the original EP version of “I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ to Die Rag” from Country Joe & The Fish, and then our first example of one of the great services a Nuggets set provides, namely the recontextualization of a notable pop hit.

VARIOUS – Love Is The Song We Sing (San Francisco Nuggets 1965-1970)
Label: Rhino Records – R2 165564
Format: 4 x CD, Box Set, Compilation, Remastered
Country: US
Released: 2007
Genre: Rock
Style: Garage Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Folk Rock



01. Dino Valenti – Let's Get Together
02. Country Joe & The Fish – I Feel Like I'm Fixin' to Die Rag
03. We Five – You Were on My Mind
04. The Charlatans – Number One
05. The Warlocks – Can't Come Down
06. The Beau Brummels – Don't Talk to Strangers
07. The Vejtables - Anything
08. Jefferson Airplane – It's No Secret
09. The Mystery Trend – Johnny Was a Good Boy
10. The Great Society – Free Advice
11. The Grass Roots – Mr. Jones (Ballad of a Thin Man)
12. Blackburn & Snow – Stranger in a Strange Land
13. Quicksilver Messenger Service – Who Do You Love?
14. The Mojo Men – She's My Baby
15. Wildflower – Coffee Cup
16. Family Tree –  Live Your Own Life
17. Sons of Champlin – Fat City
18. Frantics – Human Monkey
19. The Tikis – Bye Bye Bye
20. Country Joe & the Fish –Section 43
21. Sopwith Camel – Hello Hello

MP3 @ 320 Size: 151 MB (1.2 GB with PDF)
Flac  Size: 260 MB (1.3 GB with PDF)



01. Count Five - Psychotic Reaction
02. The Front Line -  Got Love  
03. The Mourning Reign - Satisfaction Guaranteed  
04. The Oxford Circle - Foolish Woman  
05. The Stained Glass - My Buddy Sin  
06. The Otherside - Streetcar  
07. Teddy & His Patches - Suzy Creamcheese  
08. The Immediate Family - Rubiyat  
09. Syndicate of Sound - Rumors  
10. Harbinger Complex - Sometimes I Wonder  
11. The New Breed - Want Ad Reader  
12. The Generation - I'm a Good Woman  
13. The Chocolate Watch Band - No Way Out  
14. Butch Engle & The Styx - Hey I'm Lost  
15. People! - I Love You  
16. Public Nuisance - America  
17. Country Weather - Fly To New York  
18. The Savage Resurrection - Thing In 'E'  
19. Frumious Bandersnatch - Hearts to Cry  

MP3 @ 320 Size: 140 MB 

Flac  Size: 263 MB



01. The Charlatans - Alabama Bound  
02. The Mystery Trend - Carl Street  
03. The Great Society - Somebody to Love
04. Country Joe and the Fish - Superbird
05. The Beau Brummels - Two Days 'Til Tomorrow  
06. Moby Grape - Omaha
07. The Serpent Power - Up & Down
08. Grateful Dead - The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion)  
09. Quicksilver Messenger Service - Codine  
10. Big Brother and the Holding Company - Down On Me  
11. Salvation - Think Twice  
12. Jefferson Airplane - White Rabbit  
13. Steve Miller Band - Roll With It  
14. Notes From The Underground - Why Did You Put Me On  
15. Sly & The Family Stone - Underdog  
16. Blue Cheer - Summertime Blues  
17. The Ace of Cups - Glue
18. Santana - Soul Sacrifice  
19. The Loading Zone - The Bells

MP3 @ 320 Size: 174 MB
Flac  Size: 466 MB




01. Santana - Evil Ways  
02. Fifty Foot Hose - Red the Sign Post
03. Kak - Lemonaide Kid  
04. Sons of Champlin - 1982-A  
05. Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks - How Can I Miss You When You Won't Go Away?  
06. Mad River - Amphetamine Gazelle  
07. Steve Miller Band - Quicksilver Girl  
08. Mother Earth - Revolution  
09. Moby Grape - Murder in My Heart for the Judge  
10. Quicksilver Messenger Service - Light Your Windows  
11. The Flamin' Groovies - I'm Drowning  
12. Seatrain - Portrait of the Artist as a Young Lady  
13. It's a Beautiful Day - White Bird  
14. Grateful Dead - Dark Star  
15. Blue Cheer - Fool  
16. Jefferson Airplane - Mexico  
17. Janis Joplin - Mercedes Benz  
18. The Youngbloods - Get Together  

MP3 @ 320 Size: 141 MB
Flac  Size: 366 MB

Disc One Flac & MP3 file contains a PDF with the book of the compilation