Sunday, August 07, 2022

The Electric Flag: Old Glory - The Best Of Electric Flag 1995 + The Trip (Original Soundtrack) 2011


The Electric Flag was an American soul rock band, led by guitarist Mike Bloomfield, keyboardist Barry Goldberg and drummer Buddy Miles, and featuring other musicians such as vocalist Nick Gravenites

and bassist Harvey Brooks. Bloomfield formed the Electric Flag in 1967, following his stint with the Butterfield Blues Band. The band reached its peak with the 1968 release, A Long Time Comin', a fusion of rock, jazz, and R&B styles that charted well in the Billboard Pop Albums chart. Their initial recording was a soundtrack for The Trip, a movie about an LSD experience by Peter Fonda, written by Jack Nicholson and directed by Roger Corman.

With his appreciation for blues, soul and R&B, Bloomfield wanted to create a group of his own that

would feature what he called "American music." He was inspired not only by the big band blues of B.B. King, T-Bone Walker, and Guitar Slim (Eddie Jones), but also by the contemporary soul sounds of Otis Redding, Steve Cropper, Booker T. & the M.G.'s, and other Stax recording artists. He also drew inspiration from traditional country, gospel, and blues forms.

Initially called the American Music Band, Bloomfield organized the band that would become known as

The Electric Flag in the spring of 1967, not long after he produced a session with Chicago blues harmonica player James Cotton that featured a horn section. Bloomfield decided that his new band would also have horns and would play an amalgam of the American music he loved.

Their live debut was at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival (although they didn't make it into the documentary film of the event; they do appear in the bonus footage on the DVD version), but their first proper studio album didn't come out until the spring of 1968.

A Long Time Comin' was an erratic affair, predating Blood, Sweat & Tears and Chicago as a sort of attempt at a big-band rock sound. Calling it an early jazz-rock outing is not exactly accurate; it was

more like late-'60s soul-rock-psychedelia that sometimes (but not always) employed prominent horns. Indeed, it sometimes didn't always sound like the work of the same band -- or, at least, you could say that it seemed torn between blues-rock, soul-rock, and California psychedelic influences. The album's success is even harder to judge in light of the facts that Gravenites really wasn't a top-notch vocalist, and that the bandmembers' instrumental skills outshone their songwriting ones.

There was enough promise on the album to merit further exploration, but it had hardly been released

before the Flag began to droop. Goldberg left, followed shortly by Bloomfield, the most important component of the group's vision. A fragmented band recorded an inferior follow-up, but by 1969 Electric Flag had split up. They did reunite (with Bloomfield) in 1974 for a Jerry Wexler-produced album that got little notice.

A reunion took place in 1974, with the Electric Flag releasing The Band Kept Playing, but the recording was not a commercial or critical success and the band quickly disbanded after several months of sporadic gigs. This lineup of the band featured Bloomfield, Goldberg, Miles, and Gravenites, along with new member Roger Troy on bass and vocals.



Mike Bloomfield — lead guitars, vocals (1967–1968, 1974; died 1981)
Barry Goldberg — keyboards (1967, 1974, 2007)
Harvey Brooks — bass (1967–1969)
Buddy Miles — drums, vocals (1967–1969, 1974; died 2008)
Nick Gravenites — rhythm guitars, vocals (1967–1969, 1974, 2007)
Peter Strazza — saxophone (1967–1969)
Marcus Doubleday — trumpet (1967–1969)
Michael Fonfara — keyboards (1967; died 2021)
Herbie Rich — keyboards, saxophone (1967–1969; died 2004)
Stemsy Hunter - saxophone (1968–1969, 2007)
John Simon - keyboards, arranger (1969)
Roger Troy — bass, vocals (1974)

Electric Flag – Old Glory: The Best Of Electric Flag
Label: Legacy – CK 57629, Columbia – CK 57629
Series: Rock Artifacts From The Vaults Of Columbia/Epic Records
Format:    CD, Compilation
Country: US
Released: 1995
Genre: Rock, Blues
Style: Blues Rock



01. Killing Floor   4:11
Written-By – C. Burnett
02. Groovin' Is Easy   3:06
Written-By – R. Polte
03. She Should Have Just   5:03
Written-By – R. Polte
04. Goin' Down Slow   4:45
Written-By – J. Oden
05. Texas   4:47
Written-By – B. Miles, M. Bloomfield
06. Sittin' In Circles   4:16
Written-By – B. Goldberg
07. You Don't Realize   4:58
Written-By – M. Bloomfield
08. Movie Music-Improvisation   3:55
Written-By – J.Simon, Electric Flag
09. Another Country   4:04
Written-By – R. Polte
10. Easy Rider   5:32
Written-By – M. Bloomfield
11. Soul Searchin'   2:57
Written-By – B. Miles
12. See To Your Neighbor   2:42
Written-By – N. Gravenites
13. With Time There Is Change   3:15
Written-By – H. Brooks
14. Nothing To Do   4:19
Written-By – H. Brooks, N. Gravenites
15. Hey Little Girl   2:36
Written-By – N. Gravenites
16. Drinkin' Wine   2:28
Arranged By – M. Bloomfield/Written-By – Trad.
17. The Night Time Is The Right Time   5:26
Written-By – L. Carr



Tracks 1, 5, 9, 10: Recorded Jan. 1968 A Long Time Comin' (CS 9597)
Track 2: Recorded July 1967 A Long Time Comin' (CS 9597)
Tracks 3, 7: Recorded Sept. 1967 A Long Time Comin' (CS 9597)
Track 4: Recorded Sept. 1967 Bonus track on CD release of A Long Time Comin' (CK 9597)
Track 6: Recorded Sept. 1967
Track 8: Recorded Dec. 1967
Tracks 11, 13, 15: Recorded June 1968 An American Music Band (CS 9714)
Track 12: Recorded Aug. 1968
Track 14: Recorded Aug. 1968 An American Music Band (CS 9714)
Tracks 16 & 17: Recorded live at The Monterey Pop Festival, Saturday afternoon, June 17, 1967

MP3 @ 320 Size: 159 MB
Flac  Size: 417 MB



One of the greatest exploitation movies of all time, The Trip was the "vision" of Peter Fonda and Jack Nicholson (who wrote the original script). The finished film didn't turn out exactly the way Fonda and Nicholson wanted it to, but it certainly had it's moments...all in Psychedelic Color. This, the soundtrack, was pretty cool, too. It contains the first studio recordings of the Electric Flag, Michael Bloomfield's swaggering soul/jazz/rock ensemble.
Writing and performing trippy music was a bit removed from this fine ensemble's area (they were, in fact, a serious and funky band), but they succeeded admirably. Considering that it came out on Mike Curb's Sidewalk Records (a Capitol subsidiary) and it was an American International film, one wonders if the Flag saw any dough from this? No matter, as some of the music is excellent.

"Fine Jug Thing" and "Peter Gets Off" are wild, jazzy rockers, which perfectly score Fonda's Sunset Strip/trip adventures. The album's closer, "Gettin' Hard," is a variation on "Hoochie Coochie Man" and closes the album out in funky style. Also, there are a few early efforts from synthesizer pioneer Paul Beaver, such as "Synesthesia," which is quite similar to David Bowie's work on the Man Who Fell to Earth/Low projects -- eight years later.
(By Matthew Greenwald)

The Electric Flag – The Trip (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Label: Reel Time – RTCD1002
Format:    CD, Album, Reissue, Remastered, Unofficial Release
Country: US
Released: 2011
Genre: Rock, Stage & Screen
Style: Soundtrack, Blues Rock



01. Peter's Trip    2:32
02. Joint Passing    1:04
03. Psyche Soap    0:52
04. M-23    1:12
05. Synesthesia    1:45
06. A Little Head    1:44
07. Hobbit    1:08
08. Inner Pocket    3:35
09. Fewghh    0:58
10. Green And Gold    2:45
11. The Other Ed Norton    2:51
12. Flash, Bam, Pow    1:26
13. Home Room    0:52
14. Peter Gets Off    2:23
15. Practive Music    1:25
16. Fine Jung Thing    7:25
17. Senior Citizen    2:56
18. Gettin' Hard    4:02

MP3 @ 320 Size: 99 MB
Flac  Size: 219 MB


  1. Thank you for bringing a new entry today. ELECTRIC FLAG a band i never dealt with. I hardly know. I'm all the more pleased that you bring "the best" of them here (?).
    I have 2 unreleased live recordings each sbd and each 2 cds from Carousel Ballroom April 1968 and May 1968.
    Own hundreds of unreleased tapes.
    Although many have been published in the last decade. I have been collecting unreleased since the mid 70's and i had one of the best collections for sure. Good connections in the USA also with Greg Shaw.

  2. I think that The Trip is paired with Psych-Out, both movies explore different sides of the same subject and their soundtracks echo that.

    Electric Flag had a distinctive soul character, though The Trip was more atmospheric. In any case, musicianship of the group was always top notch.

  3. The Stones Europe tour 2022 as i have now read is finally ones in Stockholm. My god i just looked at various videos. I couldn't stand it for more than 20 seconds. An almost 80 year old who sings (i can't get no) satisfaction. I laugh myself to death.
    In any case, the bastards really cashed in again.

  4. Great post! I've always loved The Electric flag and pretty much anything Mike Bloomfield was involved with. Thank you.

    I wish that their Best Of would have included the b-side of their first single (and also on their first album Long Time Coming) Over Lovin You. It's one of their best songs. Sung by Buddy Miles (who in my opinion) was under rated as a singer, it has a great Otis Redding vibe to it. But that is not a complaint directed at you but more an observation of a perceived mistake of the A&R Dept. of Columbia Records at the time.

  5. Thanks for this great post. I've always loved Mike Bloomfield and especially his work in this amazing band.

  6. I've been listening to a lot of HOUSE OF LOVE
    these days. For me one of the best bands from the 80's, with really not a few great bands from the time !
    How should you name this music ?
    Romantic nihilism seems right to me.

  7. Sorry Josef I forgot to answer you about House Of Love. Their first 2 albums are New Wave Romantic jewels.

    1. No problem Kostas ! I myself like 4 cds all from the 80's. The solo lp Guy Chadwick is also very good. An ultimate box now been rel. by Cherry Red Records. Unfortunately, i have almost all if them. Only 2 live concerts not. But that's not why i buy it.

    2. Very good for me besides the first two House of Love is Babe Rainbow and the comp. A spy in the house of love.

  8. Today i listen to the Electric Flag best of.
    POSITIVELY SURPRISED. N. Gravenites as a good singer. A quite different here than in the late 70's and 80's with Cipollina. Where the singing is a constant monontonous up and down. I love him most with Big Brother & the holding Company (after Joplin) 70/71. One of the most underrated bands. I love this band more than i can say. I've mentioned it before. But it cannot be said enough.