Sunday, April 14, 2024

Merrell Fankhauser: Going Round My Mind - The Merrell Fanklhauser Anthology (Mu: 2 Albums + Merrell Fankhauser: The Maui Album)


A cult hero with an eclectic body of work, Merrell Fankhauser is a guitarist and songwriter whose

repertoire embraces surf music, folk-rock, psychedelia, and several stops in between. While his earliest work was rooted in straightforward rock & roll (Merrell & the Exiles) and surf (the Impacts), he began exploring more ambitious musical and lyrical themes with his folk-rock group Fapardokly, and he dug in even further with the pop-psychedelia of Merrell Fankhauser & H.M.S. Bounty.
He took a deep dive into tales of lost continents, UFOs, and spiritual searchers with his next project,

Mu, who blended acid rock, blues, and progressive accents.
In his solo work, Fankhauser focused on artful soft rock with expansive guitar work; an excellent overview of his most fertile period can be found in the 2022 box set Goin' Round in My Mind: The Merrell Fankhauser Anthology 1964-1979.

Merrell Fankhauser – Goin' Round My Mind - The Merrell Fankhauser Anthology
Label: Grapefruit Records – CRSEGBOX120
Format: 6 x CD, Compilation Box Set
Country: Europe
Released: Oct 28, 2022
Genre: Rock, Folk, World, & Country
Style: Surf, Blues Rock, Folk Rock

DISC 4: MU - MU 1971


Fankhauser had become fascinated with the legend of a lost continent off the coast of Hawaii called Mu, and as he teamed up with Jeff Cotton (back from his stint with Beefheart) on guitar and reed instruments, Larry Willey on bass, and Randy Wilmer on drums, he dubbed the new

group Mu.
Mu's self-titled debut album, a beguiling mix of psychedelia, blues, and prog rock, came out in 1971 on the independent RTV label, and was reissued by United Artists in 1974 as Lemurian Music. By the time the UA edition had appeared, the band had relocated from California to Maui, Hawaii, but while Mu recorded enough material for a second LP, the material went unreleased until the '80s, appearing under the titles End of an Era and The Last Album. Mu broke up in 1975,

One of the best overlooked albums of the early '70s. Daring rhythms and song structures that build off

the blues without following the standard three-chord/12-bar progressions, occasional modal jazzy sax by Cotton, and great slide guitar combine to form one of the most unclassifiable recordings of the time, with a high-spirited lightness that avoids the heavy excesses that sometimes burdened late-period psychedelia.

In the late '70s and early '80s, Fankhauser's work, especially his more psychedelic projects, began

attracting a new audience among collectors and crate-diggers, and a number of his albums were reissued in pirate pressings; several would reappear in authorized editions from Sundazed Records. In 1986, Fankhauser released a studio set, Doctor Fankhauser, that included guitar work from John Cipollina of Quicksilver Messenger Service.



01. Ain't No Blues   4:02
02. Ballad Of Brother Lew    4:34
03. Blue Form   4:07
04. Interlude   1:59
05. Nobody Wants To Shine   4:14
06. Eternal Thirst   9:36
07. Too Naked For Demetrius   2:36
08. Mumbella Baye Tu La   3:24
09. The Clouds Went That Way   3:23


10. You've Been Here Before    2:57
11. One More Day    2:32
12. On Our Way To Hana    2:15



Bass, Vocals – Larry Willey
Guitar, Saxophone, Vocals – Jeff Cotton
Guitar, Vocals – Merrell Fankhauser
Percussion – Randy Wimer
Written-By – Jeff Cotton (tracks: 1, 3 to 8), Merrell Fankhauser (tracks: 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9)

Flac Size: 271 MB



This intriguing early-'70s Southern Californian group featured the talents of singer/songwriter Merrell Fankhauser (who was also at the helm of cult classics in the '60s by Fapardokly and HMS Bounty) and

Jeff Cotton, previously slide guitarist with Captain Beefheart. Their sole album (from 1971) is a gem of the late hippie era, combining the fractured blues-based tangents of Beefheart with the loose flow and stoned lyricism of bands like the late-'60s Grateful Dead. After a couple more singles, Mu moved to Maui and cut a fair amount of unreleased material before breaking up around 1974. Their eponymous album, as well as a lot of their unreleased material, was reissued in the '80s.



01. The Land Of Mu    2:05
02. Make A Joyful Noise   2:43
03. Haleakala   2:31
04. Blue Jay Blue    3:21
05. Showering Rain    3:36
06. I Saw Your Photograph    3:43
07. It's Love That Sings The Song    3:29
08. You And I    2:49
09. Calling From A Star   2:09
10. Waiting For The Sun    2:43
11. Children Of The Rainbow    1:11
12. Who Will Write This Song    3:25
13. Daybreak Sunshine    3:52
14. Drink From The Fountain    4:44
15. The Love We Bare    2:34
16. In Mu    3:05
17. You're Not The Only One    2:59
18. End Of An Era    3:11
19. Earth News Interview    3:43
20. The Awakening    3:00


Bass – Jeff Parker
Drums, Vocals – Randy Wimer
Guitar, Vocals, Bass – Merrell Fankhauser
Guitar, Vocals, Bass Clarinet – Jeff Cotton
Violin – Mary Lee
Written-By – Jeff Cotton (tracks: 2, 3), Merrell Fankhauser

Flac Size: 333 MB



In 2022, the British Cherry Red label issued Goin' Round In My Mind: The Merrell Fankhauser

Anthology 1964-1979, an expansive six-disc box set that included plentiful material from Fankhauser's major groups of the era, including Merrell & the Exiles, Fapardokly, Merrell Fankhauser & H.M.S. Bounty, and Mu, as well as extensive liner notes.



01. Lovely Lady    3:33
02. I Saw Your Photograph    3:34
03. We Were All Free    1:53
04. On Our Way To Hana    3:21
05. Make A Joyful Noise   3:50
06. Garden In The Rain    3:12
07. Waterfall    2:54
08. La La Does The Boo Ru    2:06
09. Sail It Over The Ocean    3:12
10. Love Is All There Is    2:13
11. The Source    3:54


12. Some Of Them Escaped   4:29
13. The Wind Cried Maui    2:09
14. Peace In The World    3:34
15. Matthew's Dream    4:22
16. Dharmic Connection    2:55
17. Calling From A Star   3:11

Flac Size: 314 MB

You can find Discs 1-2-3 on Urban Aspirines HERE


  1. The Mu from 1971 was the first one i got to know from M. Fankhauser around 1979. I had never heard of their names before. Maui was next and this is one of my favorites. But opinions differ here. Friends found it too commercial. I have a different opinion. For me it is one of the most beautiful things i know.
    All or almost all of the very good ones are now gathered here. I still have Return to Mu, very good, and another Doktor Fankhauser with John Cipollina not so good anymore. You did a great job with the many photos, some of them very attractive. Thank you.

  2. If you want to know what i looked likes in the 70s. Fankhauser photos from 76 ( Maui) were very similar to me haha....

  3. Those first two Mu albums are really excellent. I have listened to them very often in my Hippie years … mf

  4. Jeff Cotton put out a solo record out here on Maui a couple years ago.