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Zharth's Music Log

Week 4: Psychedelic Sixty Seven

Preface: 1967 not only contained the Summer of Love, and marked the rise of the Hippie era, but was also a poster year for the psychedelic movement. A lot of great bands released their debut album in 1967, and the myriad psychedelic signals kept the hippies in a continuous wash of acid imagery, whether they were tripping or not. Oh, and sorry, In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida was released in 1968.

Monday (8/13/07): Jimi Hendrix Experience - Purple Haze [Are You Experienced?]
Comments: Without a doubt one of the quintessential psychedelic hits of 1967, from the groundbreaking debut album by one of the most influential artists in rock music/blues/guitar virtuosity. Purple Haze isn't just a song, or even just a state of mind, but it was also the name of a type of acid. In fact, rumour has it that Jimi Hendrix would place acid tablets under his bandana before going on stage to perform, so that as he sweated through the performance, the acid would bleed into his pores.

Tuesday (8/14/07): Jefferson Airplane - White Rabbit [Surrealistic Pillow]
Comments: In 1967, Jefferson Airplane recruited Grace Slick and recorded what many consider to be their best album, the title of which was inspired by a comment that Jerry Garcia made. Among the tracks on the album is White Rabbit, Grace's interpretation of Alice in Wonderland, which became one of the most recognizable acid anthems of the psychedelic movement.

Wednesday (8/15/07): Cream - SWLABR [Disraeli Gears]
Comments: I really fought hard not to take the easy road and choose the more well-known hit from Cream's 1967 smash album Disraeli Gears. But in the end, SWLABR just seemed like more of a drugged out song than Sunshine Of Your Love. I mean, with a lyric like "the rainbow has a beard," how could I pass that up? And the title alone is impossible to pronounce! I think we have a winner.

Thursday (8/16/07): The Doors - Strange Days [Strange Days]
Comments: The Doors released their first two albums in 1967, and though their self-titled debut featured more hits, their sophomore effort, Strange Days, had more of a lost and disoriented feeling, which I think compliments the darker side of the psychedelic mindset very well. The title track is a perfect example of the mood of the album.

Friday (8/17/07): Pink Floyd - Interstellar Overdrive [The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn]
Comments: Though just about unknown to scores of Pink Floyd fans (that is, the more casual multitudes who only listen to the band's 70's output), The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn was one of the masterpieces of the psychedelic underground movement in London in the late 60's, and to this day yields a devoted cult following, even including some people who think that anything Pink Floyd did after the loss of founding member Syd Barrett is not worth listening to. At any rate, Interstellar Overdrive was a trippy jam that allowed the band to stretch out into new and unfamiliar territories in the musical landscape of the time, while the audience could groove and chill and absorb the colorful light show.

Saturday (8/18/07): Buffalo Springfield - Everydays [Buffalo Springfield Again]
Comments: 1967 saw the release of Buffalo Springfield's second of three albums, which many consider to be their best. Sporting the young talents of half of what would in a few short years become the supergroup CSNY, Stills and Young contribute to what I consider to be one of the band's most psychedelic tracks. Ironic trivia: Prog-rockers Yes covered this song on their pre-Yes Album Yes album, Time And A Word (1970).

Sunday (8/19/07): Country Joe & The Fish - Grace [Electric Music For The Mind & Body]
Comments: From the sunny San Francisco scene, Country Joe & The Fish, known for their anti-war stance (have you heard The Fish Cheer?), record what is in my opinion the quintessential psychedelic album. The title says it all. Grace is just one of the long, spacey, flowing soundscapes that grace the record, and in fact, it was written for Grace Slick, of Jefferson Airplane. Alice-related trivia: Early on, Country Joe & The Fish played at a hot folk club in Berkeley named The Jabberwock.