[The 60's-70's Vault] Love and Devotion - 60s California Acid Rock

Love and Devotion - 60s California Acid Rock

    Around the late 60s, when psychedelic music was running rampant, an experimental approach was having a more significant impact on artists and fans. Acid rock was born in the United States, mainly in California, deriving from musical experiments, featuring long guitar improvisations and band jams. Its appearance indulges mostly in live productions to create a richer affection in atmosphere and generate hypnotic sounds, which serve as background music for acid trips. So, let's present four albums from the 60s in California that are shaped with improvised notions.

    Coming from Los Angeles, The Beat of the Earth was a fine example of acid rock music. Fronted by multi-instrumentalist and producer Phil Pearlman, the group recorded and released one self titled album in 1967, featuring two long untitled songs, each the length of the vinyl sides. Pure jammings and spoken word poetry dominate the recording that includes guitars, bass guitars, flute, percussion and hammond organ. A notable info is that the guitars, according to guitarist J.R.Nichols, are tuned in D, quite uncommon at the time. The album was released under the Radish label that was responsible for only three other issues, all related to the band, the 1994 album Our Standard Three Minute Tune, which is actually outtakes from the 1967 recordings and The Electronic Hole album which came out in 1970. The back cover of the original vinyl states: "This record is an Artistic Statement. If you are looking for psychedelic music, do not buy this record unless you are looking for psychedelic music."

The Beat of the Earth

    A very popular and important album in the acid culture is Quicksilver Messenger Service's Happy Trails. Recorded live and released by Capitol in 1969, it displays the band from San Francisco in creative fun mode more than anything else. The 25-minute Who Do You Love Suite, inspired by Bo Diddley's "Who Do You Love?" song, is instantly identified as acid rock, with few lyrics across it but with lots of beautiful bluesy sounds and a tasty guitar tone. The highlight of the B side is the heavy trip of Calvary, a subtle instrumental masterpiece written by guitarist Gary Dunkan, which was taped in the studio due to a mishap in the live recording. All in all, this album manifests the version of a group entirely into their acid comfort zone and proved to be the band's most succesful one.

Quicksilver Messenger Service - Happy Trails

    Grateful Dead were surely one of the founders of the psychedelic subculture, due to Jerry Garcia's notorious friendships and musical improvisations that were totally spur of the moment decisions. The band has been described as "the pioneering godfathers of the jam band world" and were one of the first to fuse rock with folk, jazz and country music.Their second album Anthem of the Sun, released by Warner Bros in 1968, is their most representative one as far as acid rock is concerned. Songs like New Potato Caboose or Caution (Do Not Stop on Tracks), showcase the spellbinding nature of this issue which stands as the most experimental release of the genre, featuring horns, kazoo and lots of different synth and percussive rhythms. It was one of the first albums that was designed to be performed in a sequence as a unit.

Grateful Dead - Anthem of the Sun

    The last album presented here was recorded at the Fillmore East and West in the fall of 1968, just like Happy Trails. Bless Its Pointed Little Head is another live album that displays a band in its most acid-induced moments. Jefferson Airplane's psychedelic peak is flashed on this release, full of jams and improvised words by Grace Slick, Marty Balin and Paul Cartner. Most of the songs were longer than their studio recordings and half of them were first performed on this collection. Standout tracks include Fat Angel, The Other Side of This Life and the last 11-minutes long Bear Melt, all three of them never issued before. This live recording marked the end of the most fruitful era of the band.

Jefferson Airplane - Bless Its Pointed Little Head

By Pijo

No comments:

Post a Comment