1973: Columbia/CBS 32560
As gin is my witness I have no idea whether this is meant to be tongue-in-cheek or seriously self-indulgent manic thrashing. One thing I do know is that its almost impossible to listen to except on headphones, and then it at least sounds like there was some intentional structure behind the whole mess.
Originally I got this album because Ive always thought Rock On was one of the most incredible recorded songs EVER, so far ahead of its time that were still not there yet. And I wanted to finally hear it in its original setting, with the full context around it. And now I really dont know what to think. Theres so much going on all over the map on this album, and very little of it sounds like it could possibly have been done on purpose, and yet theres a streak of intense excellence threading through it all here and there. Sometimes its nearly impossible to hear, as on Tell Him No (but even there theres a hint of purposeful twisting). But the stereo presence of the various voices and instruments throughout strongly suggests that this was all intentional and therefore has merit worthy of listening for.
My naiveté on this subject is no excuse, I know. I wish I understood what the hell was going on on this album, but Im OK with just being baffled rather than simply appalled. After all, I listen to the Shaggs voluntarily, but this one just stops me cold with confusion.
Comments © 2005 Mark Ellis Walker, except as noted, and no claim is made to the images and quoted lyrics.