Wednesday, July 7, 2021

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."The American Metaphysical Circus" - Joe Byrd And The Field Hippies (1969 - Rei 2012)

"The American Metaphysical Circus" - Joe Byrd And The Field Hippies (1969)

I didn't love it, but there's still a lot of good stuff on here.  Enough that I'm glad I picked it up and would recommend it at a fair price.  Joe Byrd had left his band...The United States Of America...and this was his follow-up to that classic self-titled album.  "The American Metaphysical Circus" is filled with trippy, electronic avant-psych ideas much like the TUSoA album, but maybe a little less focused.  As I said, some really good stuff can be found here, but this album wasn't really meant to cherry-pick.  

This is a spin that was meant to ride out to the very end.  It has that kind of feel.  There is an unusual ambiance going on that's hard to nail down.  It's a mix of ethereal songs to go along with a few acid-laced fuzz rockers.  There is a ragtime moment on this as well which I'm not a fan of.  Unlike TUSoA, this album does have some guitar.  Side One is probably the stronger, but "The Elephant..." on side two punches the clock pretty well. 

"The American Metaphysical Circus" (back)

Favorites include "You Can't Ever Come Down"..."Nightmare Train"...and "The Elephant At The Door."

My copy is a 2012 reissue I found used at Spektrum for $10.  I had never seen a copy in person and every copy I saw online looked worn and really dirty.  Guess what?  That's just the way they were made.  And you can't tell from the picture, but the reissue actually has a glossy cover.  The vinyl is very, very clean, 180g, and appears to have been played maybe once.  However, the pressing I have is a little bit noisy in the middle for some reason.  This was to be Joe Byrd and the Field Hippies only album.  

Columbia Masterworks

Cat #
88725409231-A-RE-1  WG/NRP  Ⓤ
88725409231-B-RE-2  WG/NRP  Ⓤ 

"You Can't Ever Come Down" / Joe Byrd And The Field Hippies (1969)

A1  The Sub-Sylvian Litanies
       - "Kalyani" 3:50
       - "You Can't Ever Come Down" 2:58
       - "Moonsong: Pelog" 3:47
A2  American Bedmusic I: Four Dreams for a Departing President
        - "Patriot's Lullabye" 2:44
        - "Nightmare Train" 3:23
        - "Invisible Man" 3:31
        - "Mister 4th of July" 1:46
B1  Gospel Music for Abraham Ruddell Byrd III
       - "Gospel Music" 4:28
B2  The Southwestern Geriatrics Arts and Crafts Festival
       - "The Sing-Along Song" 4:00
       - "The Elephant at the Door" 5:10
       - "Leisure World" 1:33
       - "The Sing-Along Song (reprise)" 0:44

Joseph Byrd - organ, vocals, keyboards, synthesizer, conductor, producer, 
Susan de Lange - vocals
Ernie Anderson - vocals
Victoria Bond - vocals
Christie Thompson - vocals
Ted Greene - guitar
Michael Whitney - classical guitar
Pot - piano, harpsichord, conductor
Harvey Newmark - bass
John Clauder - drums, percussion
Gregg Kovner - drums, percussion
Harihar Rao - percussion
Larry Kass - tabla
Dana Chalberg - flute, piccolo
Tom Scott - saxophone, flute, clarinet
Meyer Hirsch - saxophone, flute
Fred Selden - saxophone, flute, clarinet
Don Kerian - trumpet, cornet
Ed Sheftel - trumpet, flugelhorn
Ray Cappocchi - trombone, tuba
Chuck Bennett - bass trombone

Good stuff.


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