Retro Country Joe

January 31, 2001

Eat Flowers & Kiss Babies
Country Joe McDonald and the Bevis Frond
Woronzow Records


If you are going to trip down memory lane, you should at least go with someone who knows the meaning of the word. This album shows Country Joe McDonald does! It is so retro, you can't even play it on that expensive new CD player you just bought — it is only available as a vinyl LP.

Country Joe, one of the last standing veterans of the late '60s psychedelic/rebellious San Francisco Bay area music scene, was famous for his acid humour and left-wing stance. So famous that he was contacted by British psychedelic revival band Brevis Frond and asked to perform with them and play material from his famous band the Fish. The LP is the edited highlights of the two shows, one in London and the other in Aberdeen.

How should a nostalgic Country Joe performance begin? With the "Fish Cheer", of course. Hundreds of voices gleefully spelling out f.u.c.k., followed by "I Feel Like I'm Fixin' to Die Rag", Country Joe's great anti-Vietnam war song that used scathing humour to puncture the tyres on the US war machine.

What comes after is essentially a selection of Country Joe and Fish's greatest hits selection including "Here I Go Again", "Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine", "The Acid Commercial", "Flying High" and "Rock 'n' Soul Music" and others. There are no great developments on the original arrangements but neither are the musicians just going through the motions. These are great songs played with dedication.

Getting hold of this LP through a record shop may be difficult. Try Country Joe's web site <> or <>.

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