Psychedelic-Rock'n'roll: The United States Of America - The United States Of America (PSYCHEDELIC 60s GARAGE US 1968)

8 February 2009

The United States Of America - The United States Of America (PSYCHEDELIC 60s GARAGE US 1968)


"The United States Of America"'s self-titled record was recorded in December 1967, produced by "David Rubinson" for "Columbia Records", and released in 1968 (CS 9614 and CBS 63340). A wonderful Psychedelic experiment, a nice example of an early 'Experimental electronic music'."The United States of America" album is the product of "Joseph Byrd", former FLUXUS member, artist and UCLA instructor who managed to combine experimental art and early synthesizer technology with Psychedelic Rock in creating this brilliant record.

The band membership consisted of the following:
"Joseph Byrd" (electronic music, electric harpsichord, organ, calliope, piano, and "Durrett Electronic Music Synthesizer");
"Dorothy Moskowitz" (lead vocals);
"Gordon Marron" (electric violin, ring modulator);

"Rand Forbes" (an early adopter of the fretless electric bass) and
"Craig Woodson" (electric drums and percussion).
"Ed Bogas" also performed on the record with occasional organ, piano, and calliope; he became a full member of the band on its first and only tour.

Note that there was NO guitar!

Musically, the songs ranged from pseudo-classical elegance ("Stranded In Time", "Where Is Yesterday") to aggressive discordance and Hard-Rock ("The Garden of Earthly Delights", "Hard Coming Love"), with heavy electronic distortion and collages of "found" music such as brass bands, "Joseph Byrd" being heavily influenced by "Charles Ives".
The final suite "The American Way of Love" integrates most of these elements, with a dreamlike ending containing a collage of earlier tracks.

the_united_states_of_america,1968,psychedelic-rocknroll,sundazed,Joseph_Byrd,Dorothy_Moskowitz,columbia,band,electronic"United States Of America"'s tour in support of the record led to difficulties of its own.
Members of the band were arrested for drug possession, and they had a number of serious equipment failures - these and other tensions made "Joseph Byrd" increasingly difficult to work with, and the group largely unmanageable, and resulted in the band splitting up.


Elliot Knapp said...

Great album, well worth a purchase--I just reviewed it on my blog.