From The Vault: The Blues Magoos – “Electric Comic Book” (1967)
The Blues Magoos – Electric Comic Book (1967)
Still riding the psychedelic wave, and while several of the tracks are very good, the band moved into a rather iffy area, incorporating a bit of Monkees’ bizarre behaviour with the idea that listeners needed an intermission, hence the song “Intermission,” and their goofy parody of the the Looney Tunes theme “That’s All Folks” which ended the album.
On the other hand, if one considers this album to be in and of the times it was released, there are those who consider this to be a nearly perfect album, and while certainly not along the lines of the Beatles or Stones, the outing, which was recorded and pressed very well by Mercury Records, and goes on to embrace a variety and wide range of 60’s inspired garage rock and underground styles. Setting the stage, the album opens with the drug induced suggestiveness of “Pipe Dream,” where the bands shows some original and sonic chops and is perhaps the high water mark for the record, though the Magoos move onto some solid originals from there, and yes, manage to cover Van Morrison’s “Gloria,” a song that nearly everyone from Hendrix, The Doors, to The Shadows of Knight and many others have felt needed their own personal stamp, though The Blues Magoos manage to give it a bit harder edge.
From there we move to side two, where the band seems to lose its steam overall, laying out a psychedelic journey of sorts with the opening track “Albert Common Is Dead,” a song that’s interesting enough, though doesn’t shine brightly or with the originality one would have hoped for, though perhaps this notion is based on my listening experience today, and in 1967 these songs were all a wondrous adventure of new doors opening on unexplored fields of sound. But don’t be too quick to dismiss side two, because there are two buried treasures to be found here, the Jimmy Reed song “Let’s Get Together” and “Rush Hour” which is a hands down solid masterpiece of garage and mid 60’s AM radio psychedelic rock, a song that brings to mind The Velvet Underground, though with the Porky Pig’s “That’s All Folks” drawing the experience to a close, I quickly committed the album to cassette tape, and edited out those two goofy tracks, which is no doubt why my vinyl copy is in such pristine condition.
All and all Electric Comic Book a solid body of music, though it’s important to realize that one can not compare this album to say Dylan’s Blonde On Blonde or anything The Beatles were doing, because to do so would only make this record sound ridiculous and trivial, when in fact, it’s a knockout album from the genre and times it lived in.
– Jenell Kesler
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