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Babylon

10 customer reviews

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Babylon
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Product Details

  • Vinyl
  • Label: Atco Records
  • ASIN: B0024D6IH0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,911,901 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Philip J. Lane on May 18, 2002
Format: Audio CD
admittedly dr, john the night tripper is an aquired taste. i first heard his debut album "gris gris" in the early 70s and was immediatley hooked on the sinuous grooves, the unusual instrumentation, strange vocal incantations and the dr.'s own inimitable growl. babylon, his second recording, starts here but blends in an avante garde free jazz sound. the lyics are a bit more political (in a kind of beat generation poetic approach).
the best analogy/description i can give here is early meters meet 1960s version ornette coleman. you will either like this CD or hate it. nothing neutral here. personally, i love it!
guitar fans-check out the cut 'lonesome guitar strangler' where dr. john plays some pretty good imitations of gabor szabo and wes montgomery.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Graveyard Poet on December 3, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Dr. John and his cohorts conducted a very special one-of-a-kind late night New Orleans R&B/psychedelic/swamp gumbo voodoo ritual with Gris-Gris.

Just like all of the communal highs of the counterculture in the late 1960s, however, the dream soon faded. This came about as a result of the violent traumas and conflicts--the traumas of 1968--that divided the United States of America and left those like Dr. John and their ilk with a collective hangover.

If Gris-Gris was the nocturnal ritual that tapped into the ancient roots of the bayou, then Babylon is the nocturnal ritual that stares down the modern discord of the city without blinking (with perhaps only the song "Barefoot Lady" as an exception).

If Gris-Gris is the Night Tripper's tour as the "Grand Zombie" through the primordial past, then Babylon is John Creaux's tour as the "Lonesome Guitar Strangler" through the apocalyptic future.

In Gris-Gris, a strange smoke, a viscous fog, seemed to pervade the record. This is akin to the mists which roll and rise from the backwoods.

In Babylon, an equally bizarre presence wafts and drifts, haunting the fringes of the record. It is a spacey and surreal ghost akin to ether which dissolves and evaporates like the disintegration of sanity.

Gris-Gris was a ritual under a full moon. Babylon is a ritual during a new moon. Gris-Gris is the ritual of a shaman. Babylon is the ritual of a prophet.

The prophet begins his warnings and exhortations to the congregation after the carnival keyboards begin his radical revival.
Read more ›
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By raymond guay on January 12, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I've been searching for months (years) for this unique original album. One of the most creative voodoo blues works that exist. Thank you good doctor for such good vibes. Hope to see you in a concert one of these days.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Peppino on May 30, 2001
Format: Audio CD
.......Mac , of course, IS/WAS(??) Doctor John , in his pre-Popeye Chicken-hawkin' incarnation! Dr. John, the voodoo/mystic/showman alter-ego of Mac Rebbaneck hit his stride with the wonderfully creative "GRIS_GRIS" lp, and took the hippies by storm in the late 60's with his elaborate New Orleans Carnaval cum Marie Laveau stage show( when most hippi rock groups had poker-faced "lead guitarists " taking 30 minute solo excursions on the pentatonic scale). As for me, the first time I heard "Walk on Guilded Splinters", at about 12 midnight, it made my flesh crawl with both fear & excitement! Gris-Gris was a wonderful gumbo(how cliche!) of the avant-funk and Congo Square rhythm tradition, and Dr John wanted to go even farther out on BABYLON by introducing odd time meters ( a la a tripped out Dave Brubeck), on top of some densely layered Ornette Coleman meets Professor Longhair grooves......and the Doctor fails miserably, hehehehe! The reasons are documented in his book, Under a Hoodoo Moon ( required reading!).....The band was recording on the sly , between "regular" sessionwork in the Atlantic Records studios, and were upto their gills in "Narcotic refreshments"- not the best recipe for "success" on a musical concept.The resultant nightmare was issued reluctantly as Babylon, a record that could have tapped the ancient vibrations of the "power of music", but instead became another tax write-off for the label. Even now, it is only avaliable as an import..... Te result- if you are a "creative listener", check out title track,and also "Glowin'" and Barefoot Lady", and imagine what might have been.......as for other tracks, "noteably" Lonseome Guitar Strangler", C'mon, Mac,...Read more ›
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mark Bychowski on April 30, 2001
Format: Audio CD
this was the sequel to the classic debut "gris gris" and the first of three followups that found the good doctor overreaching, overindulging, and over ambitioning his way into a big ol psychedelic bluesy voodoo mess. babylon takes the good yet sinister vibes of gris gris and darkens them considerably. this difficult second record has dr john experimenting more with sound and instrumentation, but, sadly, the songs just arent there. of the 7 cuts, only 2 belong in the canon of great dr john songs. the title cut is fantastic in all the ways it should be: off beat & eerie with dr john's raspier-than-normal voice basically predicting the end of the world. and the patriotic flag-waiver is interesting in a bizarre way, with dj playing a hawk & dove simultaneously while an offkey childrens chorus sings america the beautiful. everything else is okay to bleh (notable: twilight zone is just garbage, & lonesome guitar strangler would be better and funnier if it was better musically). he wouldnt regain his form until the wonderful gumbo. worth a listen, but borrow a copy.
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