on December 15, 2001
Before you buy this, buy "Amazing Charlatans" (available at Amazon). Because by 1969 when this LP came out, most of the original members (including Dan Hicks) were gone. Especially the Charlatans signature track "Alabama Bound" sounds here a little mechanical if compared to the spirited group vocal version which was recorded back in 66 (and is on Amazing Charlatans). Still, if you really dig the San Francisco sound of the sixties, this is a must buy. It may also not be neglected, that some of the tracks on this album are actually really good. Van Dyke Parks "High Coin Baby" is the opener and the vocal harmonies are superb. The same goes for some other tracks.
I own this LP in the CD version which was released by the french company EVA some years ago. I will buy this as soon as it's out in the hope that it will offer better sound quality. What I am missing from the track listing are bonus tracks.
By the way, a good read on the subject is Joel Selvins book "The Summer Of Love" which covers the story of the Charlatans, Moby Grape, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Big Brother etc. extensively. That's the mood you should get into: Read the book and listen to CDs by the Charlatans. Far out, man!
on October 21, 2013
I purchased this album out of curiosity, I'd read that The Charlatans are widely believed to have been the first band EVER to incorporate the bubble letters and the colorful pen- and- ink style drawings that would soon become known as "psychedelic rock artwork style" into their concert posters, back in the 1960's. I actually can't stand country music, so when I saw "Folsom Prison Blues" and "The Wabash Cannonball" on the track listing I was skeptical, but I really like this album- It's not country music at all. This album consists mostly of original songs, and those two covers are good 1960's rock adaptations of two songs which were originally written as country songs. The Charlatans are every bit as talented as The Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead, Country Joe And The Fish, Big Brother And The Holding Company, Sly And The Family Stone, or any of the other San Francisco based bands from that era.... Highly under- rated and highly under- publicized...
on June 14, 2003
The Charlatans were one of the original bands of the outgrowth of the San Francisco bohemian period of the sixties. Even though the sound quality is not top notch, this album is a good representation of the band in it's heyday with some really great eclectic songs of the psychedelic era. There is some first time blending of country, folk, blues, and New Orleans style jazz with rock'n roll instrumentation. The band was best when experienced live due to their high energy level, but these recordings are the next best thing and can bring back memories of a time that one can only smile upon.