A true talisman of the '60s Bay Area scene, this debut 1967 LP packed in one head-expanding psych classic after another: Section 43, Bass Strings, Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine, Love and more.
Given their origins, both geographically (San Francisco) and stylistically (founder Joe McDonald and lead guitarist Barry Melton first hooked up in a jug band), it wasn't surprising that the ragtag Fish sounded like an acid-soaked, plugged-in folk band when they debuted in '67. Simultaneously the most political and funniest of all the Northern California bands, the Fish's yippie-hippie philosophy was reflected in songs like "Superbird" (about Lyndon Johnson), "Flying High" (about getting you-know-what), and the bluesy free love saga, "Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine." That they could periodically wax serious as well (the wide-angled instrumental "Section Forty Three" and the moody "Bass Strings") only added more bite to their satiric pungency. --Billy Altman