Quicksilver Messenger Service
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Quicksilver Messenger Service
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Their first album, with favorites Pride of Man; Dino's Song , and the Take Five -style instrumental, Gold and Silver .
Prior to this album's release, Quicksilver contributed two fine songs to the soundtrack of the film Revolution. Vocalist Dino Valente's subsequent drug bust and incarceration didn't prevent them from playing live, but it did delay the completion of their first album. Quicksilver's debut was consequently more mature than those of their late-1960s San Francisco Sound brethren--Big Brother, the Grateful Dead, and Jefferson Airplane. Quicksilver's first outing offers long instrumental passages and a communal attitude toward vocals and solos. Overall, however, QMS, while enjoyable and historically important, pales next to the band's innovative second release, Happy Trails. --James Swift
Top customer reviews
I like it as a studio album because it paints a portrait of the band, but that's just why I like studio albums in general. The song-writing on this album is primitive, filled with choruses and not lyrically complex. But that only helps to empower the feeling of the album. And although I say the lyrics aren't complex, they are beautiful and poetic, and even meaningful and important. Like I always say, good music with par lyrics is a wonderful song, if the lyrics are fitting enough, and good lyrics with par music, if the music is fitting enough, is a wonderful song. And to be completely honest, the lyrics are sometimes quite complex. They're placement is just primitive, which is not a bad thing.
Really, it's not even about the lyrics. It's about the music, and these guys are kickass musicians. I never give a damn about what musicians people call the best or the talented ones, because any musical skill one has is meant to be used to create good music, skill on its own is meaningless. But these guys clearly are great at creating music. It's electric fluidity, the amazing guitar notes and solos flow along with the beautiful combined Rock N Roll flow of the craftful drum and other insturment accompainment, with an almost-Jazz feel. Plus, the vocals fill their role as another wonderful melody insturment.
But now to get into some of the specifics. These are great songs. Pride Of Man, thanks to the lyrics and vocals, creates a frantic image of God's holy conquest upon the Earth, with mankind falling bloodied into the dusts of shame. Light Your Windows is a sweet, mellow groove with lyrics offering a positive outlook to someone who's tragically pessimsitc (or something, I've only listened to it a few times so I might not get the meaning yet). The music is excellent and the singing is sweet. Dino's Song is just plain excellent! Whenver that one comes on I just jump up and dance. It's such a groovey rockin' song, with superb guitar tone, and a wonderful flow that amazes me for some reason. Plus the lyrics tell of an interesting love-related situation. Really the rockin'ness of the song exemplify the power and tightness of the band's excellently put together music. But one important element is left out, as the song is short and does not contain mammoth insturmental sections and jams. The final 3 songs will take care of that aspect for you. One of Quicksilver's greatest strengths clearly was in their long insturmentation jams, like the unbeilevably cool and powerful, The Fool, that ends the album on an excellent, mostly-insturmental, note.
Overall it's a great album. It has wonderful atmosphere and is a must-have for any seriously deep fan of the sixties/seventies Classic Rock movement, and is a great idea for anyone who loves powerful insturmental sections and great flow.
Also, one last note, if you like this band for the vocal/singing aspect, you might want to check out The Primatives (the rock group, not the rap one), because they have a lot of the same vocal-passion that is shown in songs like Pride of Man and Light Your Windows. (And to speak quite frankly, since I beleive the Primatives are unfathomably great, I believe they are inevitably destined to fall by the wayside of unacknowledgement the same way Quicksilver Messenger Service unfortunately has.)
I was never much of a Dead fan, but Quicksilver really hit something in me. More than just an acid rock band, they touched many musical styles. The melody of Acapulco Gold & Silver rings today like it did back then and made me think that the Allman Brothers may have been influenced by this band more than a little in their early days.
Just a terrific album! Too short really, but every tune makes the most out of every minute. Lyrical, deep, energetic and not pretentious. Cippolina's trademark trebly vibrato playing is perfect, great vocals, and a tight easy rhythm section show a really great San Francisco band. Nothing but big smiles as the good old days came back
There's a gleeful sloppiness to this album. At this time, many garage bands were producing material of their own (remember the Strangeloves' "I Want Candy"?), but there's something different about Quicksilver Messenger Service. Though this sounds like a garage album, it's a garage album by a band of extraordinary talent and discipline.
From the opening notes of "Pride of Man," a grossly overlooked anti-war anthem that more peace advocates today should utilize, we're bowled over by the skill and quality of the band. In particular, the guitar majesty of the late John Cippollina leaves any number of current lesser imitators in the dust. The songwriting leaves something to be desired on most tracks, but Quicksilver Messenger Service was never a songwriters' band. They have the chops to cover shaky lyrics, and it's difficult to weary of listening to them.
In a day when studio tricks have washed out the human qualities of most rock bands, this album sounds like there's real human beings, playing in concert, right here. The very elements that make it dated make it desirable from a music lover's point of view. Not everyone will like it--ir represents values that have now gone out of date--but for those who appreciate solid playing and honest artistry in their rock, this is an album to be treasured.
Most recent customer reviews
The band was tight, the sound is clean, and Dino Valenti hadn't begun to disrupt everything yet.Read more