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Without Rhyme or Reason
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Top Customer Reviews
Like "Sergeant Pepper's...", a conceptual trip through a sophisticated landscape unlike anything of its day - or now, for that matter! The first "side" is all of a piece - thematically connected by the musical framework , blending disparate elements into a seamless trip and exemplary of a time when many artists made music just for the pure joy of it.
Stereo was just being discovered - and Elaine, et al, took this new spatial element to its limits, playfully enhancing music that was already lush and full and innovative. Taken with the sublime "Prescription For The Blues" (from the "Like To Get To Know You" album,) "Mecca Flat Blues" seals Elaine MacFarlaine's spot among the all-time great interpreters of traditional Blues.
This is headphone music at its best! Dive in and be enwrapped in a giddy, emotive, multi-colored soundscape that is singular, joyful and informed by a deeply musical wisdom that sounds so spontaneous - but that was crafted with meticulous wisdom.
I was there - it was amazing then; it remains so. Slipping it on the CD player, with no intro, and watching the amazement sparkle - in the eyes of people 30 years my junior - is a connective and wondrous testament to the power of the 'true' that remains forever alive in all timeless music.
Critically deemed, "not earthy enough for '68 hipster values," and quickly lost to the LP cut-out bins, this re-master from VIVID SOUND is a crystalline reproduction of the original that literally scintillates with stunning digital clarity. There is virtually NO evidence of tape hiss! (How did those guys do it in analog '68? Why no one snapped 'em up for their production values when S&OG disbanded remains a mystery to this day.)
This is the S&OG CD to savor! Better than either "Greatest Hits" collection, they blend natural ambient sounds, electronic sonics, and pseudo-"archival" spoken work between the tracks that flow together as no release has done since.
Very much worth the wait for the import to arrive. If you have ever enjoyed lush harmonies over thoughtful and often amusing lyrics in an entirely satifying musical "stew," BUY THIS DISC. You won't be disappointed!
The psychedelic design of this 1969 classic was really quite remarkable. The record, which is protected by a brightly colored sleeve, is removed from the LP's top, rather than the side. One face of the cover was called WITHOUT RHYME OR REASON while the other was ANYTHING YOU CHOOSE. The outer jacket didn't have a traditional front or back-- it was more like a giant-sized 45.
This finest of Spanky & Our Gang albums has a diverse mix of songs, from traditional blues (Spanky as Bessie Smith) to hallucinogenic-- the segues are particularly astonishing. One example would be the highly-pitched vocal on "Jane," which metamorphoses into a nightmarish air raid siren that seamlessly transitions into "Since You've Gone." Hoagy Carmichael's "Hong Kong Blues" gets an upbeat treatment here. The socially conscious "Give A Damn" received some Top 40 exposure, but was banned in some cities for being too controversial. "Yesterday's Rain" is an overlooked masterpiece, and should have been a single.
With it's various sound effects, clever outro links and abrupt stylistic changes, WITHOUT RHYME OR REASON/ANYTHING YOU CHOOSE leaves a carnivalistic impression on the listener. It's an experience not to be missed. Highest recommendation.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good tunes, good condition, decent price. Would purchase again.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
I liked this on vinyl when it first came out. Wore out the album. Was looking for a reasonably priced cd. Fagetaboutit. Read morePublished on June 25, 2013 by Prog Monster
Many considered Malcolm Hale to be THE mover and shaker of the group. Arranger, vocalist and instrumentalist. Read morePublished on September 23, 2012 by Paul MR
Of all the albums or CDs I have owned this is probably my favorite. I bought the vinyl version from Toronto's Sam the Record Man's 3rd floor discount section for a $1. Read morePublished on January 30, 2009 by Amazon Customer
I have not listened to the CD, but I used to own the LP version
I remember enjoying almost all the songs on the album. Read more
This is great music. LIke fusion, it has rock and blues and jazz tied together with some great lyrics and voices. Read morePublished on May 31, 2004 by Gary Ostreicher
This is one of my all time favorites.
One of the most fun albums I ever listend to.
It is up there high on the list of conceptual albums, like Sgt. Pepper etc. Read more