Saturday, November 18, 2006

154. Quicksilver Messenger Service - Happy Trails (1969)

Track Listing

1. Who Do You Love
2. When You Love
3. Where You Love
4. How Do You Love
5. Which Do You Love
6. Who Do You Love
7. Mona
8. Maiden Of The Cancer Moon
9. Calvary
10. Happy Trails


This album is jammin'. Well, just imagine a big jam psychadelic session and this is what you get, but imagine a good one because this is quite a good album, although it does seem to fall into the realm of wankery from time to time.

The first half of the album, the Who Do You Love suite is definitely the strongest part of this, and the one where all members shine the most. It starts with the theme track and in the next four tracks all members do their solo bits in the jam and in the end it goes back to the ensemble Who Do You Love. It is quite amazing technically, and quite good in musical terms.

The second half of the album, with the extended Calvary, is technically as good as the first half, but it is also a little bit more show off-y and self-serving than the first half, which doesn't make it as good. After a while you start thinking, yeah, I know you can play already! Give me some music!

All in all, however, if you like really extended jams in the Grateful Dead tradition this is the album for you. If not, it's alright, I'm not a big fan myself, but I recognise the prowess. So buy it from Amazon UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. Who Do You Love
2. Where You Love
3. When You Love
4. Mona

Final Grade



Here's Mona! In a harder version than in the album:

From Wikipedia:

"Happy Trails" consists mainly of a performance cover of Bo Diddley's "Who Do You Love?" spread out over nearly 20 minutes. The song was divided into several parts ("What Do You Love," "How Do You Love," "Where Do You Love," etc.) in order to recoup a greater share of royalty payments.

A heavy beat, extended instrumental section and the spiralling guitar work of John Cipollina drive the album to greatness, as the jam quiets, is reduced to drums and sound effects, then explodes into the finale.

The second half of the album is comprised of an almost continuous suite. Beginning with another Bo Diddley song ("Mona"), guitarist Gary Duncan's Maiden of the Cancer Moon follows and the album closes with the atmospheric Calvary, which manifested itself during a studio acid trip. As a coda, the band sing the theme tune to cowboy TV show Roy Rogers, which lends its title to the album. Fans of rock trivia may be interested to note that this whimsical tune also appears on Van Halen's Diver Down.

In 2003, the album was ranked number 189 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time

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