173. Alexander Spence - Oar (1969)
1. Little Hands
2. Cripple Creek
4. Margaret-Tiger Rug
5. Weighted Down (The Prison Song)
6. War In Peace
7. Broken Heart
8. All Come To Meet Her
9. Books Of Moses
10. Dixie Peach Promenade (Yin For Yang)
11. Lawrence Of Euphoria
Well, here's something you don't hear everyday. In fact I don't think I ever hear anything quite like it, although I ahve heard things with elements from it, I don't know if I am making much sense. Alexander Spence sounds at times like Tom Waits other times like a Johnny Cash type and other times like some weird falsetto trippy stuff.
This is most definitely an album of its time, but also unlike anything in its time. You can certainly recognise that this was done in the late 60's, the sounds are there, but there is nothing exactly like it. This is not to say that it is weird as in Mother of Invention weird, in fact it is a quite pleasant album to listen to if you want to have it as background. But it doe have big depths, not only in the music but in the lyrics, and you can't escape the feeling that the person who made this album was seriously derranged.
Spence was insane, but it isn't the "look at me I am Zappa!" craziness, but more a smouldering waiting to pop thing and a kind of delirium just under the surface of the album, what makes it fascinating is that this is not overwhelming the music, its more a felling that you get from his voice and lyrics than "look this so is sooo CRAZY!".
A good album, not perfect, but very interesting. Buy it from Amazon UK or US.
1. Weighted Down (The Prison Song)
2. Books Of Moses
4. Broken Heart
Ok... cover of Laurence Of Euphoria by The Ophelias:
Suffering from schizophrenia, he was committed to New York's Bellevue Hospital after an attempt to murder Grape members Don Stevenson and Jerry Miller with a fire axe during the sessions for the band's second studio album. Upon his release, he recorded his only solo album, the now-classic psychedelic/folk album Oar (1969, Columbia Records). However, mental illness and alcoholism prevented him from sustaining a career in the music industry, and he lived much of his later life as a homeless person in Santa Cruz. When it finally seemed that he might have been overcoming those afflictions, lung cancer claimed him.