Sunday, 29 March 2009

Fish Less and Fancy Free

Country Joe and the Fish ceased to be in 1971. Despite a brief return towards the end of that decade, Country Joe McDonald had soon established himself as a very credible solo artist.

A proto-hippy in the early days of Haight-Ashbury, Joe was always in the front line of political debate and radical new ideas.
The new wave of feminism in the early nineteen-seventies was readily assimilated by many in the counter-culture and Joe added his voice to those who were challenging the so called 'natural order' of patriarchy.

Out of this milieu emerged Paris Sessions.
Apart from recruiting late ex-girlfriend Janice Joplin's Big Brother and the Holding Company band mate Peter Albin to play bass, all the other recruits were female, endorsing in action the feminist inspired lyrics featured in many of the songs.
The album moves from reasonably easy listening numbers such as 'Fantasy' and 'I'm So Tired' to polemics taking on macho, misogynist movie-makers ('Movieola'), corrective institutions ('Zombies in a House of Madness'; check out the creepy electronic sounds accompanying Joe's reading of Michael Beasley's accusatory and startling poem), male chauvinism ('Sexist Pig') and Women's lib ('Coulene Anne'; without doubt the best track on the album - a murder ballad of very high standard, this track alone makes the download worthwhile).

There is a wonderful piece of vocal kitsch on this album, with Joe introducing the album to the listener in the form of a direct address; hoping we all like it, and even suggesting when side 1 is finished it would be a good idea to listen to side 2.
The apostrophe continues at the end of the album with Joe reminding us that we can always listen to the album again; if we can be bothered to get up off the floor and sort it out that is... he must have thought everyone listening were on drugs or something...

Country Joe McDonald - Paris Sessions (1973)

I'm So Tired
I Don't Know Why
Zombies in the House of Madness
Sexist Pig
Colorado Town
Coulene Anne
St Tropez

Quality Cassette rip @320kbs
Deal with the feminist principle here


Anonymous said...


Vanzetti said...

Very nice. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

great album, thanks