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Given their origins, both geographically San Francisco and stylistically founder Joe McDonald and lead guitarist Barry Melton first hooked up in a jug band , it wasn't surprising that the ragtag Fish sounded like an acid-soaked, plugged-in folk band when they debuted in ' Simultaneously the most political and funniest of all the Northern California bands, the Fish's yippie-hippie philosophy was reflected in songs like "Superbird" about Lyndon Johnson , "Flying High" about getting you-know-what , and the bluesy free love saga, "Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine. Skip to main content.
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Released in May on the Vanguard label, it was one of the first psychedelic albums to come out of San Francisco. A version of the song "Love" was performed at the Woodstock Festival. It was released on May 11, , on the Vanguard label. Due to deterioration of the original master tapes, the album was remixed in and this remix was used for the original CD release in In a new two-disc deluxe version appeared which included both the original mono and stereo mixes. The liner notes to the version state that an outtake from the sessions, "Thought Dream", was later included on the band's follow-up, I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-to-Die.
Their full-length debut is their most joyous and cohesive statement and one of the most important and enduring documents of the psychedelic era, the band's swirl of distorted guitar and organ at its most inventive. Ranging in mood from good-timey to downright apocalyptic, it embraced all of the facets of the band's music, which were startling in their diversity: soaring guitar and keyboard excursions "Flying High," "Section 43," "Bass Strings," "The Masked Marauder" , the group's folk roots "Sad and Lonely Times" , McDonald 's personal ode to Grace Slick "Grace" , and their in-your-face politics "Superbird". Hardly any band since the Beatles had ever come up with such a perfect and perfectly bold introduction to who and what they were, and the results -- given the prodigious talents and wide-ranging orientation of this group -- might've scared off most major record labels. Additionally, this is one of the best-performed records of its period, most of it so bracing and exciting that one gets some of the intensity of a live performance. The CD reissue also has the virtue of being one of the best analog-to-digital transfers ever issued on one of Vanguard Records' classic albums, with startlingly vivid stereo separation and a close, intimate sound.