The Fugs – Fugs 4, Rounders Score – 1975 – ESP Disk

The Fugs - Fugs 4, Rounders Score - 1975 - ESP Disk

From its glorious abstract cover art painted by Jezebel, a chimpanzee from the Portland Zoo, to the feverish, outrageously anarchic songs on the record, this is a joy.
This album is a wild romp of sex, drugs, anti-war sentiment and glorious satire.

This is a compilation. The material was recorded in 1966 and this record was released in 1975. Six of the recordings on side one were previously unreleased. It is a Fugs record but Steve Weber and Peter Stampfel who play on this album were also the two members of the Holy Modal Rounders, hence the title.

The album opens with the totally silly and deliberately juvenile Boobs A Lot, a song that both satirizes a high school football jock’s boob obsession whilst simultaneously revelling in the same obsession. The song is infectious and amusing. It is a good opener.

The Fugs were great at pushing past what was considered decent and then at times pushing past what was considered indecent into the obscene. They didn’t take themselves too seriously even when they were being serious. They were hilarious, prurient, absurd, thought provoking and teetering on the edge of lunacy most of the time. It was great stuff.

My favourite tracks on this are C.I.A. Man, Defeated, Slum Goddess and the beautiful Morning, Morning (which Richie Havens covered on his Mixed Bag album). If you’ve seen Burn After Reading and sat through the credits you’ll have heard his harshly satirical song C.I.A. Man which features on this record, though in a much earlier recording. Kill for Peace is good too.

I can’t remember for certain where I bought this album but I think it was from my friend Cody who used to have a record stall at Gorman House Markets in Canberra. I could be wrong. I never realized how scarce it was until I thought I’d lost it moving house and tried to find a copy online. It wasn’t available anywhere. Eventually I found my copy. That was a relief. It’s a record that means a lot to me.

The Rolling Stones – Aftermath – 1966 – Decca

Rolling Stones - Aftermath - 1966 - Decca

When I first heard this as a teenager in the 80s it was so refreshing. All the current records sounded so preprogrammed. Even the more indepedant acts sounded blander than I liked. Everything was so cleanly recorded and nice and close mic’d. So this 1966 LP sounded so bad-ass and raw in comparison to me. In retrospect it is probably one of the more produced of the Stones’ albums what with the marimbas in Under My Thumb and the dulcimer on Lady Jane but still it sounds raw and bad-ass to me. The gloss of the production doesn’t diminish that. Aftermath is my favourite Stones album. I know that it is supposed to be Exile on Main Street. That is what I am always told by everyone but this is the one for me so don’t ya bother me no more with that old chestnut please. In spite of it’s reputation as being murky and dark Exile sounds so laboured and cleanly recorded to me but this, this is the real deal. Even the title, Aftermath, conjurs up great images of disaster and decay and the slow seemingly sensitive track, Lady Jane, has a sting in the tail. If you buy this try to get the English version, it’s a better record than the American version in spite of the American one including Paint it Black.