Saturday, November 26, 2016

Tripsichord Music Box - 1971 - Tripsichord

Tripsichord Music Box 

01. On The Last Ride — 4:42
02. We Have Passed Away — 2:45
03. Black Door — 2:55
04. The New Word — 4:40
05. Son Of The Morning — 5:34
06. Short Order Steward — 5:04
07. The Narrow Gate — 3:35
08. Fly Baby — 6:26
09. Everlasting Joy — 4:19
10. You’re The Woman — 3:35
11. It’s Not Good — 3:10
12. Family Song — 8:26
13. Times & Seasons — 3:23
14. Sunday The Third — 3:19

Frank Straigt — guitar
Dave Zandonatti — bass
Oliver McKinney — keyboards and organ
Bill Carr — vocals, guitar
Ron McNeeley — vocals
Randy Gordon — drums

There are so many versions of this album, legit originals, legit reissues, and bootlegs, that is difficult to not only know what you have, but to even stay on top of them. This album was originally recorded in late 1969 by this San Francisco band (which, incidentaly, had shortened their name at this point to just Tripsichord), and released in early 1970 on the local San Francisco Sound label in a very tiny quantity. It should be noted that this original version has, by far, the most superior sound quality of all pressings. By late 1970, the Janus label had expressed interest in picking the album up for national release, and immediately annexed the remaining copies pressed by S.F.S. and slapped a new white label promo Janus/San Francisco Sound label on them (this is the currently posted image for this entry). They also pressed an additional small quantity of these same promos using the original San Francisco Sound stamper. These versions obviously also have the superior sound quality, since they are original pressings and are all identifiable via the matrix numbers. Then, Janus began pressing their own versions of the album, which they finally released in 1971. Though the reason is not known for sure, it is widely believed that Janus mastered their pressing from an original San Francisco Sound vinyl issue. These versions have significantly inferior sound quality, almost sounding as if the speakers are beneath a pile of pillows compared to the orig pressing. I have not heard them all, but I believe all subsequent reissues and bootlegs contain this flawed version. I'm sure the Eva version does, but I think the  Akarma version may have been copied from an original SFS copy, as it does sound significantly better than the Janus pressing. Hope this info helps in some way.
   As far as the album itself goes, this is a true west coast gem, featuring excellent dual lead guitars, often jamming away in typical hippie psych style. And there is also great male/female vocal harmony and fabulous song writing. These guys really captured the late 60's west coast sound as good as anyone, and this remains an absolute essential for any psych collection.

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