- Released: March 14, 2006
- Originally Released: 1993
- Label: Collectables Records
Description by OLDIES.com:
Twenty bizarre musical gems from the masters of psych music.
Uncut (magazine) - p.974 stars out of 5
-- "Highly influential, they've outlasted their far more famous peers."
- 1.Say Hello To Jamie Jones
- 3.The Shirt
- 4.Listen To This
- 5.Save The House
- 6.Victory Garden
- 7.Coconut Hotel
- 8.Sheriff Jack
- 9.Free Piece
- 10.Ravi Shankar: Parachutist
- 11.Piece For Piano And Electric Bass Guitar
- 12.Diairymaid's Lament
- 13.Big (With Holly Pritchett)
- 15.Sherlock Holmes
- 16.Dirth Of Tilth
- 17.Tina's Gone To Have A Baby
- 18.The Jewels Of Madonna
- 19.Green Of My Pants
- 20.Night Song
The Red Krayola: Mayo Thompson (vocals); Steve Cunningham (bass); Tommy Smith (drums).
Additional personnel: Holly Pritchett (vocals).
Personnel: Holly Pritchard (vocals); Tommy Smith (drums).
Liner Note Author: The Red Krayola.
Photographers: Dick Wray; Guy Clark; Steve Cunningham ; Mayo Thompson.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Elaine; Pat; Barbara ; Candy.
Having made their debut with one of the most aggressively eccentric albums of the 1960s (a fairly remarkable achievement given the competition), Mayo Thompson and his partners in the Red Krayola (changed from the Red Crayola after a threatened lawsuit from Binney & Smith) took a very different approach on their second album. The group had been experimenting with improvisational noise pieces using found objects and feedback alongside conventional instruments following the release of The Parable of Arable Land, a logical extension of the "Familiar Ugly" pieces on the album, but God Bless the Red Krayola and All Who Sail with It found the band taking up the conventional rock format of guitar, bass, and drums. However, if God Bless the Red Krayola is a formally more conventional and less alienating work than their first album, it's still a long, long way from what anyone was doing in the rock mainstream in 1968; the melodies are usually jagged and often veer into atonality, the songs stubbornly avoid typical "verse chorus verse" structures and sometimes appear to be improvised on the spot, drummer Tommy Smith enjoys throwing himself onto a different rhythmic path than his bandmates, Mayo Thompson's guitar lines run the gamut from fluid to jagged, and for all the noisy chaos of Parable, God Bless the Red Krayola is full of open space and significant, sometimes disquieting silences. However, not everything on the album is off-putting; "Victory Garden" could pass for something like conventional psychedelia, "Ravi Shankar: Parachutist" is lovely and haunting, "Sheriff Jack" starts out as something like blues before Smith's rhythms take a left turn, and "Leejol," "Dirth of Tilth," and "Dairymaid's Lament" confirm this band could play a fractured but enthusiastic version of rock & roll, even if it wasn't likely to please the average visitor to a psychedelic ballroom. Overall, God Bless the Red Krayola and All Who Sail with It bears precious little resemblance to anything else that appeared at the time; it would take a few decades of post-punk experimentalism before Mayo Thompson's vision would have a truly suitable context, though the album's playful undercurrent goes a long way toward making these tiny shards of sound go down easily for the musically open-minded. ~ Mark Deming