50 Essential Albums of 1967

From the Doors' debut to Aretha Franklin's first smash

Load Previous
Country Joe and the Fish, 'Electric Music for the Mind and Body'
50
Country Joe and the Fish, 'Electric Music for the Mind and Body' Album Cover13/50

Country Joe and the Fish, 'Electric Music for the Mind and Body'

At first, Country Joe and the Fish were indie rockers. Three tracks on this trip-music classic, including the stoner's hymn "Bass Strings" and the drifting instrumental "Section 43," were initially cut by the Berkeley band for a 1966 EP on singer-songwriter Joe McDonald's agitprop label, Rag Baby. He started the Fish as a protest jug band (the name combines nods to Joseph Stalin and Mao Tsetung) but here temporarily kept his left-wing zest in check. Flanked by the electric organ of David Cohen and Barry Melton's biting-treble guitar, McDonald spread with a preacher's zeal and spearing wit the local gospel of chemical travel and carnal freedom in "Flying High," "Happiness Is a Porpoise Mouth" and "Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine." In fact, Vanguard insisted the Fish not include one of their most popular tunes, a McDonald zinger that later became a singalong pillar of the anti-war movement: "I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-to-Die Rag."

Back to Top