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Ultimate Spinach — Live at the Unicorn, July 1967
(Keyhole KHCD9006, 1967/2013, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2014-03-30

Live at the Unicorn, July 1967 Cover artUltimate Spinach was a Boston based band from the late-60s psychedelic era (five or six-piece, depending on which incarnation) that lasted from around 1967 through 1970 and possibly beyond, producing three albums on the MGM label, the first two of which sold quite well in their day. This set, which has circulated in bootleg form for years, shows the band in early form a good six months before their first LP, and underscores the band’s more folky leanings as they cover some of the more popular folk, rock and gentle pop tunes of the day (“Get Together,” later made popular by The Youngbloods, and “Hey Joe” covered by seemingly everybody and their brother are both here, along with other songs). Particularly nice in that regard is “Follow Me,” with harmonies between singers Ian Bruce-Douglas and Barbara Hudson. Interestingly, only three songs from the band’s recorded repertoire are included here – “Funny Freak Parade,” “Ballad of the Hip Death Goddess,” and “Mind Flowers,” the latter two representing the most intense psychedelic side of their sound. The recording is about par for any live albums of that era (Think The Airplane’s Bless Its Pointed Little Head or The Stones’ Got Live If You Want It for a general comparison), and certainly better than any of the nth generation boots in circulation. But the novice would be better served by checking out the band’s eponymous 1967 debut, or their second album Behold and See that followed it before going here.

Filed under: Archives, 2013 releases, 1967 recordings

Related artist(s): Ultimate Spinach

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