17 February 2011

The Electric Flag - 1967 - The Trip

Quality: 3.75 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 4.25 out of 5 (but varies greatly by track)

Way back in days of legend gone past (aka 2007), I did a review of the awesome psych-sploitation film "The Trip," which you'll find by clicking "The Trip." I tried to be as objective as possible, and I don't disagree with my old review. Yet despite (or maybe because of) its flaws, it ranks as one of my all-time favorite films and one of the few that I watch at least once a year. This soundtrack, by the Electric Flag, mirrors the film in terms of quality. It has moments of pure, yet manufactured psychedelic brilliance along with a few charmingly dumb sounds. The credits that I tracked down say that blues guitar god Mike Bloomfield wrote all of the music here, which I have trouble believing (and drumming deity Buddy Miles didn't write anything?). Maybe he just did a lot of tripping while working on this one - I guess the whole band did - this sounds absolutely nothing like their proper albums. While there very little horn driven blues rock, there are plenty of great psychedelic tapestries on display, goofy vaudeville inspired tunes, and aimless jamming. Fortunately, when Bloomfield is playing on top of the aimless jams, it remains pretty entertaining. It's even more entertaining in the movie when Bloomfield is wailing away on the soundtrack, yet we see Gram Parsons (who had absolutely nothing to do with the Electric Flag) playing something entirely different on screen. There's also a little bit of early Moog usage scattered about for all of you synth geeks out there.

The real 'money' on this disc musically are the phenomenal Hollywood psych instrumentals. Since we all live in the future, and can program albums however we want now, stick "Peter's Trip," "Joint Passing," "M-23," "Synesthesia," "A Little Head," "Inner Pocket," "Fewghh," and "Flash, Bang, Pow" all together and you'll get one of my personal favorite 15 minute blocks of music. Feel free to add the more traditional jams that actually sound like the Electric Flag from the latter half of the album - you can basically start at "Home Room" and go until the end of the album - but take out the goofy, fake dixieland of "Senior Citizen." You can program that with the equally ridiculous "Psych Soap," "Hobbit," and "The Other Ed Norton," play it in an endless loop, and drive yourself insane. "Green and Gold" is sort of an outlier. It's a pretty groovy fake Tex Mex track. Realistically it probably fits in with the "Senior Citizen" camp, but I like to program it along with the "Peter's Trip" clutch of tracks.

If you're already a fan of this movie, there's no way that you won't absolutely dig this soundtrack - warts and all. For those of you coming in from the outside, there are some treacherous waters, but you'll likely find some psychedelia or blues jamming to your liking. And for that guy out there who considers Harper's Bizarre his number one favorite band - you'll fall in love with the other tracks.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Why, Harper's Bizarre IS favorite band of mine! Thanks much for this upload. I'm sure to enjoy it.

doughboy said...

Dear Dr,
I took your Trip challenge whilst nursing a newborn and a grudge against The Electric Flag. But it sounds brilliant. Your version of this record has an extra six tracks to the version I have including "Joint Passin", "A Little Head" and "Inner Pocket". I always liked "Peter's Trip" and "M-23" but "Synthaesthia" is my new fave. Thanks for the opportunity to hear the full album.

Anonymous said...


have a listen to this Dr! The julian Kirsch - Clever Little man

mike-floyd said...

Among with PSYCH-OUT my favourite psych-exploitation movie and featuring some great psych music aswell...
Note that 2 versions exist: mono and stereo, both are well worth checking out.


Anonymous said...

Man, I was looking for this for so long! You made my day :)
Doc, would you like to exchange links with my blog? Please have a look, I post SBD bootlegs from the same period mostly.
I added you in my blog roll because I think your blog rocks!

Anonymous said...

hey Doc,
great record, thanks for turning me on to it. never seen the film, but i'll be sure to check it out. "Flash, Bang, Pow" is the highlight here, in my opinion. remarkabley weird little track.
i never really comment, but i read your blog all the time and i want to let you know that it's my fav. music blog on the web. keep up the good work!
best regards.

Anonymous said...

Many Thanks Mano! I'm digging Beachwood Sparks as this downloads... your hard work is appreciated!



savageYHS said...

"The Yellow Yeti"