The last original copy of this 1973 LP to pop up on eBay went for 210 pounds (sterling). Which is a decent amount of dough. Especially if you are a pauper or a drug addict. What led 18 human beings (or their mechanized bidding accomplices) to bid ever increasing amounts on this item? Well, here’s the British seller’s description:
“Very Very rare private Hippie Folk - Psych Acid out of New Mexico. This is One of the holy grails of Psych LPs, this one is listed in the famous Acid Archives and is almost impossible to find due to an extremely limited press run!! Don’t miss the opportunity to get hold of this rarity in excellent condition!!!!!!!!”
This is a description almost worthy of the legendary Beautiful Penis fanzine, but to get a real Penis-flavor (as it were), I decided to do a cut-up of the actual Acid Archives entry, just the way that Our Dear Leader did when he was creating liner notes for Vermonster’s Spirit Of Yma LP. But I will attempt to use every word in the original. Here goes:
“The ‘I Love You’ LP of ’67 is on! As an LP for post-‘60s retreats (five years later) that also grabs the folk genre (several years earlier) for a trip that is a second high-point into the communal New Mex acid daze of 1975. Even though some players cover the all-impressive malefemale (mostly shorter male) domains, there is no doubt that the guru trip had replaced hallucinogens for them. Apparently a good yardstick works with a reflective, dignified mood. Way above-average attention there boosts the obvious similarities of/to Greenwood-Curlee- Thompson, which is not good.
“Anyway, I am glad that I do not have to spend 210 pounds (sterling) in order to hear this album. It has been reissued in compact disc form for the pleasure of those like me – impoverished drug addicts who have not had their curiosity destroyed by the economy and poor health.”
While somewhat overlooked, the spiritual talents feel thoughtful and the light rock arrangements create a somber mood. Pro-sounding archetypal country and singer-songwriter moves deliver awesome rural counterculture autobiography. They recapped both songwriting and vocals (of hippie-style folk) in recording songs with a whole East- West syncreticism, suggesting that ‘It’s All the Same.’ The one side recalls a relatively more psychedelic trio LP, while the hippie goes all-out on side two. ‘Rivers Of Time’ – extended from (and to) the way that is clean. The last track is with your bases and has the gold dust appear into Tomales Bay. Who has an acid-drenched front cover as an additional bonus? This LP here!” ––Gorgo from El Paso
Anyway, I am glad that I do not have to spend 210 pounds (sterling) in order to hear this album. It has been reissued in compact disc form for the pleasure of those like me – impoverished drug addicts who have not had their curiosity destroyed by the economy and poor health. Like many other Holy Grail! Folk – Psych – Acid!!! LPs, the Wilcox Sullivan Wilcox album is exciting in direct proportion to the number of dull hippie folk records you’ve wept or slept through. My own experience with this genre is higher than average, so all I really hope for with these kinds of releases is a couple of cool songs.
“There’s also a distinct country vibe at certain points, but it definitely seems to stem from a ruralist (rather than shitkicker) impulse, so the aural effect is more like ’73 Terry Reid than ’73 Charlie Pride or something.”
In that respect, WSW is semi-golden. There are a few songs that have a very nice acidic (if low-key) edge to the guitar, and the acoustic playing has a feel that somehow seems more English than American (which is generally a good thing, since it avoids any subliminal style references to Hootenanny-ism). The vocals are pretty ‘mersh, but pleasant, and the lyrical religious references (of which there are plenty) don’t fall into the mawk-pit that mars many similar efforts. There’s also a distinct country vibe at certain points, but it definitely seems to stem from a ruralist (rather than shit-kicker) impulse, so the aural effect is more like ’73 Terry Reid than ’73 Charlie Pride or something. I was a bit disappointed to not find a single drug reference (unless “Dylan blew my mind” means something other’n what I think), but there are two-three excellent folk tracks with non-offensive lyrics and vocals, and frankly, that’s more than most such albums can boast.
Is it almost totally better than any Don McLean album? I say, YES!!!