Where I dig into something I’ve not heard before, from the reviews section of old Mojo Magazines, on an irregular basis.
The Fugs First Album
1965 – Folkways
This is more like it! This is a wonderful, wonderful record. I have no idea why I’ve not delved unto The Fugs. Maybe it’s because the 60s, there is just so much to explore. Maybe cos the records were kind of hard to find. And such is the import of reviews, blogs etc, to briefly hail-mary-pass a band like this in front of people.
The early 90s reissue of The Fugs First Album (and with it, The Fugs Second Album) managed to get a big review in Mojo #5. And rightly so. This band has it all – an interesting pedigree (New York poets with ties to the beat movement), an indie integrity (they were on the beloved Folkways label) and a rude sounding name.
It’s sounds very modern. In the era of the Bonnie Prince Billies or Jack Whites, the Fug’s lo-fi folk fits right in. It probably killed them in the 60s, but it sounds so cool now. The only thing that really dates this record is some of the topics. There’s a bit of free love on here, and dated references to Allen Ginsberg.
As challenging and weird as some of this stuff is, there’s still plenty of fun catchy songs. ‘Supergirl’ or ‘Slum Goddess’ could be pop songs. ‘I Couldn’t Get High’ feels like The Doors. In fact, here’s a weird interview with the band where they perform that song.
On top of that, it’s a great record. It starts fun, goes weird and ends with a bit of tenderness before ‘Nothing’, a great album closer.
This is exactly the kind of record I was hoping to dig up in this weird project. The Fugs are such a Mojo kind of band too. Easily the best record I’ve looked at in this project so far.