The United States of America

The United States of America was an American experimental rock band whose works, recorded in late 1967, are an early example of the use of electronic devices in rock music. The short-lived band was founded in Los Angeles by experimental composer Joseph Byrd and singer and lyricist Dorothy Moskowitz, with musicians Gordon Marron, Rand Forbes and Craig Woodson, but split up shortly after the release of their only album in 1968. Their sound blended a range of musical genres, including avant-garde, psychedelic, and art rock, with many of the songs’ lyrics reflecting Byrd’s leftist political views. Unusually, the band had no guitar player; instead, they used strings, keyboards and electronics, including primitive synthesizers, and various audio processors, including the ring modulator. According to critic Kevin Holm-Hudson, ‘what distinguishes the United States of America from some of its contemporaries… is the seriousness and skill with which they incorporated avant-garde and other influences into their music.’ Composer Joseph Byrd, and lyricist and singer Dorothy Moskowitz, first met in New York City in early 1963 when Byrd was working on a recording of Civil War period music for Time-Life. A devotee of composer Charles Ives, Byrd had already become a respected and innovative composer, involved in experimental music as part of the Fluxus movement with John Cage, Morton Feldman, LaMonte Young, David Tudor, Yoko Ono and others. … They recorded their first and only album in December 1967, produced by Rubinson, with Byrd credited as providing electronic music, electric harpsichord, organ, calliope, piano, and Durrett Electronic Music Synthesizer. Besides Byrd, Moskowitz (lead vocals), Marron (electric violin, ring modulator), Forbes (fretless electric bass), and Woodson (drums and percussion), several of the tracks also credited Bogas. Moskowitz and Byrd collaborated in writing most of the songs, with Byrd responsible for both words and music on three tracks, ‘The American Metaphysical Circus’, ‘Love Song for the Dead Ché’, and ‘The American Way of Love’. …”
W – Joseph Byrd
clouds and clocks: An interview with Joseph Byrd
Joseph Byrd interview
Richie Unterberger
YouTube: The United States of America- The United States of America 1968 Album Completo + Bonus 1:07:45

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