Pearls Before Swine – One Nation Underground (1967), Balaklava (1968)


One Nation Underground is the debut album by American psychedelic folk group Pearls Before Swine. It was released on the ESP-Disk label in October 1967. It was recorded at Impact Sound in New York City, between May 6-9, 1967, by the Florida-based group, which at that point comprised main songwriter and singer Tom Rapp, Wayne Harley, Lane Lederer, and Roger Crissinger. Percussion was by session musician Warren Smith. The album presents a mixture of styles – ‘psychedelic folk reminiscent of Donovan collides with Farfisa-driven punk and hard-to-categorize repetitive minimalism, all thrown together with the undisciplined, creative exuberance of youth’. ‘Another Time’ is an acoustic song, the first that Rapp ever wrote, based on his experience in a car crash where he walked away unscathed, and, with “Morning Song”, represents the most characteristic example of Rapp’s later writing style. … The album became the most successful ESP release ever, estimated to have sold between 100,000 and 250,000 copies. Early vinyl copies came with a small poster of the Hell panel from Hieronymus Bosch‘s Garden of Earthly Delights, a detail of which was used on the front of the album sleeve. …”
W – One Nation Underground
allmusic
Crawdaddy!: 1967 Psych: Pearls Before Swine vs. The Beatles
Balaklava was the second album recorded and released by psychedelic folk group Pearls Before Swine in 1968. … Rapp has stated that he wanted to produce a themed anti-war album, and chose the Charge of the Light Brigade at Balaklava in 1854 as an example of the futility of war. The album was dedicated to Private Edward Slovik, the only United States soldier executed for desertion during the Second World War. The front cover is a detail of The Triumph of Death by Pieter Brueghel the Elder, showing a grotesque allegorical depiction of the horrors of war, while the back cover showed a photograph of a young girl at an anti-war protest taken by Mel Zimmer. The cover also included the quote ‘Only the dead have seen the end of war’ by George Santayana, together with surreal and horrific drawings by avant-garde artist Jean Cocteau. The cover contributed to the mystique surrounding the group: few if any photographs of its members were published, and Pearls Before Swine did not perform in concert until 1971. …”
W – Balaklava
allmusic
YouTube: One Nation Underground [Full Album] 43:43, Balaklava [Full Album] 30:56

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