URBAN ASPIRINES: Ultimate Spinach: Discography (The Big Beat Records 1995 Remasters)

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Friday, April 23, 2021

Ultimate Spinach: Discography (The Big Beat Records 1995 Remasters)

 Ultimate Spinach was one of the most well-known, and perhaps the most notorious, of the groups to be hyped as part of the "Bosstown Sound" in 1968. The name itself guaranteed attention, as one of the most ludicrous and heavy-handed "far out" monikers of the psychedelic era, even outdoing formidable competition such as the Peanut Butter Conspiracy.                                                                    


They formed in 1967. In terms of style and national recognition, the band was one of the most prominent musical acts to emerge from the "Bosstown Sound", which was a regional attempt to

compete with the San Francisco Sound. They recorded their first record for MGM, produced by the ambitious Alan Lorber. Lorber created together with MGM the marketing concept of the 'Boston Sound' (later 'Bosstown' sound) to propose (and sell) an alternative to the West-Coast bands. The three Boston bands starting that "movement" were 'Ultimate Spinach', 'Orpheus' and 'The Beacon Street Union'. These bands, all produced by Alan Lorber, had musically not much in common and 'Ultimate Spinach' was the most interesting band to come out of this hype. 



The band originated as a group called the Underground Cinema, with a line-up consisting of Ian Bruce-


Douglas as a multi-instrumentalist, Barbara Hudson as vocalist, Keith Lahtenein on drums, Geoff Winthrop on rhythm guitar, and Richard Nese on bass guitar. As Underground Cinema, the group served as house band in a club called the Unicorn and recorded demos which later appeared on New England Teen Scene.
                                                      

The name of the band was changed to Ultimate Spinach when they signed with Boston impresario Alan

Lorber (Lorber produced all three of their albums.) Bruce-Douglas says that he named the band based on experiences in an acid trip: "One day, in 1967, I was in my room, tripping on some really pure LSD. I started looking at myself in the mirror and my face was doing funny things. I had a bunch of colored markers I used to draw with. I grabbed a green one and started drawing all these psychedelic designs on my face. When I was done, I looked at myself and said “Whoa! I am ultimate spinach. Ultimate spinach is me!”"
                                                       

Douglas was the self-designated leader of the band. He, alone, played several instruments including guitar, keyboards, harmonica, and sang lead for most of the group's songs. In addition to his

instrumental responsibilities, Douglas also was the primary songwriter and liner note writer for their first two albums. As the band and its contemporaries were emerging on the scene, the band released their debut album, Ultimate Spinach, on January 6, 1968. The album, like the other bands' debuts, was distributed by MGM Records. A concept album based on anti-war sentiment, the album was Ultimate Spinach's most successful when it peaked at number 34 on the Billboard 200.
                                                           

Later in 1968, the band released their second album, Behold & See, which again was conceived as a concept piece. Prior to recording, more personnel changes took place with Jeff Baxter taking Winthrop's position, and DiDonato was replaced by Caryl Lee Britt. At the end of 1968 the band was reformed

with Bruce-Douglas keeping only singer Barbara Hudson, but finally he left the band prior to the recording of the third self-titled 'Ultimate Spinach' record, leaving Barbara Hudson as the only original member. The record moved away from the psychedelic sound of the first two records and consisted of mainstream rock songs. 'Ultimate Spinach' recorded some of the most original psychedelic rock records. Ultimate Spinach III, was released, but it failed to chart. After Douglas departed, the band did not have a primary songwriter so the album was misguided and contained multiple styles from each band member. The band broke up soon after.

In the 1990s, Big Beat Records reissued all three of the band's albums in the UK.

MEMBERS

 


Ian Bruce-Douglas – lead vocals, electric piano, organ, vibraphone, lead guitar, recorder (1967–1968)
Barbara Jean Hudson – vocals, acoustic guitar (1967–1969)
Ted Myers – lead vocals, lead guitar (1967, 1969)
Jeff Baxter – lead guitar, steel guitar, vibraphone, vocals (1968–1969)
Tony Scheuren – organ, piano, acoustic guitar, vocals (1968–1969)
Mike Levine – bass guitar (1968–1969)
Russell Levine – drums, percussion (1968–1969)
Richard Nese – bass (acoustic and electric), feedback (1967–1968)
Geoffrey Winthrop – rhythm guitar (1967–1968)
Keith Lahteinen – drums, percussion, vocals (1967)

DISCOGRAPHY

Ultimate Spinach (1968)
Behold & See (1968)
Ultimate Spinach III (1969)

Ultimate Spinach interview with Ian Bruce-Douglas



ULTIMATE SPINACH: ULTIMATE SPINACH 1968

                                                 


Upon its release in early 1968, Ultimate Spinach's self-titled debut was derided by some as second-rate psychedelia, selling reasonably well only by virtue of its hype as part of the "Bosstown Sound." So how

does it sound decades later, removed from that hype and standing on the music alone? It still sounds like bush league, bandwagon-riding psychedelia. Ian Bruce-Douglas dominates the record as lead singer, composer of all the songs, and multi-instrumentalist, and while he espoused a darker vision than many psychedelic songsmiths, he wasn't in remotely the same league as Jim Morrison, Grace Slick, or Country Joe McDonald. The album was Ultimate Spinach's most successful when it peaked at number 34 on the Billboard 200.

In 2008, the album still retained its presence as a psychedelic classic when it was listed at number 36 on Classic Rock magazine's "42 Greatest Psychedelic Albums".

Label: Big Beat Records ‎– CDWIKD 142
Series: The Best Of Bosstown Sound™ –
Format: CD, Album, Reissue, Remastered
Country: UK
Released: 1995
Genre: Rock
Style: Psychedelic Rock


TRACKS



01. Ego Trip     3:14
02. Sacrifice Of The Moon (In Four Parts)     3:46
03. Plastic Raincoating / Hung Up Minds     2:56
04. (Ballad Of) The Hip Death Goddess     8:14
05. Your Head Is Reeling     3:40
06. Dove In Hawk's Clothing     3:54
07. Baroque #1     4:48
08. Funny Freak Parade     2:35
09. Pamela     3:09


BALLAD OF THE HIP DEATH GODDESS  LYRICS

 




See the glazed eyes, Touch the dead skin
Feel the cold lips, and know the word of the hip death goddess

Touch my hand and you will know
Touch my hand your heart will cold
Come let me take you in my arms
I will keep you safe from all harm

Kiss my lips for they are very nice
Kiss my lips and you will turn to ice
Look at me and I will turn you on
Don't try and think because your mind is gone

Come and look into my frozen eyes
Come and let me free you from my story
I am the hip death goddess of your dreams
Life isn't all that it seems

MP3 @ 320 Size: 86 MB
Flac  Size: 215 MB

ULTIMATE SPINACH: BEHOLD AND SEE 1968

 



Ultimate Spinach's second album The Penultimate Spinach (as they would make only one more LP) is a slightly more subdued continuation of the derivative psychedelia in their debut. Again, it's like a hack take on West Coast groups.
The album was released in August 1968, and stalled at number 198 on the Billboard 200. Shortly after Behold & See was distributed, Bruce-Douglas departed Ultimate Spinach, and essentially disbanded the group, although an almost entirely new lineup would release one final album in 1969.

Label: Big Beat Records ‎– CDWIKD 148
Series: The Best Of Bosstown Sound™ –
Format: CD, Album, Reissue
Country: UK
Released: 1995
Genre: Rock
Style:Psychedelic Rock

TRACKS

 




01.  Behold & See (Gilded Lamp Of The Cosmos)     3:04
02.  Mind Flowers     8:30
03.  Where You're At     3:12
04.  What You're Thinking Of (Jazz Thing)     6:40
05.  Fragmentary March Of Green     6:03
06.  Genesis Of Beauty (In Four Parts)     9:45
07.  Fifth Horseman Of The Apocalypse     5:56

MP3 @ 320 Size: 103 MB
Flac  Size: 265 MB

ULTIMATE SPINACH: ULTIMATE SPINACH III  1969

 

The Ultimate Spinach were originally a psychedelic/underground band, but by the time of their third


and last album, the group had changed personnel so much that their connection with the original lineup was tenuous in both sound and body. (Actually, the original band had broken up after their second album; the Ultimate Spinach heard on III included a couple of musicians that had recorded on the first two records, but was essentially an entirely different outfit.)

Label: Big Beat Records ‎– CDWIKD 165
Series: The Best Of Bosstown Sound™ –
Format: CD, Album, Reissue
Country: UK
Released: 1996
Genre: Rock
Style: Psychedelic Rock

TRACKS



01. (Just Like) Romeo & Juliet  (Written-By – R. Wylie, T. Williams)  2:33
02. Some-Days You Just Can't Win  (Written-By – Ted Myers, Tony Scheuren)  3:22
03. Daisy  (Written-By – Jeff Baxter)  2:21
04. Reasons  (Written-By – Ted Myers, Tony Scheuren)  3:51
05. Eddie's Rush     6:52
06. Happiness Child  (Written-By – Ted Myers)  4:42
07. Strange-Life Tragicomedy     4:13
08. Back Door Blues  (Written-By – Ted Myers)  2:56
09. The World Has Just Begun  (Written-By – Ted Myers, Tony Scheuren)  3:19

MP3 @ 320 Size: 81.2 MB
Flac  Size: 202 MB


3 comments:

  1. What a great post!!!
    Thanks a lot for the 3 albums!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. One of the best '60s psychedelic bands -- hands down. Cheers! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks and stay safe!
    Longaticum

    ReplyDelete