The United States of America
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The United States of America was an American psychedelic and experimental rock band which existed from 1967–1968 in Los Angeles. Their recordings are an example of early use of electronic music in rock and roll.Read More...
A registered Communist starts a band called The United States of America and lands a major label record deal before playing a single live gig? Only in the Sixties. After studying with avant-garde legend John Cage in New York City, composer Joseph Byrd moved to Los Angeles in 1967 and decided to form a psychedelic rock band. His first recruit was ex-girlfriend Dorothy Moskowitz, whose icy vocals formed the perfect complement for the trippy sonic experiments Byrd had in mind.
The band recorded only one self-titled album before dissolving, but it was a memorable one."The American Metaphysical Circus" begins the album with a lilting calliope tune upon which Byrd heaps one patriotic marching band tune after another. Just when the whole insane cacaphony is on the verge of collapse, in comes Moskowitz - transmitting from a sinking submarine. "Cloud Song" features delicate plucked bass and an ever-haunting melody. Like an LSD flashback, the final minutes of closing track "The American Way of Love" features snippets of all the preceding songs flowing in and out of consciousness. "The United States of America" sold poorly upon release, thanks to Columbia's near total lack of faith. As Byrd puts it, "There was scant enthusiasm from the executives for a band whose name they hated, whose music they didn't understand, and whose politics they thought treasonous." But over the years, the group has developed a devoted cult following and influenced numerous modern bands, most notably Broadcast.
Top SongsTotal plays on Last.fm over the last 6 months
- The Garden of Earthly Delights - 101,032 plays
- The American Metaphysical Circus - 91,564 plays
- Cloud Song - 77,801 plays
- Coming Down - 75,583 plays
- Hard Coming Love - 75,966 plays
- Stranded in Time - 68,405 plays
- Where Is Yesterday - 60,256 plays
- I Won't Leave My Wooden Wife for You, Sugar - 59,576 plays
- Love Song for the Dead Che - 42,603 plays
- The American Way of Love - 27,469 plays