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Plain and Fancy

"I hope for nothing, I fear nothing, I am free"

Thursday, November 8, 2012

MU - The Band From The Lost Continent (1971-72/74 us, fascinating psychedelic rock with experimental blues 'n' folk mood, Sundazed double disc set)

Recognize those licks? Fans of Antenna Jimmy (Jeff Cotton’s) unmistakable slide guitar work will hear it off the bat. And this may be the record to clue the skills behind the Magic Band to those who ever thought Captain Beefheart’s troupe were overrated hacks. But Mu is really a Merrell Fankhauser project, the man behind a string of awesome albums including Fapardokly and HMS Bounty’s Things.

The band happened across a copy of James Churchward’s The Lost Continent of Mu, a book about the mythical “Hawaiian Atlantis.” This provided the band name and a set of ideals (the bands’ matching those of the lost civilization) for inspiration. The fascination grew to a point that the group moved to Maui to try and find the lost city themselves.

The sound of Mu is a wholly unique mix of psychedelic rock and rhythm and blues. The interlocking rhythms and primal pulse of the Captain’s music shows its influence, but Mu is a more radio-friendly affair, think the Magic Band Lite. The tunes are largely instrumental and mildly progressive suites, with just enough structure and restraint to entice more conventional listeners. Mu benefits from this, the rare even blend of experimental with consonant songcraft. Cotton turns in some excellent slide, but also bass clarinet, and contributes a good deal of the songwriting. The rhythms are undeniably good, the songs sound better and better, and the drum break on the 9 minute Eternal Thirst (the longest track by a while) nudges the album into the realm of the hypnotic.

After an unissued follow up record recorded in Maui (included on the Sundazed 2CD set). Jeff Cotton, along with Randy Wimmer, left Mu in 1975 to study the Christian Ministry. Merrell grew increasingly fascinated with the lost continent of Mu, recording more albums based on the Mu theme and continuing to play music in the Hawaiian islands. The record they created in 1971 is remarkably fresh, out-there, and absolutely one-of-a-kind. 
by Brendan (The Rising Storm)

Disc One, California 1971-72
1. Ain't No Blues (J. Cotton) - 4:03
2. Ballad Of Brother Lew (M. Fankhauser) - 4:30
3. Blue Form (M. Fankhauser, J. Cotton) - 4:03
4. Interlude (J. Cotton) - 1:56
5. Nobody Wants To Shine (M. Fankhauser, J. Cotton) - 4:08
6. Eternal Thirst (M. Fankhauser, J. Cotton) - 9:34
7. Too Naked For Demetrius (J. Cotton) - 2:32
8. Mumbella Baye Tu La (M. Fankhauser, J. Cotton) - 3:19
9. The Clouds Went That Way (M. Fankhauser) - 3:16
10. One More Day (M. Fankhauser) - 2:29
11. You've Been Here Here Before (M. Fankhauser) - 2:55
12. On Our Way To Hana (M. Fankhauser) - 2:15

Disc Two, Hawaii 1974
1. The Land Of Mu (M. Fankhauser) - 2:03
2. Make A Joyful Noise (M. Fankhauser) - 2:42
3. Haleakala (J. Cotton) - 2:29
4. Blue Jay Blue (M. Fankhauser) - 3:19
5. Showering Rain (J. Cotton) - 3:33
6. I Saw Your Photograph (M. Fankhauser) - 3:40
7. It's Love That Sings The Song (M. Fankhauser) - 3:26
8. You And I (M. Fankhauser, J. Cotton) - 2:46
9. Calling From A Star (M. Fankhauser) - 2:06
10. Waiting For The Sun (J. Cotton) - 2:40
11. Children Of The Rainbow (M. Fankhauser) - 1:07
12. Who Will Write This Song (M. Fankhauser) - 3:21
13. Daybreak Sunshine (M. Fankhauser, J. Cotton) - 3:49
14. Drink From The Fountain (M. Fankhauser, J. Cotton) - 4:41
15. The Love We Bare (M. Fankhauser, J. Cotton) - 2:33
16. In Mu (M. Fankhauser) - 3:04
17. You're Not The Only One (J. Cotton) - 2:59
18. End Of An Era (M. Fankhauser) - 3:07
19. Earth News Interview - 3:45
20. The Awakening  (J. Cotton)- 2:59

*Merrell Fankhauser - Vocals, Guitar
*Jeff Cotton - Vocals, Guitar, Saxophone
*Larry Willey - Bass, Vocals
*Randy Wimer - Percussion

Related Acts
1964-67  Fapardokly 
1968   HMS Bounty - Things

Free Text


mscmichael said...

Nice one ! Thanks very much...

Anonymous said...

Brilliant album indeed, thanks!

Remy said...

Thanks Marios, I'm enjoying the Merrell Fankhauser posts very much.

Anonymous said...

thank you so much for this, now i know what the sleeve notes are.
There is footage of MU with Jeff Cotton on YouTube

ProfessorCalculus said...

Many Thanks

nikos said...

Have this in very shoddy mp3 only.. Would love an upgrade and would be very grateful for a re-post! (the links are dead)..

Marios said...

nikos said...

Great, great! Thanks so much! Please ask for anything you might need (specialist in Sun Ra and Grateful Dead)!

nikos said...

"Eternal Thirst" is a stone classic..