The Red Crayola were one of the greatest psychedelic bands of the 1960s and probably of all times. They played extremely wild experimental music that was decades ahead of its time. They predated Germany's expressionistic rock (Faust) and the American new wave (Pere Ubu). Their "freak outs" were closer to John Coltrane's free-jazz and to Jackson Pollock's abstract paintings than to rock and roll.
Their leader, Mayo Thompson, is a composer who ranks among the greatest living musicians (classical, jazz, rock). His revolutionary compositional style had few stable coordinates. His pieces float not because they are ethereal but because melody and rhythm are left "loose". They are organisms that rely on supporting skeletons that are falling apart as they move.
Thompson placed his art firmly in the iconoclastic tradition that Frank Zappa had just founded, and simply increased the amount and the speed of noise. Parable Of Arable Land (1967) is one of the milestones of rock music, a carousel of savage harmonic inventions/sabotages.
God Bless (1968), composed after a stay in New York and a collaboration with Joe Byrd of the United States Of America, was even more experimental if less unified (it contains twenty aleatory fragments) - than the first album.
The album still shows a natural bent towards the ways of the learned American avant-garde (from Varese to Cage), even though terribly transfigured.
by Piero Scaruffi
1. Say Hello to Jamie Jones - 2:30
2. Music - 1:00
3. The Shirt - 2:30
4. Listen to This - 0:04
5. Save the House - 1:24
6. Victory Garden - 1:48
7. Coconut Hotel - 1:22
8. Sheriff Jack - 2:12
9. Free Piece - 2:18
10.Ravi Shankar: Parachutist - 2:09
11.Piece for Piano and Electric Bass - 0:45
12.Dairymaid's Lament - 2:30
13.Big - 1:37
14.Leejol - 2:40
15.Sherlock Holmes - 2:55
16.Dirth of Tilth - 1:26
17.Tina's Gone to Have a Baby - 1:49
18.The Jewels of the Madonna - 1:29
19.Green of My Pants - 3:00
20.Night Song - 1:52
Words and Music by Red Crayola
The Red Crayola
*Steve Cunningham – Bass
*Tommy Smith – Drums
*Mayo Thompson – Guitar, Piano, Vocals
1970 Mayo Thompson - Corky's Debt to His Father