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Saturday, May 16, 2020

Country Joe And The Fish - Together (1968 us, magnificent acid folk psych rock, 2005 remaster)

Together, Country Joe & the Fish's third album, was the group's most consistent, most democratic, and their best-selling record. Unlike their first two albums, which were dominated by Country Joe McDonald's voice and compositions, Together featured the rest of the band -- guitarists Barry Melton and David Cohen, bassist Bruce Barthol, and drummer Chicken Hirsh -- almost as prominently as McDonald.

That's usually a formula for disaster, but in this case it gave the album more variety and depth: McDonald tended to favor droning mantras like the album-closing "An Untitled Protest," which worked better when contrasted with the likes of Melton's catchy anti-New York diatribe, "The Streets of Your Town," and the group-written "Rock and Soul Music." Songs like the latter cast the group as a soul revue, true, and they couldn't quite pull that off, but Together had the charming quality of unpredictability; you never knew what was coming next. 

Unfortunately, what came next in the band's career was a split. Barthol was out by September 1968, Cohen and Hirsh followed in January 1969. Thereafter, McDonald and Melton fronted various Fish aggregations, but it was never the same, even when this lineup regrouped for Reunion in 1977. 
by William Ruhlmann 

1. Rock And Soul Music (Country Joe McDonald, Barry Melton, David Cohen, Bruce Barthol, Gary "Chicken" Hirsh) - 6:54
2. Susan (Gary "Chicken" Hirsh) - 3:31
3. Mojo Navigator (Ed Denson, Barry Melton, Country Joe McDonald) - 2:27
4. Bright Suburban Mr. And Mrs. Clean Machine (Gary "Chicken" Hirsh, Barry Melton) - 2:22
5. Good Guys-Bad Guys Cheer-The Streets Of Your Town (Barry Melton) - 3:42
6. The Fish Moan - 0:28
7. The Harlem Song (Country Joe McDonald) - 4:23
8. Waltzing In The Moonlight (Gary "Chicken" Hirsh, Barry Melton) - 2:16
9. Away Bounce My Bubbles (Gary "Chicken" Hirsh) - 2:28
10.Cetacean (Bruce Barthol) - 3:41
11.An Untitled Protest (Country Joe McDonald) - 2:48

Country Joe And The Fish
*Country Joe McDonald - Vocals, Rap, Lead Guitar
*Barry Melton - Vocals, Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar
*David Cohen - Rhythm Guitar, Organ, Lead Guitar, Organ, Piano
*Bruce Barthol - Bass, Vocals, Backing Vocals
*Gary "Chicken" Hirsh - Drums, Vocals, Bells

1965-71  The First Three E.P's
1967  Country Joe And The Fish - I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die (2013 digi pack double disc set)
1967  Electric Music For The Mind And Body (2013 double disc remaster)
1968  Together
1969  Live! Fillmore West
1969  Here We Are Again
1970  CJ Fish
1970  Tonight I'm Singing Just For You
1971  Hold On It's Coming
1971  War War War
1973  Paris Sessions 
1969  Various Artists - Quiet Days In Clichy (2010 remaster)

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