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Plain and Fancy

Music gives soul to universe, wings to mind, flight to imagination, charm to sadness, and life to everything.


Sunday, May 29, 2022

Fever Tree - Fever Tree (1968 us, classic psych rock, 2011 digipak remaster)

The self-titled debut album of this unfairly neglected psychedelic band is an odd mix of slick studio work laced with surprising moments of eclecticism, from soundtrack references to hard rock worthy of the best bands of the time. They open up with a pretty good piece of musical prestidigitation, melding Johann Sebastian Bach and Ennio Morricone into the album's first track, which segues neatly into a hard rock style that's their own on the spaced-out, Ravel-laced "Where Do You Go," which sounds like the Doors and the Jimi Hendrix Experience jamming together. They also roll over "Day Tripper" and "We Can Work It Out," squeezed into a two-song medley, like a proto-metal steamroller while quoting "Norwegian Wood" and "Eleanor Rigby"; then switch gears into a beautifully elegant, gently orchestrated pop/rock rendition of Neil Young's "Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing" that's worth the price of admission by itself.

The harder rocking numbers (especially "San Francisco Girls") are highly diverting artifacts of their time, while the last two songs, "Unlock My Door" and "Come with Me (Rainsong)," show off a totally unexpected and beautifully reflective folk-rock side to their sound that's strongly reminiscent of Phil Ochs' work on Pleasures of the Harbor and Tape from California. The variations in sound and content, plus the fact that the only keyboard player, Rob Landes, made any large contribution to the in-house songwriting (mostly the work of their producers, Scott & Vivian Holtzman), makes it difficult to pin down precisely what Fever Tree was about, beyond the evidence at hand; but taken on its own terms, the album ought to be better known than it is, which is probably also true of the band itself. 
by Bruce Eder

1. Imitation Situation 1 (Toccata and Fugue) (Scott Holtzman, Vivian Holtzman, Rob Landes, J.S. Bach) - 1:36
....Where Do You Go? (Scott Holtzman, Vivian Holtzman, Michael Knust) - 2:28
2. San Franciscan Girls (Return of the Native) (Scott Holtzman, Vivian Holtzman, , Michael Knust) - 4:04
3. Ninety-Nine and One-Half  (Wilson Pickett, Steve Cropper, Eddie Floyd) - 2:47
4. Man Who Paints the Pictures (Scott Holtzman, Vivian Holtzman, Michael Knust) - 2:35
5. Filligree and Shadow (Scott Holtzman, Vivian Holtzman, Michael Knust) - 3:57
6. The Sun Also Rises (Scott Holtzman, Vivian Holtzman, Rob Landes) - 2:43
7. Day Tripper/We Can Work It Out (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) - 3:31
8. Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing (Neil Young) - 3:05
9. Unlock My Door (Scott Holtzman, Vivian Holtzman, Rob Landes) - 3:49
10. Come with Me (Rainsong) (Scott Holtzman, Vivian Holtzman, Rob Landes) - 3:50

Fever Tree
*Dennis Keller - Vocals
*Michael Stephen Knust - Guitar
*Rob Landes - Synthesizer, Organ, Piano
*E.E. "Bud" Wolfe - Bass Guitar
*John Tuttle - Drums

1968-69  Fever Tree - Fever Tree / Another Time, Another Place
1969-70  Fever Tree - Creation / For Sale


  1. "The sun always rises"

    is just so cool i want to play it all the time

  2. I meant "The Sun always Rises" :)

  3. A friend raved about this album and recommended i come here to check it out.
    So i thought 'ok i'll go to the blog that he mentioned and check it out'
    To be honest i'm really upset with him and this blog too for raising my hopes about this Lp.
    l'm really gutted because it is really not as good as people have said.
    Thanks for posting though i appreciate that.Fennell.

  4. During the summer of 1968, this was our go-to album. We were living on west 10th St. in the Village off Sheridan Square, and we (larry, Ed, and I) loved it! Ok, there were piles of great music, but somehow this was the one we came back to. Easily, the best of their albums.

    Ah, those halcyon days...