Friday, October 26, 2012

Country Joe And The Fish - I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die (1967 us, classic west coast protest acid folk psych)

The Fish's second album is quite similar to their first in its organ-heavy psychedelia with Eastern-influenced melodic lines, but markedly inferior to the debut, and much more of a period piece. There's more spaciness and less comic energy here, and while the bandmembers were undoubtedly serious in their explorations, some of these songs are simply silly in their cosmic naivete. 

To be crueler, there is no other album that exemplifies so strongly the kind of San Francisco psychedelia that Frank Zappa skewered on his classic We're Only in It for the Money. The weeping, minor-key melodies, liquid guitar lines, and earnestly self-absorbed quests to explore the inner psyche -- it's almost as if they put themselves up as a dartboard for the Mothers to savage.

For all that, the best songs are good; "Who Am I" and "Thursday" are touching psychedelic ballads. But more notably, the title cut -- whose brash energy is atypical of the album -- was a classic antiwar satire that became one of the decade's most famous protest songs, and the group's most famous track. 
by Richie Unterberger
1. The Fish Cheer / I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die Rag (McDonald) - 3:44
2. Who Am I (McDonald) - 4:05
3. Pat's Song (McDonald) - 5:26
4. Rock Coast Blues (McDonald) - 3:57
5. Magoo (McDonald) - 4:44
6. Janis (McDonald) - 2:36
7. Thought Dream (McDonald) - 6:39
8. Thursday (Cohen, Hirsh) - 3:20
9. Eastern Jam (Bartol, Cohen, Hirsh, Melton) - 4:27
10.Colors For Susan (McDonald) - 5:58

Country Joe And The Fish
*Country Joe McDonald - Vocals, Guitar, Bells, Tambourine
*Barry Melton - Vocals, Guitar
*David Cohen - Guitar, Organ
*Bruce Barthol - Bass, Harmonica
*Gary "Chicken" Hirsh - Drums

1967  Electric Music For The Mind And Body
1968  Together
1969  Live! Fillmore West
1969  Here We Are Again
1970  CJ Fish

Free Text


  1. All my wishes have come true, thank-you Marios!

  2. The previous brilliant album, with songs of love and moments of poetry entitled "Electric Music for the Mind and Body" at the beginning 1967, was released in autumn of the same year, "I Feel Like I'm Fixin 'To Die" which collects the songs most 'beautiful and famous of the entire production of the Country Joe & The Fish.
    Free rock of this Californian band retains all the features of their psychedelic folk rock, indeed, want to be more 'critics, owes them the merit of having first done some good acoustic songs easy impreziosendoli of sounds' acidic.

    1967's "I Feel Like I'm Fixin' To Die" found the band continuing their collaboration with producer Samuel Charters. As on the debut, namesake Joe McDonald was again responsible for the majority of the material. Like the debut, the album sported a mixture of acid-tinged political commentary ('Thought Dream' with it's anti-nuke lyric), summer-of-love ballads ('Thursday') and drug fueled instrumental psych meltdowns ('Eastern Jam'). Unfortunately, this time around McDonald seemed to have largely run out of compositional steam. As a result, much of the debut's goofy humor is absent; replaced by a less appealing emphasis on inner reflection ('Who Am I'). Among the exceptions, 'Janis' was a surprisingly sweet paean to former sweetheart Janis Joplin and the over-the-top 'Acid Commercial'. Elsewhere, little more than a throwaway effort, the goofy title track became the band's best known effort. In case you're wondering about the high asking price; well this copy includes the rare 'Fish Game' insert - looks like it's never been touched.

    "The Fish Cheer & I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die Rag" and 'a ramshackle tune against the Vietnam War, written in reality' by McDonald in 1965 was reused as a pacifist anthem. A satirical song nice, very catchy.
    "Who Am I" and 'a soft ballad exact crossroads of rock electro acoustic guitar with only brief interventions and choruses myeloma.
    "Pat's Song" features soft lines psychedelic read, with excellent phrasing of keyboards, xylophone and a distorted guitar and crude. A beautiful song with excellent acceleration rock him back into the initial lines. The rhythmic and 'almost a march.
    "Rock Coast Blues" slides like a syncopated blues. Excellent and enjoyable rhythm line of drums and bass guitar on which a rough cracks without weighing the piece.
    The dreamy "Magoo" opens on noise storms on which the dishes, the plucking of acoustic and electric guitars and the voice of Joe lead immediately to an acid rock easy extraordinary. In the final part of the piece is strengthened staying in a clear metric psychedelic.
    Pizzicato again for "Janis" (for the Joplin), and 'a delicate ballad folk electro acoustic interventions really interesting keyboards and harmonica.
    "The Bomb Song 'and' the intermezzo opening rocking the soft and surreal" Thought Dream ". The time dictated by bass and drums' slow. David outlines the melody with the organ, Barry outlines the electrical and gently. Great piece. "The Bomb Song (Reprise)" leads to an end.
    "Acid Commercial" scanzonatamente opens with acoustic guitar and kazoo the excellent "Thursday", a folk-rock ballad from light tones acids, in which keyboards and electric guitars seem to play on sounds naive.
    "Eastern Jam" and 'a scratchy rock song very well punctuated by bass and drums and congas, filled with a delicate acid and electric guitars. A great instrumental piece that sees no presence of Joe.
    Acoustic instrumental "Colors for Susan" closes the album. It 'a soft folk song of six minutes with excellent arpeggios also doubled as a wise use of plates and xylophone psichedelizza with harmony.

    Thx Marios.

  3. hi Marios, the 'Free Text' link is broken. (gives account suspended). Any chance of a 're-upload' of this? Thanks.

    1. jp, newest double disc remaster here: