Ultimate Spinach
(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

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Gli Ultimate Spinach del tastierista e chitarrista Ian Bruce-Douglas e della cantante Barbara Hudson furono protagonisti della scena alternativa di Boston nella seconda meta` degli anni '60. Quel fenomeno fu una trovata pubblicitaria piu` che un vero movimento artistico e l'onesta` degli Ultimate Spinach e` quanto meno dubbia.

Pubblicarono comunque album assai sofisticati. Sul primo (MGM, 1968) spiccano la suite Ballad Of The Hip Death Goddess (con un intermezzo strumentale per theremin, feedback e riverberi) e il blues-folk psicanalitico di Ego Trip. Vennero portati in tribunale da Country Joe per aver copiato Section 43 nella loro Sacrifice Of The Moon (e anche Pamela ricorda un po' la Grace di Country Joe).

Composizioni piu` complesse vivacizzano il secondo Behold And See (MGM, 1968), come la suite in quattro movimenti Genesis Of Beauty e Fragmentary March Of Green, due brani imbevuti di misticismo. Jazz Thing e Mind Flowers sperimentarono tempi e atmosfere ancor piu` insoliti, mentre la graziosa Gilded Lamp Of The Cosmos rappresenta l'apice delle loro ballate folk psichedeliche.
(Nota: la ristampa di Behold And See della Big Beat omette Visions Of Your Reality e rivede liberamente altri brani, e peranto non e` una vera ristampa).
Ian Bruce-Douglas si ritirera` in Florida e una formazione completamente nuova registrera` il terzo album (alla loro testa il chitarrista Jeff Baxter, futuro Steely Dan e Doobie Brothers).

Bruce-Douglas si unira` anni dopo ai Azlbrax che pubblicheranno In The Valley Of The Shadow (Intergalactic, 1988).

The Ultimate Spinach (1) were the most significant psychedelic band from Boston. They specialized in sophisticated suites such as Ballad Of The Hip Death Goddess, from Ultimate Spinach (1968) and Genesis Of Beauty, from Behold And See (1968).
(Translated by Ornella C. Grannis)

The Ultimate Spinach, comprised of keyboardist/guitarist Ian Bruce-Douglas and singer Barbara Hudson was the leading band of Boston's alternative scene in the second half of the 60s. The phenomenon was more a publicity stunt than a legitimate artistic movement.

Despite suffering claims of dishonesty, they published quite sophisticated albums. On Ultimate Spinach (MGM, 1968) the standout cuts are the suite Ballad Of The Hip Death Goddess, with an instrumental interval for theremin (an early electronic instrument), feedback and reverberation, and the psychoanalytic folk- blues Ego Trip. They were taken to court by Country Joe MacDonald for having copied Section 43 in their Sacrifice Of The Moon. Also Pamela is reminiscent of Country Joe's Grace.

More complex compositions, such as the suite in four movements Genesis Of Beauty and Fragmentary March Of Green, two pieces soaked in mysticism, enliven the second album Behold And See (MGM, 1968). Jazz Thing and Mind Flowers experimented with even more unusual tempos and atmosphere, while the graceful Gilded Lamp Of The Cosmos exemplifies the best of their psychedelic folk ballads. (Note: Big Beat's re-release of Behold And See omits Visions Of Your Reality. In addition it liberally edits other cuts, thus it should not be considered a true re-release). Ian Bruce-Douglas eventually retired to Florida and recorded a third album with a completely new lineup, that included guitarist Jeff Baxter, future session man for Steely Dan and the Doobie Brothers.

Years later Bruce-Douglas joined the Azlbrax, with whom he released In The Valley Of The Shadow (Intergalactic, 1988).

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