Monday, June 11, 2012

Electric Flag - A Long Time Comin' (1968)

For being a debut album, A Long Time Comin' is both remarkable for the ambition put into a first release, but also for the quality of its material. Original tracks such as "Over-Lovin' You," "Texas," and "Mystery" are quality songs, but the strength in the album really lies in the instrumental aspects. For example, the instrumental sections in "Sunny" are unexpected but show an understanding of musical transition. The album features a small backing group of horns on the majority of the album, a rarity for the time, which really add a lot to the backgrounds of the tracks as well as presenting some great solos.  It is hard to classify this album solely as blues rock as  there are some aspects of psychedelia such as the opening of "Over-Lovin' You" on electric harpsichord as well the influence of jazz. In some respects it is surprising that the Electric Flag was not more successful or is not more well known. The material is decent, the ideas and concept of the group are original, and Mike Bloomfield can play guitar. In all seriousness, Mike Bloomfield introducing you to the unforgettable sounds of Chicago blues is enough to justify listening to this album. In many ways, this album is a product of its time being released during the waning years of the psychedelia and the beginning of the jazz rock and blues rock crazes. The Electric Flag seems to try to embrace a variety of influences of its time and create an entirely original product. They definitely succeed, but the acceptance of this music is based on the dominating trends of their time.

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