THE UNFOLDING - "Play Your Game" (Audio Fidelity AFSD-6184) December 1967
This is "Electric Mind Sound" by The Unfolding, so it says on the album sleeve and I'm not gonna argue. I don't think the original albums on Audio Fidelity are that difficult to find but if owning original LPs is no big deal then locate this limited edition re-press on Wah Wah Records from 2012.
They even include a copy of the original insert.
Perhaps the most 'commercial' sounding song of the whole set is the Byrds flavoured "Play Your Game" and at just over two and a half minutes would have been the obvious choice for a single. Sadly, no promo 45s from the album were ever released.
"Play Your Game" has a lovely melody with cosmic stoned drone vibe throughout. The vocals are way off on the right channel, the drummer is inspired, and someone’s playing with the pitch shift again mid-song. An excellent tune, absolutely top-notch psych pop.
From 'Ken', the guitarist. This is on a YT clip of the full album: I can't believe this thing is here; I haven't thought about it in over 40 years. I was the lead guitarist on this record. I was the co-founder, with my friend Peter Gitlin of a band originally called 'Rhinoceros', later called 'Hmmm'.
The story goes like this: A rock magazine writer named David Dalton heard Rhinoceros playing at Cheetah, the first 'discotheque', i.e. 'disco' in New York. We opened for the Grateful Dead, which is not as impossible as it might seem -- they only had one album at that time. Dalton hired us to set his lyrics to music. We hated his lyrics, but since we needed the money, we wrote the music (for the first 3 songs only; David Dalton somehow obtained other weird music for the 'poetry' at the end of the album). The music was recorded at some studio on 42nd Street. All the wacky audio effects were added by the recording engineer there - we hated that also.
None of us wanted our names on the album, but they persuaded us to put our first names only on it. I'm 'Ken'. I'm still a musician, and I still don't make any money, but if you're wondering what might have become of a guy like the lead guitarist on this record. The bass player was Bo Peck, who eventually quit music and went into politics. Bo now lives in Israel. The drummer was Gary Bailey, who also quit music. Gary became a cop in Southern California, now retired. That's funny - when we were in Rhinoceros, it was US whom the cops were after, to see what we had hidden in the glove compartment of our battered psychedelic van.
|Billboard - December 1967|