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American Metaphysical Circus
Joe Byrd & Field Hippies
American Metaphysical Circus
Genres: Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1

2007 digitally remastered and repackaged edition of the 1969 album from Joe Byrd & The Field Hippies. Joe Byrd was originally the main man behind The United States Of America, one of Rock's most underappreciated cult bands...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Joe Byrd & Field Hippies
Title: American Metaphysical Circus
Members Wishing: 4
Total Copies: 0
Label: Acadia Records
Release Date: 11/2/2007
Album Type: Import, Original recording remastered
Genres: Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
Style: Psychedelic Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 805772814424


Album Description
2007 digitally remastered and repackaged edition of the 1969 album from Joe Byrd & The Field Hippies. Joe Byrd was originally the main man behind The United States Of America, one of Rock's most underappreciated cult bands. American Metaphysical Circus was Joe's follow-up to the first TUSofA album, and musically, this album continues where that album left off. Acadia.

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CD Reviews

An american dream
M. A. Blizard | San Antonio, Texas USA | 12/27/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Joe Byrd disolved the United States of America only to return to the studio in 1969 with a diverse group of musicians (obliquely named "The Field Hippies") and produce The American Metaphysical Circus. Essentially it is an extension of his prior work minus the stellar vocals of Dorothy Moskowitz and the inherent tensions that structured the dynamic of the USofA. Without these factors, The American Metaphysical Circus is often pale in comparison. Still present are the biting political lyrics and the study of American music as well as other musical forms. Often overboard on his willingness to meld traditional pieces of Americana into his political and musical vision, this album is, nonetheless a very worthy addition to the collection of anyone interested in an authentic pursuit of music or, specifically, the work / world of Joe Byrd.

The songs that stand out are
"Kalyani" for its other-worldlyness and layers;
"You Can't Ever Come Down" for being a weak reproduction of the same song on TUSofA.
"Nightmare Train" and "Invisible Man" for being well-crafted.
"The Elephant at the Door" for being the strongest piece on the album -- certainly this is the sole track that stands up to the work on TUSofA. The guitar-work is absolutely remarkable!
"Leisure World" -- a bit of a one-liner that is biting in its ridicule of the social structure within which we encapsulate the elderly.

For those who respect and are intrigued by Joe's authentic search and the energy and intelligence that he brought to psychedelic music, by all means, purchase this cd. Ultimately, it is more of an intellectual foray into American music and politics and less of a happening; however, the stronger tracks are compelling and will draw you into their arabesque choreography and layers. I am convinced that Joe truly understood and wanted to explore the complexity and contradiction that is America.

Not a digital remaster
Fusion07 | Gainesville, FL | 12/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"While it is nice to have this historic record back in print again, finally, it is NOT a digital remaster. It instead sounds as if it was dubbed from a record which itself was decent, if not perfect, as there is in fact a three-revolution "pop" near the end of one of the tracks. The liner notes are an opinion piece which rely heavily on Byrd's 2004 interview in "Clocks and Clouds" with Beppe Colli, and are acknowledged as such."
Worn better than expected
Met600 | Kent, UK | 03/01/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The LP was almost impossible to get in the UK when first released, which hightened expectations even more after the incredible experience that the USA album brought.

When I eventually did get a copy of the LP I was a bit let down - the singers weren't up to Dorothy's level and there were too many "non-rock" tracks for my (then) hippie sensitivites ;-)

So buying this CD I was a little wary, especially with the warning about it being a vinyl transfer.

Musically, it's much better than I remembered and I can now appreciate some of the Ivesian/ragtime elements better, and The Sub-Sylvan Litanies is as good as anything on USA. I do miss the sinister violin of Gordon Marron though...

Sonically, it's good. I contacted the record label before buying and they tell me they sourced the master from Sony, and the only pops and crackles I can hear are the ones intended to be there on Mister 4th Of July.