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Mad River
Mad River
Mad River
Genres: Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
  •  Track Listings (7) - Disc #1

By far the most ominous-sounding of the Bay Area's 1960s psychedelic bands, the music of Berkeley's Mad River comes across like a spiraling, acid-spiked descent into hell. With a raw, garagey style marked by Lawrence Hammo...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Mad River
Title: Mad River
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Edsel Records UK
Original Release Date: 1/1/1968
Re-Release Date: 3/27/2001
Album Type: Import
Genres: Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
Style: Psychedelic Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 740155165123


Album Description
By far the most ominous-sounding of the Bay Area's 1960s psychedelic bands, the music of Berkeley's Mad River comes across like a spiraling, acid-spiked descent into hell. With a raw, garagey style marked by Lawrence Hammond's quavering vocals and the inter-locking exchanges of guitarists David Robinson and Rick Bockner, Mad River's sound conjures a darker, more menacing version of Quicksilver Messenger Service or early Country Joe and The Fish. No wonder the quintet's self-titled 1968 debut has long been at the top of many collector's want lists. Mad River's tabs of tortured soul--cuts like the lysergic opening rush of "Merciful Monks," the lengthy, labyrinthine "The War Goes On," and the truly demented "Amphetamine Gazelle"--add up to one cathartic ride, a ride that psych-heads will be tripping all over themselves to take again and again. Sundazed's exact reproduction of this lost classic is sourced directly from the original Capitol Records stereo masters.

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CD Reviews

San Fran Sound At It's Best!
Jack B. Nimble | East Coast | 12/10/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"First off, I need to mention that this import CD on Edsel was dubbed from a vinyl copy of Mad River's debut LP released on Capitol in 1968. It was NOT transferred and remastered from the original analog master tapes. That said, the CD may not appeal to 60's music purists or collectors such as myself. You may as well purchase a sealed Capitol reissue on vinyl and then import, enhance and burn a copy on CD yourself. This LP is up there with Quicksilver Messenger Service, The Frumious Bandersnatch and Moby Grape for some classic San Fran acid guitar work. "Eastern Light" alone is worth the price of admission, although I like their EP version, "A Gazelle" much better than this LP version, "Amphetamine Gazelle". The EP version can be inexpensively obtained by purchasing The Berkeley EP's that was issued on CD in 1995 on the UK Big Beat label."
It Has Its Moments
Fred Rayworth | Las Vegas, NV United States | 03/28/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I remember seeing this album cover in the record stores and at first though the band was called "Mad Rive." For some reason, I always tended to drop the R because of the psychedelic font. But anyway, my friend Dennis had this album and used to play it once in a while. The only song I remembered was Amphetamine Gazelle because that was his favorite song off the album.

Jump forward to 2006 and I finally got a copy on CD. Well... I can see why the album never got very far. The biggest turn-off to me is the vocals. There is just something about them I don't like. However, after several listens, I've got past that. The music is quirky, dark, and full of surprises. To me, the first two songs pretty much suck but once you get to Amphetamine Gazelle, things start to pick up. They get into some extended psychedelic jams that at times remind me of Country Joe and the Fish yet they are totally different in feel. They also remind me a little of Quicksilver during their Happy Trails era. There is a definite blur when it comes to figuring out the timing and rhythm in some spots and it almost sounds like the musicians are playing different songs in different time signatures. That being said, it is adventurous music and not exactly something you'll ever hear in an elevator, a definite plus!

For those of you that are looking for something different in the psychedelic world, this could just be your album. Recommended.
One of the weirdest records of the sixties
Stephen F Mulcahy | United States | 03/20/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"i really think this is worth about a 3.75. i prefer the follow up record, paradise bar and grill. this is a very weird and eclectic record, like country joe, the youngbloods, quicksilver etc but more jazz and bluegrass influenced strange unpredictable and quirky. some of the songs are nightmarish and the topics and in the playing of the songs are dark themes, its quite ominous and evil sounding in a way not too unlike black sabbath, though the two bands are very different in many ways . its a very 'druggy' album and quite a downer to listen to, though 'amphetamine gazelle', for example is dated, its still a thrill to listen to this track which features acid rock gobbledygook poetry at a breakneck speed...yet its still great stuff! some of the tracks are quite lengthy, but overall if you like the really weird and dark but definitely not flower power stuff from back then you may like this a whole lot."