"This compilation features both live and studio cuts. The eleven studio tracks are excellent songs with okay sound quality (this was an early generation cd). Unfortunately, the last eight tracks are embarrassing live tracks that are awful in every way, both in terms of the performance and sound quality. Try the "Electric Music..." or "Fixin' to Die" cds for starters, or the other compilation ("Collected"), but avoid this at all costs. Now that Vanguard has begun remastering their catalogue, hopefully they will see fit to discontinue this cd and give Country Joe and the Fish a compilation disc they can be proud of."
A Great Starter...
K. Kitchen | Montgomery, Pennsylvania | 08/02/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you are just discovering Country Joe & The Fish, this is the album (err...CD) to start with. Half studio and half live, if you don't own anything by Country Joe & The Fish, this is a great sampler to indoctrinate you to one of the great political and one of the most infamous (thanks to the "FISH" Cheer) band of the mid-to-late 1960's.
The studio selections include a demo of "I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die Rag", Joe's ode to Janis Joplin, entitled simply "Janis", the haunting anti-war "Untitled Protest" and the wonderful "Sing Sing Sing" from the band's swan song (which, unfortunately, only included Country Joe and Barry Melton from the original lineup).
The live set, culled from various Fillmore (East and West) concerts and previously unreleased tracks from the Woodstock festival, is excellent. "Superbird (Tricky Dick)" is a great jab at Richard Nixon, who was running for president at the time. The absolute kicker is the two songs from the Woodstock set: Barry Melton's "Love Machine" and a totally, kick-ass electric version of the perenial "I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die-Rag", which absolutely outshines the original studio version.
This serves best as a sampler so you can decide whether or not you'll like CJ & The Fish. They are an acquired taste and many will take a listen and say "No Thanks", but for many of us, this is the springboard album to the rest of the CJ & The Fish library."
Get it before it disappears!!!!
Steve E. Martin | Port Orchard, WA | 02/25/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I finally upgraded my cassette of this double album to CD. I have played this sucker a lot over the years. The live tracks smoke and are only available on this compilation (as far as I know). The studio part includes some of the choice cuts off their studio albums. An Untitled Protests never fails to send shivers down my spine and I've never seen it on another collection. I couldn't believe this was still in print, get it while you can...you won't be sorry"
Country Joe still the best.
DelMar Grill | Houston, Texas | 08/09/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Excellent compilation of the Fishes early work. In my opinion they were psychedelia's best band."