"I am what I eat, and it is what you eat is what you are-- a
Annie Van Auken | Planet Earth | 07/26/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT is not a record for the casual listener. It's intense and pulsing-- at times humorous but often nightmarish and disorienting. YAWYE purports to be a movie soundtrack album, but is unlike any soundtrack you've heard. The film it derives from was in part a documentary of a concert and "event" that happened long ago in California.
The title is clearly a reference to LSD, and the album is appropriately trippy. The last cut, "Freakout" by the Electric Flag, with its swirling multi-tracked and at times out of phase sound was simply too intense to be listened to under the influence of that filter-disabling drug.
Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary is featured on YAWYE ostensibly solo, but with Stookey and other PPM musicians as backup. The Paul Butterfield Blues Band performs the kicking title track. John Simon's "My Name Is Jack" was the one song here that got limited FM radio airplay, although "The Family Dog" deserved that honor as well. Simon's clever "The Wabe" has lyrics borrowed from Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky."
The album's most unusual performer, Tiny Tim has two tracks on YAWYE. The second is a crazy version of Sonny & Cher's "I Got You Babe." Tim, in that impossibly high falsetto sings Cher's part, accompanied by Eleanor Barooshian's Sonny, rendered in a smokey and appropriate alto. It's a recording you'll never forget. Tim's backup was The Hawks, Robbie Robertson's group that immediately after these sessions became known as The Band.
The LP's b&w back cover includes incoherently "deep" liner notes printed in curving lines that make reading almost impossible!
This review has only scratched the surface of a fantasmagorical trip. If you didn't experience the psychedelic '60's, here's your chance-- climb aboard! And if you were lucky enough to be there in 1968 . . . listen and remember, if only for a little while.
Teenage Fair (Helmet Commercial) - Rosko
Moments of Soft Persuasion - Peter Yarrow
Silly Girl - Peter Yarrow
Desert Moog Music - John Simon
Be My Baby - Tiny Tim
The Family Dog - John Herold
The Nude Dance - Hamsa El Din
My Name Is Jack - John Simon
I Got You Babe - Tiny Tim/Eleanor Barooshian
You Are What You Eat - Butterfield Blues Band
Beach Music - John Simon
The Wabe - Peter Yarrow/John Simon
Don't Remind Me Now of Time - Peter Yarrow
Painting for Freakout - John Simon
Freakout - The Electric Flag/John Simon"