Friends of Extinction

Friends of Extinction

by Dinosaurs
     
 
Friends of Extinction is basically an expanded two-CD reissue of Dinosaurs' sole album, 1988's Dinosaurs, with two outtakes and an entire disc of previously unreleased 1985-1989 live material. It's a little mean-spirited, perhaps, to criticize the recordings of a band that -- as the liner notes make clear -- approached music-making primarily as fun, with

Overview

Friends of Extinction is basically an expanded two-CD reissue of Dinosaurs' sole album, 1988's Dinosaurs, with two outtakes and an entire disc of previously unreleased 1985-1989 live material. It's a little mean-spirited, perhaps, to criticize the recordings of a band that -- as the liner notes make clear -- approached music-making primarily as fun, with virtually no ambitions to make a steady professional career out of the group. Still, their album was no doubt not wholly what fans of the San Francisco bands that had spawned the players were expecting. The opening synth pop rhythms of "Lay Back Baby" seemed to indicate a band determined to get in tune with the sound of the mid-'80s, rather than one set on re-creating past psychedelic glories. That uneasy grappling with more modern sounds surfaces at other points on the album, too, and the lack of a noted vocal frontman hurt, though songs like "Strange Way" had far more of a bittersweet echo of the San Francisco Sound. Only on "Mona" did John Cipollina uncork some psychedelic guitar quaver on par with that heard on recordings by Bay Area bands in the late 1960s, while some other tracks were done in a more workmanlike blues-rock style. The pair of outtakes include one such bluesy workout, "Honky Tonk Jekyll & Hyde," and the brief, jokey, ragtime-flavored "Overnight." The second disc, culled entirely from live shows from various lineups and sources, is a more accurate representation of what Dinosaurs sounded like, and though the fidelity's not always top-of-the-line, it's not problematic. Here they're more of a rough, bluesy, only slightly psychedelic rock band prone to stretching things out, though the material's certainly not on the order of the best songs from the Big Brother & the Holding Company, Country Joe & the Fish or Quicksilver Messenger Service. A couple of numbers from those days are revisited in "Blind Man" and "Codine"; Robert Hunter contributes "Amagamlin Street," and Cipollina's quivering guitar comes through strong at times. It's a patchy document, however, of a band whose casual approach meant that they were probably more well-suited for entertaining die-hard veterans of the San Francisco rock live on-stage than they were for devising noteworthy new music on vinyl.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/11/2009
Label:
Retroworld
UPC:
0805772602427
catalogNumber:
6024

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Dinosaurs   Primary Artist
Merl Saunders   Keyboards,Vocals,Group Member
John Cipollina   Guitar,Vocals,Group Member
Papa John Creach   Fiddle,Vocals,Group Member
Peter Albin   Bass,Vocals,Group Member
Stu Blank   Organ
Spencer Dryden   Drums,Group Member
Greg Elmore   Drums
Kathi McDonald   Vocals
Doug Killmer   Bass
Robbie Hoddinott   Guitar

Technical Credits

Nina Simone   Composer
Merl Saunders   Producer
Robert Hunter   Composer
John Cipollina   Producer
Papa John Creach   Composer
Harold Aceves   Composer
Peter Albin   Arranger
Ira Gershwin   Composer
Ellas McDaniel   Composer
Traditional   Composer
Mick Skidmore   Producer,Liner Notes,Track Selection
Luann Saunders   Composer

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