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Country Joe and the Fish went through a personnel change for their fifth album, CJ Fish, adding Greg Dewey, Doug Metzner, and Mark Kapner in place of David Cohen and "Chicken" Hirsh. They retained, however, their primary composers Barry Melton and Country Joe MacDonald, keeping the sound and style of the original band. CJ Fish is not as strong as their other albums, but it does have a few highlights. The content is typical Country Joe and the Fish: more love, less war, and the tunes are only a little fresher than the ideas. On their previous release Here We Are Again, they experimented with various styles. On CJ Fish, they tried to recapture the sound of their previous success, but they "went back to the well" only to find there wasn't much there. Most of the lyrics are thoughtful and bright; many are in rhyme as many of that time were. The overall timbre is interesting, being both joyful and sobering at the same time. Some bright spots in the material are "Hey Bobby," "She's a Bird," and "Hang On," which are delightfully Country Joe. Overall it's not a bad album and no Country Joe and the Fish collection is complete without it.
Performance CreditsCountry Joe & the Fish Primary Artist
Barry Melton Guitar,Vocals
Gregory Leroy Dewey Drums
Mark Kapner Keyboards
Country Joe McDonald Guitar,Harmonica,Vocals,Track Performer
Doug Metzner Bass
Technical CreditsDavid Byrd Cover Art
Tom Wilson Producer
Jules Halfant Art Direction