Hurricane Fighter Plane

Hurricane Fighter Plane

by The Red Krayola


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Hurricane Fighter Plane

These two albums, Parable of Arable Land and God Bless the Red Krayola and All Who Sail with It, recorded in 1967 and 1968, are the cornerstone of the Red Krayola legend and two of the most famous records in avant-garde '60s rock. Originally released on Lelan Rogers' fabled International Artists label (home to the 13th Floor Elevators and Bubble Puppy, among others), these albums are uncompromisingly weird artifacts that move right beyond psychedelic into "freakishly strange." Parable of Arable Land is the better-known of the two, having been recorded in a legendary one-day session where the core band (including singer/guitarist Mayo Thompson, bassist Steve Cunningham, and drummer Frederick Barthelme, who would later gain considerably more fame as a novelist), invited a group of fellow travelers, including the Elevators' Roky Erickson, into the studio to record the "Free Form Freakouts" which appear between the proper songs. Of those songs, the almost punky "Hurricane Fighter Plane," with a squalling organ solo by Erickson, and the plain freaky "Pink Stainless Tail" are the highlights, but the whole thing is a sonic onslaught that makes Captain Beefheart's Trout Mask Replica, its nearest point of comparison, sound downright normal. God Bless the Red Krayola and All Who Sail With It, recorded as a simple trio with new drummer Tommy Smith, is a much more straightforward album, and it's actually better than its more renowned predecessor. The 20 tracks, ranging from the four-second (no kidding) "Listen to This" to the comparatively expansive "Green of My Pants," which just barely breaks the three-minute barrier, are simple enough that the utter weirdness of Thompson's lyrics really shines through. Surprisingly enough, some of the songs are downright catchy; the opening "Say Hello to Jamie Jones" moves along on a hushed Thompson vocal and a perky Cunningham bassline, sounding for all the world like a post-punk experiment from late-'70s London. This double-CD, with better sound than the later Collectables single discs, is the best way to discover the Red Krayola; the merely curious may want to end their search here as well. This package was reissued handsomely in 2006 by the German label Atom. Both recordings are packaged in a slim case with fine artwork on the slipcase. The notes are spare, but they work and tell the story, and the sound is much improved over earlier issues as this set has been remastered in 24-bit digital sound. For an import, the price is right as well. This double-CD is highly recommended as Red Krayola's critically well-received activity in the '90s warrants a revisiting of this vintage material. ~ Stewart Mason and Thom Jurek

Product Details

Release Date: 05/23/2006
Label: Atom
UPC: 0883717400024
catalogNumber: 22024
Rank: 132867

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