The 31 Flavors* ‎– Hair

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Tracklist

Hair
Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In
Protest
Free Fuzz
One-Two-Three-Four
Real Far Out
Free Drum
Distortions Of Darkness

Versions (2)

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
CST 592 The 31 Flavors* Hair(LP) Crown Records (2) CST 592 US 1969 Sell This Version
OSR021 The 31 Flavors* Hair(LP, Album, RE) Out-Sider OSR021 Spain 2014 Sell This Version

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music_emporium

music_emporium

September 6, 2013
referencing Hair, LP, CST 592
So, after splitting up The Firebirds recording sessions Crown Records renames the group The 31 Flavors and puts out this Hair LP. Right off the bat, you're assaulted by hideous, I mean HIDEOUS, treacly versions of "Hair" (duh) and "Age of Aquarius (Let The Sunshine In)" (very probably recorded by completely different musicians than The Firebirds).

If my Grammy bought this for my birthday, after being aurally molested by "Aquarius", this would been radiator art, man. Which would be a shame because, following those sonic abortions, is more wild, loose Firebirds material!

A few tracks ("Protest" & "1,2,3,4") sound like they are from the year before heavy fuzz use arrived and rumble along in a garage punk manner - casually (de?)tuned guitars pounding their way through the tracks.

'Free Fuzz' & 'Free Drums', from Light My Fire, reappear here. Wrapping things up is "Distortions of Darkness", which is an instrumental version of Light My Fire's "Reflections II" (and I imagine was probably called "Reflections I" at some point) - only here it's about twelve times as heavy and lurking like a werewolf on barbiturates.

Seriously, it has to be the first example of doom metal - it's pre-Black Sabbath and, though concurrent with Blue Cheer it pretty easily crushes their output in the heaviness department. Am I wrong?

I dunno, but it's a killer slab, I'll tell you that.

Star and a half off for that hippy-drippy Broadway crap the record opens with!!
music_emporium

music_emporium

September 6, 2013
referencing Hair, LP, CST 592
One would really have loved to have been a fly on the wall during contract negotiations between the label and the band that was hired to perform this mat'l - if in fact there were any contract negotiations. It is entirely possible this mat'l was recorded by a studio, even using session musicians, and then sold to an exploitation label such as Crown that was anxious to tap into the new rock format. It is quite obvious this label hadn't a clue, and bundled up whatever they were offered into a package that they could title after a massive hit, in order to the atract attention of unsuspecting buyers, and 'pepper' with other well known hits of the day in "Aquarius" and "Let the Sunshine In". That was plenty for them - the rest they could care less about, as it was little more than filler. Fortunately for us underground fans, this 'filler' managed to see the light of day, though severely butchered in the case of tracks A4 and B3. These are edited portions of a longer track that originally contained another section titled "Free Bass", which was ultimately issued on a companion release credited to The Firebirds. Incidentally, all three sections can be found re-edited back together in their original form on a psych comp by the Arf Arf label, whose title escapes me at the moment. As for the remainder of this, the heavy psych/hard rock tracks are all quite awesome and in a similar vein to Hendrix. The exploitation pop covers headlining this are literally so rediculous as to be rather comical.