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15 October 2012
Cool Aid Benefit & Mother Tuckers revisited
Now Playing: Mock Duck "Do Re Mi"
Topic: Minor change or comment

A couple of years back an expanded reissue of the obscure Cool Aid Benefit album from Vancouver BC arrived on the scene. I finally got around to checking this out, mainly on the idea that there might be some previously unheard Mother Tuckers Yellow Duck material on board. Indeed there was, but that was just one aspect to this attractive repro job, which is available as a 2-CD set on Regenerator Records or as a double vinyl LP on Lightning Tree.

First off, the MTYD deal is that you get yet another version of their signature track "I". This one is slower and a little heavier than the familiar 45 version, and it may be identical to the 'alternate' 45 version mentioned in an earlier post below. In any event, clearly different from what is known, and quite good. This was part of the original Cool Aid Benefit album, which was trimmed down to a single disc release for reasons of cost and also because Capitol wouldn't let MTYD partake with more than just that "I" track. So an entire 2nd disc of Cool Aid Benefit material was cancelled, but is gloriously reinstated with this reissue, and as far as I can tell, it's just as good as the first, original disc.

Mother Tuckers pop up with another song on the second disc, and it seems to be unique and previously unreleased, titled "Mountain Joy" and in the style of their 2nd and more mellow Capitol LP. In addition we get more material from Mock Duck (3 tracks), Hydro Electric Street Car, Spring, Nancy and Black Snake, all of whom were on the original 1969 album. Some of this stuff is quite good, and it holds together very well with that special Vancouver mix of westcoast and UK artrock vibes. Even the spoken word poem is quite enjoyable.

The first disc has Mock Duck's "Do Re Mi" and the attractive "Golden Girl" by Papa Bear's, who do not appear on the withdrawn bonus disc but nevertheless had an entire 'demo' album out at the time, as you probably know. The other stuff is all solid 1969 longhair music. All over, the 4 sides make up for a very enjoyable snapshot of an above average local scene, which someone ought to do a more indepth presentation of some day... how about a retrospective book on the Seattle & Vancouver '60s scenes, jam-packed with rare paraphernalia, band photos and discographies? I'd buy that for a dollar, even a Canadian dollar.

But wait, there's more. As a bonus to the 2-CD set you get a DVD disc with CBC TV material including a short docu on the Cool Aid Benefit house (a sort of shelter/crash pad/youth center for wayward teens) plus live video recordings of Spring (adept jazz-prog-westcoast like early Santana), Papa Bears (two dull tracks in their vaudeville style), Mother Tuckers ("I" and "Times Theyre Changing") and Mock Duck (the great "Do Re Mi" and "Hurt On Me"). All of this has been in circulation before except the Spring material (and maybe that too). The quality is good or very good, and my only complaint is that they didn't include all 5 tracks by Mother Tuckers.

All in all, one of the most interesting reissues I've picked up this year. I hope those dumbass LP collectors can lose their weird prejudice against 'various artist' records and understand the delightful trip that a snapshot of a time and place brings. Man, I love various artist records, if they're done around a theme.

Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 22:17 MEST
Updated: 16 October 2012 01:14 MEST
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