THE LAST DAYS
The Counter Culture’s Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll Psychedelic Circus Pulls Up Stakes
By 1976 the Counter-Culture landscape had changed. No longer were the Tribes’ brightly-colored tents seen in towns across the land. And while the Vibe still existed, it now had a distinct melancholy edge. The times they were a changin’ again.
The Last of the Hippies and Tribes of the CounterCulture’s Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll Psychedelic Circus were pulling up their Big Top tent stakes and movin’ on, mentally and physically.
We had won many important battles, we had succeeded on many levels, he had world-class fun, but what was next?
00individual was still putting in his last efforts as a Record Store Manager, still maintained a “house” with friends for the Die Hard Last of the Last to stop by and have a few laughs, smoke some secret stash of Marijuana and/or Hashish and on special nights some Thai Stick, Rock some Classic Albums and part company . . . possibly for the last time.
The end of the Historic Ride was near, very near, and there was nothing anyone could do to prevent it. People had changed, music had changed, relationships changed, everything was in flux.
Coming off the early-to-mid ’70s Cocaine Fun, our Tribe had been doing Heroin for the past couple years, but we were responsible low-level non-shooting fully-functioning Hipsters and just dug the whole inner warm and outer coolness vibe.
Heroin proved to be the last entree on the Drug World Menu and contributed to the fact that unless we got real exotic, we had pretty much gone through everything on the Menu – many times.
Sadly, regrettably, the thrill was gone for 00individual and Tribes across the Nations. Not because of drugs, they were just the joyous vehicles we rode to get to this point, it was the daily disappearance of our world, a magickal place that we loved to live in, a place where extraordinary events were experienced on a daily basis, a place that no matter where we were, was “home”.
And while this “teens to twenties” scenario could be applied to every generation, for us it was very different, the Love Generation had matured and became consciously aware at a much earlier age than any prior generation due to many reasons, of which drugs, if benefited by enlightenment, were certainly catalysts. Therefore, the Brotherly Love, the Unity, The Vibe, that was once felt only magnified the separation pain of the Tribes universally across the Nations. They were us, we were them – the air was thick with empathy and tinged with an unspoken sadness.
The “Last Days” writing on the wall changed from the welcome purple blacklight glow into tubular neon and Disco mirror balls. It was time to move on with life, and 00individual, graced with getting out at just the right time and shifting modes to adapt, left the retail Record Biz behind, literally and symbolically – but was able to obtain one last Gem; the excellent album . . .
Tales of Mystery and Imagination by The Alan Parsons Project.
THE ALAN PARSONS PROJECT
TALES OF MYSTERY AND IMAGINATION – Edgar Allen Poe – May 1976
Those in the know were aware of Alan Parsons’ engineering wizardry by his history-making influence on Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon album. And here’s where a symbiosis takes place, as this album has a very satisfying Floydian flavor that goes down easy with a “why we love them” typical Floyd blend of Hard Rock and Ethereal Rock.
Here is a near perfect album with world class scored and arranged songs, musicianship and engineering and with a great mixture of lead vocals and satisfying Hard Rock tracks – and then there’s Side Two.
Side One is a totally-polished dramatic Rockfest that has Orson Welles (Citizen Kane) and Arthur Brown (the Crazy World of); two icons in their own right but on opposite ends of any spectrum.
Mr. Welles distinct voice sets the tone with his inimitable sternly mysterious voice that always has a darkly-humorous tinge. Arthur Brown’s vocal on The Raven is downright crazed to match the equal force of this Hard Rock track.
Another highlight is (The System of) Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether, an infectious driving Rocker.
Side Two’s The Fall of the House of Usher is a flat-out magnificent instrumental featuring a thrilling symphonic “film soundtrack” Rock extravaganza that ends with the beautiful soulful To One in Paradise.
00individual was deep into film soundtracks by ’76 with over 350 choice current, obscure, import and classic OST albums of righteous sounds and this Side Two qualifies as an upper echelon “soundtrack”.
Tales of Mystery and Imagination was just that, an album that delivered Edgar Allen Poe’s eloquent mysterious and horrific literary tales into imaginative iconic songs whose melancholy mood eerily reflected the turning pages of our lives.
TALES OF MYSTERY AND IMAGINATION
All songs written and composed by Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson, except where noted.
1. “A Dream Within a Dream” Orson Wells 4:14
2. “The Raven” Leonard Whiting and Alan Parsons 3:57
3. “The Tell-Tale Heart” Arthur Brown 4:38
4. “The Cask of Amontillado” John Miles and Terry Sylvester 4:33
5. “(The System of) Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether” John Miles and Jack Harris 4:20
1. “The Fall of the House of Usher (Parsons, Woolfson, Andrew Powell)
“Prelude” – 7:02
“Arrival” – 2:39
“Intermezzo” – 1:00
“Pavane” – 4:36
“Fall” – 0:51″
2. “To One in Paradise” Terry Sylvester 4:46.
This album was released at the perfect time to salute the past and embrace the future;
00individual was twenty-five when this exceptional album was released and did just that.
After Rockin’ the Rack Jobber and Record Store Manager jobs of the early-to-mid ’70s, 00individual continued with his art with success in the ’80s with textile design, in the ’90s with collectible statue and action figure sculptures and designs, in the ’00/’10s with his own company and currently with conceptual design, branding, and website eye-candy for start-ups.
And the creative Jones is still satisfied for the last three years with this site of true tales and original art.
00individual sincerely thanks any and all whose positive or negative actions contributed to his continued experience as an artist living a creative life.
. . . and if you’re reading this, that means you too – thanks!
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