Ed Sanders


Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1

- Ed Sanders - vocals, autoharp

 

  supporting musicians (1972)

- Mike Epstein - drums, percussion, backing vocals

- Jake Jacobs - guitar, percussion, backing vocals

- Rob Ribstein - bass, keyboards, percussion. backing vocals


 

 

The Fugs (Ed Sanders)

- Jake & Family Jewles (Jake Jacobs)

 

 


 

Genre: rock

Rating: ** (2 stars)

Title:  Beer Cans On the Moon

Company: Reprise

Catalog: MS-2195

Year: 1972

Country/State: Kansas City, Missouri

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: cut top right corner

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 4481

Price: $25.00

Cost: $66.00

 

So what do you get when you let a Fugs founder go solo?  

 

Well, in the case of 1972's self-produced "Beer Cans On the Moon" you got a mixture of plain goofiness and badly dated political and social commentary and satire.  If you were a Fugs fan then this was probably going to appeal to you.  If you were not hip to The Fugs, then the combination of Sanders' somewhat limited vocal skills (his nasal whine was an acquired taste), was liable to turn off some folks (particularly anyone under say 30).  Certainly nothing with someone having an activist agenda, but some four decades later most of this stuff hasn't aged all that well - how many Gen Xers are going to identify with 'Henry Kissinger', 'Shredding Machine' and 'Pity the Bird'.  On the other hand, keep in mind Sanders  garnered his literary acclaim for a reason and there were some clever moments here (doesn't he own a book store in New York City?).  The lead off number 'Rock & Roll People' served to skewer a well deserving group that tend to needlessly held themselves in high regard.  No idea what it was about, but Sanders' collaboration with William Blake 'Albion Crags' was a cool slice of lysergic soaked rock. Geez he even managed to craft a song that managed to link a yodeling robot lusting for Dolly Parton 'Yodeling Robot'.  Elsewhere, 'Kaw Valley Progressive Hempune' had a nice little cop from John Lennon's 'Happiness Is a Warm Gun'.   Clearly the album wasn't going to appeal to everyone, but it was bound to stir memories for someone out there.  (Sales proved non-existent and today the LP's surprisingly hard to locate today.)

 

"Beer Cans On the Moon" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Rock & Roll People   (Ed Sanders) - 3:00

Not exactly what I was expecting - it was actually a '50s rock tune with a surprisingly non-sardonic, positive outlook on life.   Okay, okay, it was a bit snarky, but nowhere as snide as you would have expected.   Long live rock and rock people ...   rating: *** stars

2.) Nonviolent Direct Action   (Ed Sanders) - 1:55

Darn, who would have expected anyone to be able to frame a song title like 'Nonviolent Direct Action' with a decent folk-rock melody?  Certainly not me.   rating: *** stars

3.) Henry Kissinger   (Ed Sanders) - 2:53

Okay, here it went off the rails into political satire ...   Wonder if Kissinger ever heard the tune?   rating: ** stars

4.) Shredding Machine   (Ed Sanders) - 3:23

With a strange mid-eastern vibe, the lyric seemed to be an early Watergate call to arms with the hero being columnist Jack Anderson.   Sounds like ancient history decades after the event.   rating: *** stars

5.) Pity the Bird   (Ed Sanders) - 3:14

Folk arrangement for a track dedicated to an early-'70s oil spill off the coast of Southern California.  rating: ** stars

6.) Kaw Valley Progressive Hempune   (Ed Sanders) - 3:49

Country tune and I'll readily admit It took me a little time and effort to figure out what the song was about ..  Apparently the Nixon administration got serious about fighting drugs and this was a tribute to commune life growing hemp, or a related cash cost.  Always liked the little nod to The beatles' "Happiness Is a Warm Gun'.    rating: ** stars

 

(side 2)

1.) Beer Cans On the Moon   (Ed Sanders) - 3:00

More country moves, though this time around Sanders and company managed to find a decent melody to go along with the tune.  Gawd only knows what this one was about.   rating: *** stars

2.) Albion Crags   (William Blake - Ed Sanders) - 3:50

Hum, co-writing something with William Blake !!!  Well, though the lyrics were incomprehensible, 'Albion Crags' was easily the album's best sounding tune.  The bizarre lyrics (invisible worms, etc.), and a lysergic feeling gave it a great edge.   rating: **** stars

3.) Yodeling Robot   (Ed Sanders) - 3:35

Treated autoharp and a lyric about a robot in love with Dolly Parton ...   If that didn't make you scratch your head, then Sanders yodeling would.   rating: *** stars

4.) Priestess   (Ed Sanders) - 2:49

Imagine John Sebastian and company had they lost their sunny disposition in favor of some of the most twisted humor you've ever heard.  Never know what the neighbors are going to really be like ...   rating: *** stars

5.) Universal Rent Strike Rag   (Ed Sanders) - 1:58

The title is a pretty good description of what to expect ...  dull musically and dull lyrically.  At least it was short.  rating: ** stars

6.) Six Pack of Sunshine   (Ed Sanders) - 3:03

Nice country-rock melody and a nice display of Sanders gift with words.   Stand up and salute his vision of America.   rating: *** stars

 

 

 

 

 

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