Blowing smoke rings from the corners of my my, my, my, my mouth

Marrakesh Express – Crosby Stills & Nash (1969) 192Khz/24bit FLAC ~MetalGuruMessiah~

“Marrakesh Express” was released in the spring of 1969 on Crosby, Stills & Nash’s eponymous first album. It spawned two Top 40 hit singles, “Marrakesh Express” and “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” which peaked respectively at #28 the week of August 23, 1969, and at #21 the week of December 6, 1969, on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. The album itself peaked at #6 on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart. It was certified four times platinum by the RIAA for sales of over 4,200,000.

Crosby, Stills & Nash is such a great album, and I’m working on my Wes Anderson Criterion Blu-ray collection (lack only “The Darjeeling Limited” and “Fantastic Mr. Fox”..and my favorite of his films, “Budapest Hotel” (his latest) which hasn’t yet received the treatment)….so since I didn’t have anything else ready, I made this very quickie mashup. I hope you enjoy it. PS….buy the movie on Criterion Blu-ray if you haven’t yet and are as big as I am. The video is my first encoded in 4K UDH (though the source material is not 4K…i’m just experimenting with the format).

The album was a very strong debut for the band, instantly lifting them to stardom. Along with the Byrds’ Sweetheart of the Rodeo and The Band’s Music from Big Pink of the previous year, it helped initiate a sea change in popular music away from the ruling late sixties aesthetic of bands playing blues-based rock music on loud guitars. Crosby, Stills & Nash presented a new wrinkle in building upon rock’s roots, utilizing folk, blues, and even jazz without specifically sounding like mere duplication. Not only blending voices, the three meshed their differing strengths, David Crosby for social commentary and atmospheric mood pieces, Stephen Stills for his diverse musical skills and for folding folk and country elements subtly into complex rock structures, and Graham Nash for his radio-friendly pop melodies, to create an amalgam of broad appeal. The album features some of their best known songs: “Helplessly Hoping”, “Long Time Gone” (a response to the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy), “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” (composed for Judy Collins) and “Wooden Ships” (co-written with Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane).

This album proved very influential on many levels to the dominant popular music scene in America for much of the 1970s. The success of the album generated gravitas for the group within the industry, and galvanized interest in signing like acts, many of whom came under management and representation by the CSN team of Elliot Roberts and David Geffen. Strong sales, combined with the group’s emphasis on personal confession in its writing, paved the way for the success of the singer-songwriter movement of the early seventies.

In a contemporary review, Rolling Stone critic Barry Franklin called Crosby, Stills & Nash “an eminently playable record” and “especially satisfying work”, finding the songwriting and vocal harmonies particularly exceptional. Robert Christgau was less enthusiastic in The Village Voice: “I have written elsewhere that this album is perfect, but that is not necessarily a compliment. Only Crosby’s vocal on ‘Long Time Gone’ saves it from a special castrati award.” In a retrospective review, Jason Akeny of AllMusic believed some of the songs’ themes “haven’t dated well” but “the harmonies are absolutely timeless, and the best material remains rock-solid”. In 2003, Rolling Stone ranked Crosby, Stills & Nash number 259 on their list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Jefferson Airplane guitarist Paul Kantner was finally credited as co-composer of “Wooden Ships” on the expanded edition reissue, something long acknowledged on his group’s version of the song from their Volunteers album, released the same year.

Looking at the world
Through the sunset in your eyes
Trying to make the train
Through clear Moroccan skies
Ducks and pigs and chickens call
Animal carpet wall to wall
American ladies five foot tall in blue.
Sweeping cobwebs from the edges of my mind
Had to get away to see what we could find
Hope the days that lie ahead
Bring us back to where they’ve led
Listen not to what’s been said to you
Would you know we’re riding
On the Marrakesh Express
Would you know we’re riding
On the Marrakesh Express
All on board that train
I’ve been saving all my money just to take you there
I smell the garden in your hair
Take the train from Casablanca going south
Blowing smoke rings from the corners of my my, my, my, my mouth
Colored cottons hang in air
Charming cobras in the square
Striped Djellebas we can wear at home
Don’t you know we’re riding on the Marrakesh Express
Don’t you know we’re riding on the Marrakesh Express
They’re taking me to Marrakesh Express
Don’t you know we’re riding on the Marrakesh Express
Don’t you know we’re riding on the Marrakesh Express
They’re taking me to Marrakesh
All on board that train
All on board that train


Way down below the ocean!

Atlantis – Donovan (1969) Audio Fidelity SACD FLAC 1080p Video ~MetalGuruMessiah~

“Atlantis” was released in the summer of 1969 on Donovan’s seventh studio, Barabajagal. I’ve had various requests for a video to this track through the past few years (thanks Jeannie E. Hess ;-), and I was happy to finally get around to working up something for it. *Sorry to see that the video is currently blocked in 230 countries. 😦

I extracted a high bit FLAC from Audio Fidelity’s Storyteller SACD for this video….hands down the best sounding version of “Atlantis” you’ll ever hear.

This is my second video for a Donovan classic, behind “Season Of The Witch” ….time to start thinking about “Hurdy Gurdy Man”! I hope you enjoy seeing “Atlantis” as never before….. and thanks for watching!

For me at least, any discussion of Donovan’s Atlantis after 1990 would be incomplete without a mention of Goodfellas. I remember first seeing Martin Scorcese’s masterpiece back when it was released in the theaters and thinking then how brilliant and perfect his choice to use the track in the Suite Lounge scenes with Billy Batts…brutal, stupid hoods beating, kicking and stabbing another hood to death while the delicate sounds of Donovan’s ode to the lost beautiful, peaceful, artistic and intellectual city of Atlantis drifted from the jukebox through the bar.

While the majority of the Barabajagal sessions took place in November 1968, “Happiness Runs” and “Where Is She” were recorded the previous May. All of these songs except “Atlantis”, “I Love My Shirt” and “To Susan on the West Coast Waiting” were shelved while Donovan’s Greatest Hits was still high in the charts. “Atlantis” / “I Love My Shirt” was released as a single in November 1968 in the UK. In the US, “To Susan on the West Coast Waiting” / “Atlantis” was eventually released in March 1969. “Atlantis” ended up charting higher than its a-side. Some of the songs recorded were originally meant to be included on the unreleased Moon In Capricorn album.

In May 1969, Mickie Most produced at least one session with Donovan fronting the Jeff Beck Group. “Goo Goo Barabajagal (Love Is Hot)” and “Trudi” resulted from these sessions. There were other songs recorded by Donovan and the Jeff Beck Group, but they remained unreleased until they appeared as bonus tracks on the 2005 UK reissue of the album. Rod Stewart was in the band at this time, but he does not sing lead on any of the songs that were released.

The songs on this album represent all facets of Donovan’s career. Several rockers adorn the album, including the title track, “Trudi”, “The Love Song” and “Superlungs (My Supergirl)”. “I Love My Shirt” updates the sound of Donovan’s children’s music, and there are several slow songs featuring breathy vocals (“Where Is She?”, “To Susan on the West Coast Waiting”) reminiscent of the For Little Ones portion of A Gift from a Flower to a Garden. It is during the Barabajagal sessions that Donovan’s musical vision and work ethic began to diverge from that of producer Mickie Most. The two eventually stopped working together, effectively ending Donovan’s chart success.

The continent of Atlantis was an island
Which lay before the great flood
In the area we now call the Atlantic Ocean.
So great an area of land,
That from her western shores
Those beautiful sailors journeyed
To the South and the North Americas with ease,
In their ships with painted sails.
To the East Africa was a neighbour,
Across a short strait of sea miles.
The great Egyptian age is

But a remnant of The Atlantian culture.
The antediluvian kings colonised the world
All the Gods who play in the mythological dramas
In all legends from all lands were from far Atlantis.

Knowing her fate,
Atlantis sent out ships to all corners of the Earth.
On board were the Twelve:

The poet, the physician, The farmer, the scientist,
The magician and the other so-called Gods of our legends.
Though Gods they were –
And as the elders of our time choose to remain blind
Let us rejoice
And let us sing
And dance and ring in the new Hail Atlantis!

Way down below the ocean where I wanna be she may be,
Way down below the ocean where I wanna be she may be,
Way down below the ocean where I wanna be she may be.
Way down below the ocean where I wanna be she may be,
Way down below the ocean where I wanna be she may be.
My antediluvian baby, oh yeah yeah, yeah yeah yeah,
I wanna see you some day
My antediluvian baby, oh yeah yeah, yeah yeah yeah,
My antediluvian baby,
My antediluvian baby, I love you, girl,
Girl, I wanna see you some day.
My antediluvian baby, oh yeah
I wanna see you some day, oh My antediluvian baby.
My antediluvian baby, I wanna see you
My antediluvian baby, gotta tell me where she gone
I wanna see you some day Wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up,
oh yeah Oh club club, down down, yeah
My antediluvian baby, oh yeah yeah yeah yeah