- The Guardian (101 strangest records on Spotify)
- Format: 12” 180g vinyl / CD
- Original release date: 1972
- This reissue: 2016
Genuine reissue from the original audio sources, new analog transfer and improved mastering, pressed on black heavy vinyl. File under: Psychedelic, Rock Tracklisting: A1 The Sea A2 Fall In Love A3 A Stranger Smile A4 Weather Girl A5 This Thing B1 Forge Your Own Chains B2 I’m Leaving You B3 The Truth B4 The Bible B5 Falling Asleep It’s a miracle any copies of this privately pressed album survived – but be thankful it did, for here is an individual vision. Some people worry about when we’ll run out of oil. A rather smaller proportion of us worry about when we’ll run out of discoverable, deep-end thrills like this. There is just no way in the world items like Donald Hooker’s 40-year-old privately pressed LP should even exist as a thing – it more than likely only ran to about 99 copies in its original format, so how the hell did even one of those survive to create these new digital and analogue versions decades later? Connecticut-based Hooker – a tall, slim hippy with a history of substance abuse – was much given to wearing the sort of austere robe he sports on the sleeve, a fairly outré move even then. In early 1972 he hired a gang of local scene musicians to flesh out his wonderful songs and after a few brief rehearsals the band began recording. As soon as they were done they split – some never even heard the finished album, and what a treat they missed. Hooker’s arrangements are truly beautiful; a simple, swinging pop song like Weather Girl exists somewhere between The Doors and Curtis Mayfield, whereas The Bible ("If they’reknocking the Bible, be sure they are bent/ Just see and you’ll understand the book is heaven sent") has the propulsive drive of a pained George Harrison ballad crushed up against some of Neil Young’s freeform, string-banging joy. Then there’s The Sea, with its rolling religious allegories and ...