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Tenderness Junction
Studio album by The Fugs
Released 1968
Recorded 1968
Genre Rock, protopunk, psychedelic Folk-rock
Label Reprise
Producer Ed Sanders, Richard Alderson
The Fugs chronology
Virgin Fugs
(1967)
'''Tenderness Junction'''
(1968)
It Crawled into My Hand, Honest
(1968)

Tenderness Junction is a 1968 studio album by The Fugs, a band formed in 1964 by anti-war musician/poets Ed Sanders, Tuli Kupferberg and Ken Weaver. It was released in the USA by record company Reprise. As of March 2009, the album is not currently available as a stand-alone CD, but the tracks appear in the 2006 3-CD box set, Electromagnetic Steamboat.

Contents

History

As the 1960s progressed, the band's core of Sanders, Kupferberg, and Weaver continued to write the Fugs' songs, but were supplemented by increasingly accomplished musicians. Tenderness Junction was their fourth studio album.

The band built up a cult following, gaining admiration from counter-culture figures such as William Burroughs and Abbie Hoffman. They were known especially for their pro-drugs, anti-war stance, use of poetry in their music, and large number of sexual references in their songs.

Due to their overt sexual content, The Fugs were at risk of censorship. They were released by Atlantic Records in 1967, but signed by reprise in 1968. Some of the later tracks recorded for Atlantic appear on Tenderness Junction. While on Reprise Records, the company president Mo Ostin showed a willingness to release Fugs material uncensored [1].

Musical style

In 1968, The Fugs' sound had developed considerably from their early works such as The Fugs First Album, with several complex and interesting compositions. The band was growing in confidence, and their recordings began to feature guest performers, most notably poets Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso, and sitar player Jake Jacobs.

The main band had grown to six in number, with Sanders, Kupferberg and Weaver being joined by Ken Pine on guitar, Danny Kootch on guitar, violin, and Charles Larkey on bass.

The album featured a newly focussed rock sound, while the underlying approach of The Fugs remained irreverent and humorous. Themes of sexual freedom, social protest and general surreal humour abound. "Turn on, Tune in, Drop out" was a psychadelic rock gem, very much in tune with the times, while "Wet Dream" is an example of The Fugs at their comic best, a musical parody of Platters style teenage love songs, with the usual romantic notions replaced by a fantasy about the "Queen of the Prom" sitting on the throne (and "sitting on my face").

Despite the increased musical skill of The Fugs during this period, there are many wild and obscure moments, most notably "Exorcising the Evil Spirits from the Pentagon Oct. 21, 1967", a real-life recording of an anti-war protest at The Pentagon where protesters including The Fugs chanted 'Out Demons Out' and had a love-in, plus the long and experimental "Aphrodite Mass".

Reaction

Tenderness... was described by the Robert Shelton of the New York Times as the band's "most musical work yet" as he commented favourably on their power and honesty:[2]

...the Fugs are ready to do battle in the commercial marketplace with their anti-commercial rants, their satirical slashes that draw blood, their Lenny Bruce-isms that hit the conventional middle-class right between its myopic, suburban eyes.

Track listing

  1. Turn on, Tune in, Drop Out
  2. Knock Knock
  3. Garden Is Open
  4. Wet Dream
  5. Hare Krishna
  6. Exorcising the Evil Spirits from the Pentagon Oct. 21, 1967
  7. War Song
  8. Dover Beach
  9. Fingers of the Sun
  10. Aphrodite Mass: I. Litany of the Street Grope
  11. Aphrodite Mass: II. Genuflection at the Temple of Squack
  12. Aphrodite Mass: III. Petals in the Sea
  13. Aphrodite Mass: IV. Sappho's Hymn to Aphrodite
  14. Aphrodite Mass: V. Homage to Throb Thrills

Personnel

References

  1. ^ http://www.thefugs.com/history3.html
  2. ^ 'Separating Pop From Pap ' by Robert Shelton, May 26, 1968, accessed at http://jonimitchell.com/library/view.cfm?id=813

Additional sources

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