Perhaps one of the finest and most original of bands to emerge in the USA during the Psychedelic era, the United States of America was formed in 1967 by the avant-garde musician Joseph Byrd (an associate of Yoko Ono who had studied with composer John Cage). After studying at UCLA in California, Byrd decided to form a band that would combine performance art, radical politics and experimental rock music. Recruiting former partner Dorothy Moskowitz (Vocals), Gordon Marron (Violin, Ring Modulator, Vocals), Rand Forbes (Bass) and Craig Woodson (Electric Drums), the band signed to Columbia records and recorded their self-titled album in December 1967. The sessions produced some of the most extraordinary music of the time, with pieces such as “The American Metaphysical Circus” combining tape looped effects, electronic sounds and rock to create a stunning opening to a fine album. Such a radical approach led to the album being hailed by critics upon release but receiving a poor commercial reception. Internal friction soon took hold and the United States of America had disbanded by the end of 1968.
This Esoteric Recordings edition is newly remastered and includes ten bonus tracks recorded during the sessions for the band’s sole album and in May and July 1968. The reissue also features an illustrated booklet with new essay.