Barry McGuire

The World's Last Private Citizen

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Whatever ABC Dunhill Records meant by calling Barry McGuire's March 1968 LP The World's Last Private Citizen, it was his first album since the December 1965 release of This Precious Time. And it wasn't really a new album at all, since only four of its 12 tracks (the two sides of McGuire's then-current single, "Top o' the Hill" and "The Grasshopper Song," both from the pens of former members of Paul Revere & the Raiders, plus "Secret Saucer Man" and "Walkin' My Cat Named Dog") had not been released previously. Most of the old tracks were culled from singles McGuire had released dating back to 1965; two were even repeated from This Precious Time. Since musical styles had changed drastically since July 1965, when McGuire's one big hit, the folk-rock protest song "Eve of Destruction" (also included here) was released, and since McGuire, in his attempts to score another hit, had changed with them, this randomly sequenced hodgepodge goes back and forth, including songs that recall "Eve of Destruction," such as McGuire's cover of Bob Dylan's "Masters of War" (originally released as a single in August 1967), as well as material in more of a psychedelic pop vein, such as his own co-composition "Inner-Manipulation," which appeared in December 1967 in the film The President's Analyst (in which McGuire took a small acting role). But, not surprisingly, the album did not cohere into a consistent collection of music. For anyone who'd been waiting for 27 months for McGuire to come up with a new album, this was not it. Instead, it was just a cobbled-together bunch of stray tracks probably assembled without the artist's participation to fulfill a contractual commitment.

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