Dr. West's Medicine Show & Junk Band

Euphoria!: The Best of Dr. West's Medicine Show & Junk Band

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You couldn't do any better than this for a comprehensive document of Dr. West's legacy: 25 tracks, including everything from The Eggplant That Ate Chicago, several non-LP singles, and eight previously unreleased songs. "I'm a little weird, I wear a little beard," and muses Norman Greenbaum repeatedly on "Weird," and there's certainly plenty of ammunition for confirming that assessment on most of this material. The Eggplant That Ate Chicago tracks have a spare, even hollow jug band sound on which backup singer Bonnie Wallach's vocals are often prominent. The non-LP singles put a greater emphasis on a rock band sound, which gave the material more power and pop appeal, but Dr. West didn't last long enough to fully develop these directions. Among the non-Eggplant That Ate Chicago material, high points would include the tuneful psychedelia of "Jigsaw" ("crazy questions aren't so crazy when you can't remember who you are" they sing at one point, and who are we to contradict them?); an instrumental cover of "Eleanor Rigby," with kazoos playing the melody; "Gondoliers, Shakespeares, Overseers, Playboys and Bums," which is either extremely Dylan-influenced, or an outright Dylan parody; and "Lady Rain," the straightest and most melodic folk-rock the band managed, though the scratchy fiddle solo connects to their jug band roots. The album is recommended to collectors looking for a corner of 1960s folk-rock that's been pretty neglected by reissues and revivalists.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:41
2 3:18
3 2:26
4 2:24
5 2:41
6 2:25
7 2:06
8 3:09
9 2:07
10 2:34
11 2:05
12 2:05
13
1:57
14 2:59
15 2:57
16 2:06
17 2:15
18 2:21
19 2:56
20
2:58
21 2:15
22 2:27
23 2:09
24 3:31
25 1:51
blue highlight denotes track pick