Annette Peacock gets it right again. In the lyric booklet here she writes "This is my first record. It was the right album, in the wrong century." Startling but true. An earlier version of I Belong to a World That's Destroying Itself was released as Revenge by Polydor in 1971 -- the same year as her classic I'm the One on RCA, which is usually regarded as her debut. The former album was credited to the Bley-Peacock Synthesizer Show. Her then-husband Paul Bley got top billing, despite the fact he played on only half the record. Peacock's Ironic label corrects this historical inaccuracy in deluxe fashion. Recorded live in various studios in 1968 and 1969 (written and arranged completely by Peacock), this is one of, if not the, very first record to feature a Moog Synthesizer modulating lead vocals. The rough recording aspect -- understandable given technological limitations at the time -- is actually a boon to this version; it is remarkably fresh, raw, energizing, and prophetic even now. This set marks the first showcase for Peacock's iconic free-form songwriting style -- which has inspired three successive generations of musicians across several genres -- and her trademark phrasing and delivery. As evidenced here, she pioneered a radical technique of commanding the synthesizer to serve her singing in perfect complement -- she made the instrument actually sound passionate. Check the way she makes it strain to meet her high-pitched soaring on "A Loss of Consciousness." The electric bass, trap kit, and a fingerpopping acoustic piano vamp behind her foster the groove. Tom Cosgrove's guitar adds funky leads and the band matches them, while her rhythmic pulse -- processed through the synth -- takes it over the margin somewhere else entirely. The testifying title track is an environmental anthem that demands a return to natural sources; its poetry is just as bracing in the 21st century, and absolutely free of idle sentiment. The gospel stomp of the B-3, electric bass, and breaking drums frame her distorted vocal, adding primal urgency and steely poignancy. This set also contains the first version of "I'm the One." With its rickety upright piano and slightly reverbed vocals, it is at once earthy and otherworldly. On "Joy," with its bumping bassline and grooving Rhodes-and-organ groove, Peacock marshals the Moog to add emotive adornments in the instrumental mix as well as to her voice. She lyrically embraces life and love because of their impermanence. This edition includes two bonus cuts: "Flashbacks," a hard-driving funk jam with a lyric comprised of a diary entry (complete with rough-cut studio moments) that leads directly into "Anytime with You," a deeply moving, souled-out number with clean vocals and Cosgrove's guitar as a second voice. Not that it was required, but I Belong to a World That's Destroying Itself further cements Peacock's role as a singular artist whose searing and provocative musical vision has always been decades ahead of itself.
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AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek