It Crawled into My Hand, Honest

The Fugs

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It Crawled into My Hand, Honest Review

by Richie Unterberger

Having attained a professional rock-band sound on Tenderness Junction, the Fugs seemed determined to further expand their arrangements (aided, perhaps, by a major-label budget) on It Crawled into My Hand, Honest. Indeed, the album is ridiculously eclectic. There's stoned psychedelic folk-rock ("Crystal Liaison"); cry-in-your-beer country music with vehemently satirical or surrealistic lyrics ("Ramses II Is Dead My Love," "Johnny Pissoff Meets the Red Angel"); grand, sweeping classical orchestration ("Burial Waltz"); a Gregorian chant about "Marijuana"; down-home gospel with lyrics that no preacher would dare enunciate ("Wide Wide River," with the line: "I've been swimming in this river of sh*t/More than 20 years and I'm getting tired of it"); and, almost buried along the way, the kind of tuneful, countercultural folk-rock Tuli Kupferberg contributed to earlier albums ("Life Is Strange"). Choral backup vocals abound, and the mere presence of a half-dozen outside arrangers testifies to how much the group's attitude toward exploiting the studio had developed since the bare-bones ESP albums. Generally, the songs (most written by the core trio of Sanders, Kupferberg, and Weaver) are more concerned with deft poetry and humor than political statements, although the customary social satire and calls for sexual freedom and drug use are present in diminishing degrees. Although side one is five discrete tracks, side two is a side-long cut-and-paste of tracks varying in length from three seconds to four minutes, the stylistic jump-cuts similar to those employed by the Mothers of Invention in the same era. It's an impressive and, usually, fun record, but it's also less lyrically cogent and powerful than their early albums. One senses that the Fugs' personality and individuality were ultimately somewhat muted by the more ambitious production values and frequent use of external musicians and arrangers.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 The Fugs 03:08 SpotifyAmazon
2 The Fugs 02:47 SpotifyAmazon
3 The Fugs 02:25 SpotifyAmazon
4 The Fugs 02:50 SpotifyAmazon
5 The Fugs 02:34 SpotifyAmazon
6 The Fugs 04:35 SpotifyAmazon
7 The Fugs 01:38 SpotifyAmazon
8 The Fugs 00:13 SpotifyAmazon
9 The Fugs 03:57 SpotifyAmazon
10 The Fugs 00:21 SpotifyAmazon
11 The Fugs 00:37 SpotifyAmazon
12 The Fugs 00:15 SpotifyAmazon
13 The Fugs 00:14 SpotifyAmazon
14 The Fugs 00:18 SpotifyAmazon
15 The Fugs 00:19 SpotifyAmazon
16 The Fugs 00:17 SpotifyAmazon
17 The Fugs 04:26 SpotifyAmazon
18 The Fugs 00:24 SpotifyAmazon
19 The Fugs 00:47 SpotifyAmazon
20 The Fugs 01:09 SpotifyAmazon
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