Ford Theatre

Trilogy for the Masses

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Ford Theatre was typical of the sound of Boston psychedelic rock circa 1968: dark, foreboding, somber songs, sometimes quite long, with sub-California acid rock guitar, and more weight on the organ than many bands of the period carried. Certainly the instrumental break on the 14-minute "Wake Up in the Morning" owes a lot to Doors songs like "Light My Fire." The gothic, classically influenced "Theme for the Masses" is reprised a couple of times after it opens the album, giving the record a thematic aura that really isn't borne out by the contents. It's easy to imagine audiences grooving out to the lengthy breaks on "101 Harrison Street (Who You Belong To)" on those nights when there weren't any major headliners passing through town, settling for a reasonable approximation of psychedelic rock heavyweights. "Back to Philadelphia" takes a funkier, more straight-ahead approach, though the lyrics maintain a sense of displacement and disillusionment that permeates much of the music and lyrics. "Postlude Looking Back" closes the album on a gentler, almost countrified note, though again with the sort of muted gloom characteristic of the rest of the material. On the whole, not a bad acquisition for the insatiable psychedelic collector looking for something typical of the era that hasn't been reissued on CD, though it's not that distinctive in approach or quality.

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