Crystal Syphon - Family Evil / Elephant Ball 2 x CDs

SKU 28-GEAR297.2
First ever CD release for the two archival vinyl releases bythis great, lost, San Francisco psychedelic band! Features studio recordings from 1967, and two different live shows from the Filmore West; January 21, 1968 and November 18, 1969, all in very, very good and enjoyable sound quality.

“These guys should've been contenders.
Plying their trade in the fertile San Francisco scene of the late 60's, Crystal Syphon's name was only known to me through viewing copies of old SF gig posters and through the index of bands at the back of Ralph Gleason's book on the rise of Jefferson Airplane. Like many other bands on the bottom of bills in that glorious era or mentioned in Gleason's book, my imagination was all I had to go on due to nothing ever being recorded/released by those bands.
Then this archival set was released in that replaced the imagination with true grooves. What's cool is that these guys were as cool as my imagination had made them out to be.
Trying to find comparison with other Bay area bands from that era has proven a bit fruitless as they don't specifically evoke any of the heavy hitters of the era. They have a bit of a dreamy, stoned vibe with some great harmonies. Reading a story on them in a Shindig magazine article, circa 2012, the band members admit to a bit of admiration for Quicksilver Messenger Service, especially the guitar work of John Cippolina, but they also admit to going for a bit of a more symphonic effect via voice and guitars than QMS's sound. They don't really recall any specific SF band to my ears though.
Shopped around, the tracks did draw interest from a few labels (Original Sound and Canterbury were two), but because the band wanted to retain publishing rights and artistic control, no deal was offered. As with so many bands of the era, the draft, time and declining fortunes signaled the end of the band. A shame as this set proves that they had the songwriting ability and musical chops to be a much more well known entity than they ended up being. Truly without a duff track on it. I imagine what these tracks might have sounded like had they been recorded in a professional studio and I regret that the opportunity wasn't provided. Still, we have these and though they are really just demo quality, their ability can't be denied.
Great stuff.”-rateyourmusic
  • LabelGear Fab
  • UPC645270029728
Your Price $23.00

Customer Reviews

Average Rating

I missed out on the LPs of this music, although I had checked the band out on YouTube...mostly because vinyl is a bit pricey now,....but here's everything on two CDs for the price (or less) of one of the LPs! Also on disc one is a 2008 live cut that is as good as the classic recordings! How often can you say THAT happens? Wonder if the whole gig will be on disc someday?
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