Together is the third album by the San Francisco psychedelic rock band, Country Joe and the Fish, released in 1968. Before recording, Country Joe McDonald briefly left, so for developments with the band, they were addressed just as "The Fish". McDonald would return in time for recording sessions so the name change was relatively brief. Although it was not considered their strongest work, especially since McDonald's superior songwriting presence was absent, Together still was the most financially successful output from the band.
Melton and "Chicken" Hirsh take the role as main songwriters, creating variously different tracks in regards to style. The album begins with a tribute to James Brown with the track "Rock and Soul Music". From there, the band continues its development of psychedelic music with the theme of love and life for their songs. Evidently, the band were still against the Vietnam War as the track "Untitled Protest" suggest. The organ played on the song was called "Death Mantra", the name bestowed upon by McDonald. With the success of the album, the band embarked on a national tour that was also dubbed a success thanks, in part, to their light shows.
Country Joe would not be involved in tracks two and five and would be filled in by studio musicians. This is a beginning of the personnel changes involved with the band's next two albums. Barthol would leave in the following month and Cohen and Hirsh would follow out in January 1969.
Country Joe and the Fish was an American psychedelic rock band formed in Berkeley, California, in 1965. The band was among the influential groups in the San Francisco music scene during the mid- to late 1960s. Much of the band's music was written by founding members Country Joe McDonald and Barry "The Fish" Melton, with lyrics pointedly addressing issues of importance to the counterculture, such as anti-war protests, free love, and recreational drug use. Through a combination of psychedelia and electronic music, the band's sound was marked by innovative guitar melodies and distorted organ-driven instrumentals which were significant to the development of acid rock.
The band self-produced two EPs that drew attention on the underground circuit before signing to Vanguard Records in 1966. Their debut album, Electric Music for the Mind and Body, followed in 1967. It contained their only nationally charting single, "Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine", and their most experimental arrangements. Their second album, I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-to-Die, was released in late 1967; its title track, with its dark humor and satire, became their signature tune and is among the era's most recognizable protest songs. Further success followed, including McDonald's appearance at Woodstock, but the group's lineup underwent changes until its disbandment in 1970. Members of the band continue in the music industry as solo recording artists and sporadically reconvene.
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