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Juicy Groove - First Taste (1978)


Juicy Groove was a short-lived supergroup of sorts, featuring former members of Steppenwolf (guitarist Mars Bonfire, a.k.a. Dennis Edmonton) and Captain Beefheart's Magic Band (guitarist Mercury Flyer, a.k.a. Elliot Ingber, and bassist Gary "Magic" Marker). There were numerous drummers involved; the drums are credited to Thundercloud, a nickname for Mike Cassidy, son of Spirit drummer Ed Cassidy. The elder Cassidy is not credited, but Ed reportedly drummed on some of the songs, and Iron Butterfly's Ron Bushy drummed on one. Their lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist was a character named Michael "Rainbow" Neal, an associate of Sky Saxon who was involved in some of Saxon's post-Seeds activities. On their 1978 album, Juicy Groove played unashamed '60's-style garage psychedelia as if the previous decade had never ended.



Juicy Groove's only album was titled First Taste. It was a picture disc released on a label called Payola. It's a hilariously anachronistic set of acid-fried hippie-rock tunes, recorded with a relatively lo-fi quality for a late-'70's album. There are no songwriting credits on the disc, but at least three songs ("Starry Ride", "Drums Guitars Stars", "Tired Of Bein' Poor") were co-written by Seeds leader Sky Saxon. The uninhibited frontman "Rainbow" Neal alternately moans like a stoner and howls like a lunatic. The trippy "Starry Ride" feels like just that. "Drums Guitars Stars" is a Jefferson Airplane-like anthem (complete with a Grace Slick soundalike named Victoria Reid) about rocking and rolling your way to fame. The similar-minded "Concert Fever" (which features Iron Butterfly drummer Ron Bushy) is filled with obviously dubbed sounds of audience applause. The album's carefree drug-soaked party vibe results in infectious, delirious enjoyment. Fans of Rhino's Nuggets box sets may want to dig this record up, because they'll probably dig it. (source)

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