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Stan Hubbs - Crystal (1982)


Crystal was recorded in Hubbs' rural Sonoma county living room and just like the original, the LP reissue was mastered and cut by Paul Stubblebine, pressed by RTI and housed in heavy, old-style jackets.

We've gathered some rare Hubbs photos and writing along with recollections from band members and thoughts from others -- scroll down and click on images for larger versions.

I HAVE MAINTAINED THE CODE OF SILENCE. -- Jeff Hassett
The best '80s psych record for sure. Fuck the bullshit. -- Dante Carfagna
The only LP I've heard that features deadpan ensemble singing. --Patrick Lundborg (Acid Archives)
Grammy bound! -- Scott Bubrig
DON'T SCARE ME LIKE THAT. -- Ariel Pink
Greatest piece of private zonk, ever. -- Jack Fleischer


1982 was a tremendously long time ago. In 1982 if a guy like Stan Hubbs – skinny, balding and comfortably into life's long embrace of middle age – wanted to make a record then he had to get creative. He had to bring in a band, write up guide charts they could follow, rehearse them for a day or two, record them, have the tapes mixed, get a photographer in, get the LP pressed. It was a big, big deal. Especially if you were an epic stoner like Hubbs – rumoured to be one of the few people ever to actually die from a weed overdose. Hubbs's one and only record slipped out to no acclaim whatsoever 32 years ago this summer, but in 2010 the good people at Companion Records found an exceedingly rare original copy in a junk shop and, some months later, released 500 freshly packaged copies back into the wild. If anything, Crystal sounds even stranger now than it must have done then. Somewhere between pellucid, sparkle-eyed psychedelia and thick-cut sludge rock, Crystal was cut in Hubbs' cabin among the Northern California redwoods. The sessions were overseen by his fourth wife and it's far from clear what either of them imagined would happen with the result. Frankly, it's hard to conceive of anything much less commercially viable, which isn't to suggest Crystal's not a wonderful LP, because it clearly is. Juggernaut is a Funkadelic-like super-stoner instrumental, while The Best Man For Some Jobs Is a Woman is a fuzzy, shape-shifting pop-psych stoner with fantastical, incomprehensible vocals sung, as ever on this record, in an impressively immovable deadpan. Young Saint Augustine is just wonderful, a Like A Hurricane-style epic boiled down to less than two minutes and then there's furry, fuzzy Golden Rose, where Hubbs lays out his four rules for a happy life: live in the country, find someone who loves you, pursue your art, and, crucially, have no ambition. He may have nailed the first three, eventually, but 31 years later, Hubbs's lunatic, smoke-wreathed ambition is all over Crystal. (source)


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