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Friendsound Joyride album cover
4.08 | 14 ratings | 3 reviews | 21% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1969

Songs / Tracks Listing

Side A
1. Joyride (4:22)
2. Childhood's End (1:56)
3. Love Sketch (3:32)
4. Childsong (6:30)
Side B
5. Lost Angel St. (9:23)
6. The Empire Of Light (9:45)

Total Time 35:28

Line-up / Musicians

- Drake Levin / guitar (1,3,5), Fx (4,6)
- Ron Collins / organ (1,2,5,6)
- Phil Volk / bass (3), piano (1,3,6), celesta (4)
- Michael Smith / drums (1,5), celesta (4), tambourine (2), Fx (6)

- Chris Brooks / guitar (1,3,5)
- Nino Candido / guitar (1,5), bass (5)
- Grape Lemon / guitar (2), piano (5)
- Tina Gancher / piano (5)
- Don Nelson / flute (1,3,5), recorder (4), saxophone (5)
- Chris Ethridge / bass (1,5)
- Dave Burke / bass (1)
- Jerry Cole / bass (2)
- Jim Gordon / drums (2)
- Danny Woody / drums (3)
- Flip Mullen / wind chimes (4)
- Kent Dunbar / percussion (1), finger cymbals (5)
- Jim Valentine / percussion (1), Fx (5)
- 95th St. School / children choir (4)
- Dixie Canyon School / children choir (4)

Releases information

Artwork: Edna Marie O'Dowd

LP RCA Victor ‎- LSP-4114 (1969, US)

Thanks to ? for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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FRIENDSOUND Joyride ratings distribution

(14 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
Good, but non-essential (14%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (14%)

FRIENDSOUND Joyride reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by DamoXt7942
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams
5 stars Addictive experiments created with vacancy around them and madness deeply in them, and the key essence should be a mixture of musical dissonance and atmospheric disturbance.

Of course this fact mentioned above can be heard all over the album indeed, but firstly listening to the titled track does notify us unrefined flute palpitation with scattered keyboard steps upon manic rhythm section preachers, as though a leader of Swedish Krautrock combo Deaf. And yup, even upon plaintive-flute-based slightly poppy track "Love Sketch" we can get drenched in something strange musically).

Furthermore, such an obvious discrepancy from 60s psychedelic pop / rock scene (where the three frontmen had played) can remind us fascinating fractures into Krautrock soundscape definitely. This amazing phenomenon can be heard even in their shortest track "Childhood's End", whilst they would have squeezed their tremendous intention that childish pop (called as "Childhood" by them) would come to an "End") into our mind, I guess. On the contrary, "Childsomg" kicks us away into "real" child fantasy, flooded with yells / shouts of active children plus cool, clean windchimes ... this contrast, what we cannot have an experience as usual, is beyond expression.

Various elements with technically bulky sound effects and kaleidoscopically colourful tape controls for experimentalism, far from tiny psychedelic pop scene in those days (especially upon one of their masterpieces "Lost Angel Proper St.", not simply keyboard-based psychedelic but very devilish garagey one really). The last explosion "The Empire Of Light" sounds the most Kraut-y of all the album ... based upon weird atmosphere ambience, keen / bombastic electric piano voices are launched directly into our inner space, that apparently be suitable for the end of their show.

It can be said they had created their mysterious originality in the album and stood in the vanguard of late-60s US experimental rock scene, even if they sound to have got magnificently inspired by 60s psychedelic rock pioneers like The Beach Boys or The Beatles.

By the way, let me say this album was released in 1969, just when I was born. For me, this album should be as unforgettable as Abbey Road, actually. A Krautrock masterpiece I'm sure.

Review by Guldbamsen
4 stars Perpetuating the naive

Music is perhaps one of the only genuine universal languages. The sheer emotional scale it covers is more than enough to quench even the thirstiest traveller. Show me a feeling and I'll play you a note - drop you a howl, or simply jump on top my old trusty banjo. The sonic opportunities are endless, and nowhere else will you find a more appropriate album to showcase this, granted, somewhat illogically huge fact, than on Friendsound's sole release 'Joyride'.

Here the other day I was on about fellow American compatriots, Fifty Foot Hose, suggesting a surplus of properly cool outsider artists stemming from across the pond. Friendsound belong to this incredibly obscure 'club' - a mixed bag of artists who, to my knowledge, had absolutely nothing to do with one another, yet still managed to sound alike - perhaps not entirely soundwise, but moreover in the way they experimented with the music, the all-important approach as the pilots have a tendency to call it.

Playfulness in the front seat, and I'm not merely thinking of a wee solo here and there - the odd b section that's joined with a country singer and a pheasant in your pants no no no - we're talking triangles, whistles, chimes, all sorts of reeds, tambourines, flutes, castanets and without a shadow of doubt the good ol kitchen sink to boot. This is a cornucopia of different instruments teaming up, sometimes acting slightly cacophonous and childishly though always coming off rather pleasantly and purposefully. These guys are wilfully naive - they mean to sound like spastic toddlers during those wild stomp sections from the shed, don't worry. They intentionally seek a no nonsense attitude towards music by diving straight into nonsense and things that are likely to not have any intrinsic meaning outside of the one applied by the poor demented enlightened of us who feel comfortable around squid and lawyers in tank tops.

Released on the RCA brand in 1969, Joyride never really made a splash - hell it didn't even manage to create ripples. Sad thing really, as the American crowd already a few years later on would be thirsting for the most out there treats the European scene had to offer, in particular the multicoloured sweets flying out the fascinating Krautrock bunnyhole. With Joyride they had the real deal on their doorstep without ever paying attention. Think Zappa on acid or Quicksilver Messenger Service out of Bavaria and you're not that far off. How this baby seeped through the cracks, I will never know....

As for the music, you're indeed stepping on board the unholy freak train of saucy irregular blues rock with some seriously loose fittings. Often incessant like the more motorik laden Germanic groups, gentle and floating at other times - occasionally hitting that ever so thrilling high, where both improvisation and song coalesce in the most beautiful and imaginative manner.

Take the tune 'Childsong' for instance. A perfect way of illustrating the unique approach on offer, and a chance to highlight the omnipresent naiveness of 'Joyride'. Disregarding all sorts of mainstream behaviour, the track takes it's cue from the field recordings of a busy playground. The main ingredient is not the subtle understated guitar - nor the dreamy atmospheres cooked up by wind chimes, no it's the laughing kids, the ambiances of children playing tic tac toe, talking, singing and roaming the airwaves in a way that is oh so child-like........ AND it works - it works because everything else about this band is naive and playful. It works because it sounds like real music - only here developed through another medium. Sheer genius if you ask me, however simple and un- aristocratic it may be.

Still it's obvious these guys grew out of the sub culture that birthed acts like Ultimate Spinach, Fifty Foot Hose and 13th Floor Elevators and sure quite often will you find yourself bathed in that exact same honeydripping, sensuous and warm feel, only with Friendsound you get something else entirely - something infinitely more esoteric and adventurous. A will to experiment beyond the wah wah pedal and new synthesisers of the day. To me it genuinely sounds like they produced this album the same way I would've done it. Not that I know anything of worthy mentioning inside the labyrinthian world of making experimental rock albums, but I do know what I like and what I don't, - and these fellas sound like they did as well. Joyride feels like an album made up entirely of sounds the band loved. "Wow the triangle played like that sounds so groovy!! Alright, it's settled! It gets to go on record!!! and everything else feels like that with this thing! Spontaneous eclecticism ruling the chicken roost at all times, and with a recipe for disaster at their hands - they came out the other end triumphantly. I certainly think so at least.

All the mad talkative echoing vocal segments, the player piano Lucky Luke breaks, the sultry celesta runs, the crackling of the helicopter synth sounds, the unorthodox measures and all the misplaced sarcasm, claps and guitar screeches - all of that zooms together like a pulsating Dadaistic polaroid picture of the non-existent US Krautrock scene at a time where it materialised into a shimmering beacon of unadulterated musical joy. Trust me, the title 'Joyride' was never any attempt at misleading the world - it was merely stating the obvious. 4.5 stars.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Somehow I stumbled upon this record. That cover is colourful and trippy, isn't it? So that was the reason to give this a listen. This is a krautrock album, meaning it's a direct product of German late 60's post-war movement. On this record you will hear some wild, raw and experimental sounds and ... (read more)

Report this review (#2923207) | Posted by sepia_blob | Monday, May 8, 2023 | Review Permanlink

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