Let us now praise three men who not only survived the Sex, the Drugs and the Rock And Roll of the sixties, they helped invent it. Please join us in saluting Mr Ed Sanders, Mr Tuli Kupferberg, and Mr Ken Weaver, who are known collectively as The Fugs. And also please join us in celebrating the body of work they recorded between 1967 and 1970 with our 3-CD set Electromagnetic Steamboat: The Reprise Recordings.
Mr Sanders, Mr Kupferberg and Mr Weaver originally came together for the purpose of performing for the grand opening of Mr Sanders' Peace Eye Bookstore And Scrounge Lounge, “a vegetarian literary zone,” which was to be held on 24 February 1965. It should probably go without saying, but after their first performance at the Peace Eye, The Fugs were an immediate success. They became, arguably, the very first underground band to make the Top 100 album charts. They were a forerunner of future “folk-rock” bands. They were one of the first “proto-punk” bands too, anticipating the musical movement that came a good ten years later. Musically, The Fugs drew heavily from many different interests, influences and various musical genres, combining jug band music, smutty rock n' roll, scuttled-through country ballads, percussion-backed Gregorian chants, canticles, Hebraic-tinged sing-songs, and bawdy bohemian poetry. Lyrically, they were humorous, often somewhat shocking and outrageously celebrated the expression of “free love” and the freedom to use marijuana.
The four albums The Fugs made for Reprise Records have been unavailable in the United States, and on most of Planet Earth, for more than a quarter of a century. And though most of the master tapes for the recordings The Fugs made for Atlantic Records were either reworked for use on the first Reprise album or, sadly, lost in a vault fire, a few of these unreleased Atlantic masters did, in fact, survive. Rhino Handmade has taken the four albums The Fugs made for Reprise Records -- 1967's Tenderness Junction, 1968's It Crawled Into My Hand, Honest, 1969's The Belle Of Avenue A and 1970's Golden Filth -- and combined them with a bonus disc of the surviving previously unreleased Atlantic Records recordings to create the 3-CD collection entitled Electromagnetic Steamboat: The Reprise Recordings.