Crystal Ball "Can This Be True"1977 US Folk Psych

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John Dug

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Crystal Ball ” It’s Not Too Late” 1977 Rare Private Folk Psych.

One of the rarest records we have offered on eBay in quite some time, this is an original pressing LP from 1977 on the Nashville based Album World label. This LP is one of only a small number of copies to have surfaced over the years. Although we don’t know the exact number of how many of these were pressed, it is safe to say it was very, very few.

This record also receives a very favorable review by Patrick Lundborg in his book “Acid Archives The Second Edition” published in 2010. Among the things Patrick writes about this LP are, “Here’s one of the rarest (only three known copies) and most distinctly psychedelic of all tax scam records, one that if it were better known would be a major collectible. It’s probably the most significant and fascinating record released by the slippery folks at Album World. The songs were written by ‘J. Agostino’ and have a wasted acid folk vibe. Most are just acoustic guitars and vocals with a few embellishmants (a second guitar, bongos, and/or production tricks). A few, including a weird short version of ‘Martha My Dear’ (which sounds like nothing else on this record) have a full band, but the acoustic ones sound quite full because of the eerie harmonies, phasing effects, heavy reverb and freaky minor key west coast vibe. ‘Can This Be True’ has backwards slide guitar and ‘Mr. Sims’ is packed with bizarre, disorienting sound effects. The acoustic songs remind me of a fake Beatles outtake ‘Piece Of Mind’. It’s certainly possible, given the tax scam m.o., that these songs are unfinished demos (two have abrupt choppy endings and two others fade out unexpectedly soon), but they do sound purposeful and there’s no question they’re the product of a consistent-minded songwriter with some kind of off-kilter vision. This is the kind of record that could freak you out on a dark night. It’s strange and powerful.”..

« An album of mysterious provenance that was/is available in iTunes in their secret squirrel department. That rip really only gives you the negative of the picture, you really need the full exposure to hear it in colour. How anyone would know it was there in the first place is part of a conspiracy theory that I am developing… but until that is ready for publication what do we have? Some nocturnal strumming with a developed pop bent that appear to be sketches for a move into Dwight Twilley territory, as evidenced on the tracks that start side two that are coated in wavy synths. You also get a pitch perfect Beatles cover. All great, but “There Are Eyes” is the aural equivalent of a hit of crack. Guaranteed to knock anyone out. »

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