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Various Artists

Easy Rider (soundtrack reissue LP)

Review by Gary Hill
It seems that all that's old is new again. That is really true of this album. I had a scratched up copy that I got second hand as a kid. There was a time when pretty much everyone had heard this, and seen the movie. Now, though, I bet that it's completely new to some people. This reissue is on nice clear vinyl. It's a great repackage of a cool album. I heartily recommend it.
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 3 at
Track by Track Review

The Pusher......Steppenwolf

This is such a classic song. The slow moving, hard rocking, psychedelia that makes up this song is great. That said, this is gritty in so many ways. This isn't flowers and beads. It even gets a small parental advisory on the lyrics. However you slice it, this is a great song that holds up really well, even today.

Born To Be Wild......Steppenwolf
Another classic from Steppenwolf, this is sort of the ultimate original biker song. It is also arguably the first reference of the term "heavy metal."  The sounds of a motorcycle lead it off here. This energetic rocker still holds up quite well, although the organ does date it a bit.
The Weight.....Smith
In the film this song was done by The Band, but for some kind of licensing reason this version had to be substituted. This rendition seems pretty similar to that classic version. I'm guessing that it's by design since this is supposed to replace it. I like the piano and backing vocals here. This is a solid folk rock tune that still has some relevance. 
Wasn't Born To Follow......The Byrds
Speaking of folk music, this Byrds tune is very much a folk song. The vocals are classic. The guitar has some country in the mix, too. It gets into that trippy kind of psychedelic Byrds zone later in the track.
If You Want To Be A Bird (Bird Song)....The Holy Modal Rounders
This is another folk based number, but it's very weird. The vocals seem to be tongue in cheek. It's tripped out and quite odd.

Don't Bogart Me (Aka Don't Bogart That Joint)....The Fraternity Of Man

Country music is the idea here. This is a fun little piece. It's interesting because of the contrast between the drug oriented lyrics with a traditional old time country music sound.

If 6 Was 9......Jimi Hendrix

This is an interesting Hendrix song to include really. It's kind of song that has two identities. There is the whole blues rock kind of thing in parts. Then it goes off into some pretty crazed, almost space music jamming. This really gets pretty freaky at times. It's a great piece of music, and I'm glad they went with one of the less obvious choices.

Kyrie Ellison.....The Electric Prunes

The opening part of this is mostly vocal, but it has some cool fuzz laden echoey background music. They include some screaming hot guitar soloing later as this shifts more toward trippy psychedelia. A return to the strictly vocal bit is heard further down the road before they work out into one of the coolest jams of the whole song. That basically takes it to the closing segment. At the end of this cut there is a bit of dialog from the movie along with a down home hoe down.

It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding).....Roger McGuinn
I love this smoking hot version of the tune. It's still very much raw folk, but the vocal performance works so well. The harmonica brings quite a bit to the table, too. We get some more sounds from the movie between the two closing tracks.
Ballad Of Easy Rider......Roger McGuinn

Acoustic guitar and harmonica work well on this song. This really feels like Bob Dylan in so many ways.

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