Hampton Grease Band - Music to Eat
Real Gone Music
Limited Edition Colored Vinyl
Why would we reissue a record that is reputed to be the second worst-selling release in the history of Columbia Records? (Legend has it that it was undersold only by a yoga instructional album.) Well, because in the 47-some years since its release, the Hampton Grease Band’s Music to Eat has steadily ascended the list of Greatest Cult Records of All Time so that now it resides at the tippety-top. Indeed, modern-day jam bands genuflect at the sight of the trippy cover art alone (Col. Bruce Hampton & the Aquarium Rescue Unit was an early ‘90s fixture in the movement), as the jazz/prog/psych guitar licks of Glenn Phillips and Harold Kelling gives such famous duos as Betts/Allman, Verlaine/Lloyd, and Bloomfield/Bishop a run for their money. Add a generous dollop of Pop Art surrealism delivered by Hampton’s Dada-ist, Beefheart-ian roar and you’re left with an album that inhabits a rarefied realm somewhere between Trout Mask Replica, Anthem of the Sun, Hot Rats, Happy Trails, and maybe The Allman Brothers Band at Fillmore East (particularly because the Hampton Grease Band was also from the South but far, far stranger). But what makes this record even more special is the way it points the way forward as well as back. Yes, you can hear echoes of their more famous, improvisationally-minded contemporaries, but the offhand guitar riffs, frenzied instrumental passages, stylistic about-faces, and deadpan vocals bring to mind nothing other than a psychedelicized Minutemen (and David Thomas of Pere Ubu sounds an awful lot like Col. Bruce). Also, the HGB wasn’t afraid to antagonize audiences, as they barely escaped with their lives after opening for Three Dog Night and Alice Cooper. In short, this isn’t your dad’s psychedelic rock album, nor is it your son’s jam band record. This is music that stands apart from time and style, a true example of Weird America. That’s why original copies command ridiculous sums; and now, Real Gone Music is proud to present the first-ever LP reissue of Music to Eat in a peach vinyl edition limited to 1000 copies, complete with the original astounding gatefold artwork. This record will change you…R.I.P. Bruce Hampton.