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The Last Album

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Album Review

Recorded around 1974 in Maui and showing traces of a Hawaiian musical influence, Mu's second and final album wasn't released until 1982. It was reissued as End of an Era in 1988 and then as The Last Album in 2003, by which point it had accumulated eight bonus tracks. It features a relatively mellow and conventional brand of psychedelic folk-rock compared to their debut album or Jeff Cotton's work with Captain Beefheart, for example. Nonetheless, it's an appealingly low-key effort with catchy songs such as "Make a Joyful Noise" and "On Our Way to Hana" and Cotton's tasty slide guitar playing. It will be easier to enjoy the lyrics if you have an affinity for mystical and sci-fi themes; this is also true for the first bonus track, an interview with Lew Irwin in which the band discusses alien visitations. Most of the remaining bonus tracks fit comfortably with the preceding songs. However, the final two bonus tracks are respectable but unremarkable straight-up blues-rock cover versions of songs previously recorded by Jimi Hendrix: "All Along the Watchtower," recorded 2002 by the trio of Merrell Fankhauser, Yoriko Hongo, and Art Dougall (and incorrectly credited to Hendrix as the songwriter); and "Red House," recorded live in June 1991 by Merrell Fankhauser, Tim Fankhauser, Nicky Hopkins, and Frank Paredes.


Genre: Electronic

Years Active:

This intriguing early-'70s Southern Californian group featured the talents of singer/songwriter Merrell Fankhauser (who was also at the helm of cult classics in the '60s by Fapardokly and HMS Bounty) and Jeff Cotton, previously slide guitarist with Captain Beefheart. Their sole album (from 1971) is a gem of the late hippie era, combining the fractured blues-based tangents of Beefheart with the loose flow and stoned lyricism of bands like the late-'60s Grateful Dead. After a couple more singles, Mu...
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The Last Album, Mu
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