Lost In the Ozone
Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen
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Commander Cody (George Frayne) and his merry crew of cowboy stoners never topped their 1971 debut Lost in the Ozone. It’s not that the band couldn’t keep churning out its habit-forming blend of Texas swing, deep-fried rockabilly and pothead humor — it’s simply that the stuff was the freshest the first time out. The Commander plays the slow-drawling, piano-tickling impresario on these tracks, encouraging vocalist Billy C. Farlow, lead guitarist Bill Kirchen and fiddle ace Andy Stein to turn in rousing performances. A woozy sort of camaraderie lights up numbers like “My Home in My Hand,” ”Seeds and Stems Again Blues” and the title song, making them work simultaneously as legit country-rock and comedy routines. Cody and company can boogie and bop as well, as evidenced by their remakes of “Hot Rod Lincoln” and “20 Flight Rock.” Even a down-home weeper like “Family Bible” emerges as more than a gag, and amidst the album’s haze of hippie dissipation there’s a sturdy traditionalism to be found here. Undeniably, Lost in the Ozone is an early ‘70s period-piece that seems a bit quaint today but the Commander’s virgin flight deserves kudos for its solid chops and zoned-out abandon.
Put this one on the stereo and STAND BACK! My first concert (I was prolly 13 and my parents didn't know where I was that night), was New Riders of the Purple Sage and Commander Cody (in Nashville where I grew up). Thirty something years later I still remember - I could not sit down for either show. Country, honky tonk, swing, americana, call it what you will, but this one gets you in the gut.
Lost in the Ozone
Itunes--please get "Hot Licks, Cold Steel, and Trucker's Favorites," which is the best Commander Cody album, and one of the best country albums of the 70s.
A classic, still going strong after 30 years...
I remember first hearing Commander Cody and TLPA when I was 15-16yo and thinking, "WOW, this is great stuff." Well, it still it is...as noted by another reviewer, maybe not their best effort but gets 5 stars for the classic songs and its staying power. It rocks as hard as anything around today. Seeing them live back then (not now -- the Commander still tours but it ain't the same) was a true joy. This one is a keeper, real good stuff...with songs like 'Midnight Shift,' 'Lost In The Ozone,' '20 Flight Rock,' 'Beat Me Daddy Eight To The Bar,' etc. this one will stay in your CD player for a long time to come...