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The United States of America

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iTunes Review

Though they only cut one album in 1968, ripples from the innovation of the United States of America are still shaping bands. Led by Joe Byrd, they were among the first to make use of the ring modulator, an analog synthesizer that became an integral Krautrock instrument. The cool and sedate singing of Dorothy Moskowitz played a big part in The U.S.A.’s sound. She also inspired the icy style of Broadcast’s late Trish Keenan as heard in the opening “The American Metaphysical Circus,” where Moskowitz’s plaintive inflections compliment a chaotic and artful sound built on avant-garde production and psychedelic baroque-pop. In the rocking “Hard Coming Love” she sings like Grace Slick sans vocal gymnastics before the gorgeous “Cloud Song” returns to her gossamer cooing. “Where Is Yesterday” surpasses Rotary Connection in accessible weirdness, while “Love Song for the Dead Che” is an ethereal standout. The ten bonus tracks play like a second album starting with the Eastern-influenced lullaby “Osamu’s Birthday” before the pocket epic “No Love to Give” plays with proggy brilliance. “Heresy (Coming Down)” ends on a danceable groove.

Customer Reviews


This album is not only a great example of late 1960s psychedelia, but also a harbinger of some of the experimental stuff done in music over the next couple of decades. A truly wonderful album.


Found out about this band through a review of a Broadcast album. The reviewer was noting the similarities. He was spot on. Very cool stuff.

Psychedelic Waypoints

Put your headphones on, up loud and take a listen to the opening track or perhaps "garden" and you will get a glimpse into one of the wildest of that era's short lived bands. Peculiar, strange and different is not a bad salute to them... Original, but also contemporary, to that sonic period of West Coast Psychedelia of 1966-1968 and those albums.


Formed: 1967 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s

Despite releasing only one LP, the United States of America was among the most revolutionary bands of the late '60s -- grounded equally in psychedelia and the avant-garde, their music eschewed guitars in favor of strings, keyboards, and haunting electronics, predating the ambient pop of the modern era by several decades. The United States of America was led by composer and keyboardist Joseph Byrd, a Kentucky native raised in Tucson, AZ; there he appeared with a series of rock and country bands while...
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The United States of America, United States Of America
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