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TURN-ONS AND TURN-OFFS IN CURRENT HOME ENTERTAINMENT RELEASES : ****Excellent ***Good **Fair *Poor : COMPACT DISCS

October 13, 1987|RICHARD CROMELIN | Compiled by Terry Atkinson

"The Collected Country Joe & the Fish." Vanguard. "Gimme an 'F' . . ." shouts Country Joe McDonald, and as he kicks off the famous fish cheer you're right back in the heart of the '60s counterculture. This band's Berkeley barbs and eclectic rock sound helped define psychedelic music's combination of political and introspective currents, and this 72-minute panorama, covering the years 1965-70, includes its best (and generally best-known) tracks, plus some early independent recordings. With its bluesy base and Byrds-like elements, the music has worn better than you might expect, and the sound quality is good. The package includes a full discography (though the experimental Western "Zachariah" is absent from the "film trivia" section) and an awkwardly written historical essay. ***

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