Of all the San Francisco bands, Country Joe & the Fish were the most complex and most distinctive. No one could really cut a waltz like them and none of the other bands had the political sense or the nerve to express it so well. It got them into a lot of trouble. Their first three albums on Vanguard stand out as highlights of the period, mixing the political with the downright romantic, self-searching introspection and of course those quirky little instrumentals that get under the skin. Twiggy's non-ironic cover of 'Here I go Again' somehow fits the contrariness of the band. Joe went on to a long solo career first on Vanguard, then on Fantasy before returning to his own Rag baby Records. Anthologies from the latter labels can be found on Big Beat - from the radical to the romantic Joe McDonald is still telling his story.
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