Mona – The Carnivorous Circus
|Mona—The Carnivorous Circus|
|Studio album by Mick Farren|
|Recorded||December 1969, Sound Techniques, London|
|Label||Transatlantic Records - TRA212|
|Mick Farren chronology|
The album was recorded to fulfill contractual obligations. Farren had recently returned from a tour of the west coast of North America with his band The Deviants, who had risen up against him and sacked him. Farren had, however, previously discussed the idea of a solo album for the second LP of three on the Transatlantic contract (after The Deviants 3), with the third LP to be an album by the other band members, potentially also featuring drummer Russell Hunter's girlfriend Jenny Ashworth as frontwoman - an idea with which the three sidemen had been toying around the time of the contract signing.
Farren recalls that "I was crazy when I did Mona—really mentally ill. If I listen to it I can still feel it. Maybe I should have chilled out for a few months before making the album, but I was a bit depressed, and I thought I'd just do it entirely my own way for the first time." The subject matter is dark and the music very often discordant and dissonant.
"Carnivorous Circus" is a montage of song and spoken word, featuring interviews with a Hells Angel and Steve Took, the latter recounting time he spent in Ashford Remand Centre, as well as recordings of political speeches. Took also provides lead vocal for the short Observe The Ravens section of the title track. Also, during the Society of the Horsemen jam he quotes a lyric ("it don't feel good, 'cos it was made out of wood") from one of his own songs, Steel Abortion (later recorded by his band Shagrat). The cello on "Mona" was provided by Paul Buckmaster, who had demonstrated to Farren the similarities between Bo Diddley and Béla Bartók.
- "Mona (A Fragment)" (Ellas McDaniel) – 3:15
- "Carnivorous Circus, Part 1" (Farren) – 15:19
- "The Whole Thing Starts"
- "But Charlie, It's Still Moving"
- "Observe The Ravens"
- "Society of the Horsemen"
- "Summertime Blues" (Eddie Cochran, Jerry Capehart) – 2:41
- "Carnivorous Circus, Part 2" (Farren) – 13:01
- "Don't Talk to Me Mary"
- "You Can't Move Me"
- "In My Window Box"
- "An Epitaph Can Point the Way"
- "Mona (The Whole Trip)" (Ellas McDaniel) – 7:25
- Mick Farren – Vocals and effects
- Steve Hammond – Guitar and vocals
- Pete Robinson – Organ and piano
- Johnny Gustavson – Bass
- Paul Buckmaster – Cello
- Twink – Drums, vocals and percussion
- Shagrat the Vagrant (Steve Peregrin Took) – Vocals and percussion
- Raul – Conga
- Produced by Mick Farren
- Arranged by Mick Farren and Steve Hammond
- Recorded at Sound Techniques, London, December 1969
- Victor Gamm – Engineering
- March 1970, UK, Transatlantic Records, TRA212
- 1984, UK, Psycho Records
- 1999, UK, Castle Communications, ESMCD746, with The Deviants 3
- Allmusic review
- The Deviants 3, 1999 CD issue liner notes
- Collectable Records - Original cover