One Nation Underground (Pearls Before Swine album)

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One Nation Underground
Pbs onu.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 1967
RecordedMay 6-9, 1967, New York City
GenrePsychedelic folk, folk rock
LabelESP-Disk ESSP 1054
ProducerRichard L. Alderson[1]
Pearls Before Swine chronology
One Nation Underground
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4.5/5 stars[2]

One Nation Underground is the debut album by American psychedelic folk group Pearls Before Swine. It was released on the ESP-Disk label in October 1967.


It was recorded at Impact Sound in New York City, between May 6-9, 1967, by the Florida-based group, which at that point comprised main songwriter and singer Tom Rapp, Wayne Harley, Lane Lederer, and Roger Crissinger. Percussion was by session musician Warren Smith.

The album presents a mixture of styles - "psychedelic folk reminiscent of Donovan collides with Farfisa-driven punk and hard-to-categorize repetitive minimalism, all thrown together with the undisciplined, creative exuberance of youth".[3]

"Another Time" is an acoustic song, the first that Rapp ever wrote, based on his experience in a car crash where he walked away unscathed, and, with "Morning Song", represents the most characteristic example of Rapp's later writing style. In contrast, "Drop Out!" and "Uncle John" are youthful protest songs. "(Oh Dear) Miss Morse" spells out in Morse code the word F-U-C-K, accompanied by banjo and organ.

The album became the most successful ESP release ever, estimated to have sold between 100,000 and 250,000 copies. Early vinyl copies came with a small poster of the Hell panel from Hieronymus Bosch's The Garden of Earthly Delights, a detail of which was used on the front of the album sleeve.

The album went through a number of cover variations. The original, first edition was brown monochrome with a white border along two sides of the cover. The second edition had a black and white cover with the group name in white along the top. The third edition was the white background and color section of the painting (see right).

The album has been reissued numerous times on LP and CD, with various stereo mix variations. On October 20, 2017, Drag City - with the cooperation and participation of Tom Rapp and original engineer/producer Richard Alderson - released a "Fiftieth Anniversary Mono Restoration & Remastering" on CD and LP.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Another Time" - 3:03 (Rapp)
  2. "Playmate" - 2:19 (Saxie Dowell)
  3. "Ballad To An Amber Lady" - 5:14 (Crissinger, Rapp)
  4. "(Oh Dear) Miss Morse" - 1:54 (Rapp)
  5. "Drop Out!" - 4:04 (Rapp)
  6. "Morning Song" - 4:06 (Rapp)
  7. "Regions Of May" - 3:27 (Rapp)
  8. "Uncle John" - 2:54 (Rapp)
  9. "I Shall Not Care" - 5:20 (Teasdale, Roman Tombs, Rapp)
  10. "The Surrealist Waltz" - 3:29 (Lederer, Crissinger)


Tom Rapp: Vocals, Guitar
Wayne Harley: Autoharp, Banjo, Mandoline, Vibraphone, Audio Oscillator, Harmony
Lane Lederer: Bass, Guitar, English Horn, Swinehorn, Sarangi, Celeste, Finger Cymbals, Vocals (on "Surrealist Waltz")
Roger Crissinger: Organ, Harpsichord, Clavioline
Warren Smith: Drums, Percussion


External links[edit]