Jan 16, 2009

Mark Fry - Dreaming with Alice (1972)

This is a record that has long been shrouded in mystery. While the extremely rare original LPs fetched thousands of dollars from elite record collectors, extensive bootlegging gave the album enough notoriety to prompt a host of speculation on who this 19 year old was and how on earth he created such a masterpiece. The files offered here are transfers from a 2006 vinyl reissue by Sunbeam Records, complete with original artwork and the elusive Fry's cooperation (and liner notes!).

Dreaming With Alice is about as close as I can imagine to a definitive acid folk album; its hushed tones are both sunny and lurking, lucid and stoned. Picture a precocious adolescent Donovan producing a work equal to the eerie dollhouse folk of For Little Ones or HMS Donovan while avoiding the self-conscious artifice Mr. Leitch often fell victim to. Strains of early Incredible String Band, Syd Barrett, Pearls Before Swine, and Tyrannosaurus Rex also surface, but Mark Fry's music does more than synthesize his influences. Dreaming with Alice is gorgeously innocent and egolessly self-assured in a way that no career musician could match. This is pure ear candy for Carollesque tea partiers, twee folk strummers and navel-gazing psychonauts alike.

320 kbps mp3 format provided in title link - lossless wav format here.