After the release of the Freak Scene album, psychedelic guru Rusty Evans made his way from NYC to San Francisco, a geographic shift that resulted in work for the legendary San Francisco Sound label, producing bands such as It’s A Beautiful Day, Tripsichord, and Indian Puddin’ and Pipe; it also led to a drastic shift in style from the psychedelic “happening” of the Deep album for Cameo Parkway and the raga rock of the Freak Scene album for Columbia. And so it came to pass that Evans reclaimed his birth name of Marcus, and recorded a very mellow LP in 1969 for Kinetic Records, a label formed by the Kinetic Playground Ballroom in Chicago. Like much of Marcus’ work, the album is a fascinating relic of a particular time and place, in this instance San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district in the post-Summer of Love era.
The Marcus LP is richly orchestrated psychedelic-folk music, with a pronounced Donovan and/or Tim Harden flavor to it, something that did not escape its creator. The mood is dreamy, the songs reflective, the voice vibrato, the album a yin to the yang of the Freak Scene “Psychedelic Psoul” album which precedes it by two years. So we have the hot and aggressive Freak Scene album contrasted—some might say perfectly balanced—by the diffuse and tranquil Marcus album two years later. To our mind, further proof of the excellence of the artistic mind behind both albums. This is the first actual re-issue of the vastly under-rated Marcus album since 1969; the only previous CD edition used alternate takes and not the album versions. Our fulsome edition indulges any completionist fantasies we might harbor, as it also serves up thirty-two bonus tracks, nearly two hours of alternate takes and acoustic demos (plus a few non-album tracks). There are guitar/voice demos recorded several months before Kinetic came along and offered a deal; other home demos have Marcus with acoustic guitar, bass and cello. There are guitar/voice demos were recorded six to eight months before Kinetic came along and offered a deal; other home demos have Marcus with acoustic guitar, bass and cello. There are also abundant demo studio versions, some of tremendous quality. The end result is (apparently) our first “interactive” release, as you can create your own ideal version of the Marcus album. Budget-priced double disc package includes a 20-page booklet, with an introduction by Marcus, his incredible history in music, and lyrics. Printed on FSC recycled, chlorine-free, 100% post-consumer fiber paper manufactured using biogas energy.