The United States of America is the debut and only album by American psychedelic rock band the United States of America. It was produced by David Rubinson and released on March 6th, 1968 by Columbia Records.
Being the only release by the United States of America when they were still together, the record received positive reviews on its release, charting at 181 on the Billboard 200. It has been re-issued several times and continues to receive critical acclaim, even decades after its original launch.
Composer Joseph Byrd has stated that his aesthetic aims for the band and album were to have an avant-garde political/musical rock group with the idea of combining electronic sound (not electronic music), musical/political radicalism and performance art. During the 1960s, Byrd was drawn to the leftist Communist Party group, explaining that it was, "The one group that had discipline, an agenda, and was willing to work within the existing institutions to educate and radicalize American society." The song "Love Song for the Dead Ché" reflects these ideas. Columbia Records originally wanted this title changed due to its political implications, but Byrd suggested "Julius and Ethel Rosenberg" as a replacement title if the original title had not been taken.
The record is littered with references to Byrd's obsession with old-time American music, such as the dixieland jazz intro on "I Won't Leave My Wooden Wife for You, Sugar". "The American Metaphysical Circus" also starts out with no fewer than five (5) layers of sound being heard in a collage. A calliope playing "[track artist=Edwin Eugene Bagley
]National Emblem", a ragtime piano playing "At a Georgia Camp Meeting", two marching bands playing "Marching Through Georgia" and "The Red, White and Blue" switching between left and right channels. The other two tracks are of electronic sounds.
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