On Quicksilver Messenger Service's debut album, the band's talent at instrumental jams (which was always a big part of their concerts) was only really showed off on two songs, the rest of the record consisting of more concise radio-friendly numbers. Their follow-up, Happy Trails, changed that completely, giving the record-buying public a taste of what a Quicksilver Messenger Service concert was like, and cementing their reputation as one of the best jam bands on the San Francisco scene. Mostly recorded live, the first side of the record consisteed solely of a lengthy (almost half an hour) interpretation of Bo Diddley's rock and roll classic "Who Do You Love", with the whole band (guitarists Gary Duncan and John Cipollina, bassist David Freiburg and drummer Greg Elmore) giving room to show off their instrumental virtuosity. The second side bizarrely started with another Bo Diddley cover, but was also notable for some experimental psychedelia. The album was a success, reaching #27 on the pop album charts, and is often considered one of the highlights of the whole 60s San Francisco scene.
Quicksilver Messenger Service (1968) <|> Shady Grove (1969)
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