Album Review: “I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ To Die” by Country Joe & The Fish
Country Joe and The Fish live in 1969 - PlanNineInc / Youtube
Country Joe and The Fish was one of the leading psychedelic rock acts in the late 60s, taking their time in being an exploratory band in the genre. 1967’s I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin-To-Die was the band’s second album and was released just a stone’s throw away from their debut catalog, which was a mere 7 months apart.
The album still contained the tried and tested psychedelic instrumentation of the band since their first album, which was heavily comprised of organ progressions and Eastern-influenced melodic lines, with the addition of acoustic guitar parts for dramatic flair. There are key strong points in the album, like the immense contrast in the lyrics of “Who Am I”, while the scintillating trip brought by “Pat’s Song” and “Thursday” in their tasteful balladic delivery is total ear-candy, LSD or not. There is even a tribute to Janis Joplin in the track carrying her name, “Janis”, as Country Joe and Joplin were in a relationship back in the day.
But the most seething song of the album was their title cut, “I-Feel -Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die Rag”, which was one of the primary Vietnam protest songs of the era, fueling the counterculture with their satirical arsenal. The catalog became a landmark for psychedelic music standards, where Country Joe and The Fish stood high with their creative burst of the era.