Sep 30, 2011
DINO VALENTE - DINO (EPIC 1968) Jap DSD mastering cardboard sleeve + 2 bonus
A fascinating enigma of the San Francisco psychedelic scene, Valente is most famed as the author of "Get Together." This definitive '60s love-and-peace anthem was recorded on the Jefferson Airplane's first album, and taken into the Top Ten by the Youngbloods. Valente was also an original member of Quicksilver Messenger Service, although drug busts meant that he did not actually perform and record with the group for about five years, by which time they were on the downside artistically. Prior to finally hooking up with Quicksilver, he also recorded a strange but attractive folk-psychedelic album as a solo act that, until its belated reissue on CD, was a rare and legendary psychedelic cult item.
Dino Valente's sole album recalls the one issued by another San Francisco artist signed to CBS in the late '60s, Skip Spence: quirky, lyrically vague, folky yet psychedelic, and nearly devoid of commercial potential in spite of its largely pleasant (if moody) melodies and textures. Valente, however, was not as intriguing a lyricist as Spence, nor as intensely soulful a vocalist, and overall much sunnier in tone. Valente had a rather whiny voice, so it was wise to put so much echo on both his 12-string guitar (which accounts for most of the instrumentation on the record) and vocals, which both covered up some of his vocal deficiencies and added a sheath of mystery. Listening to his songs is like listening to some hippie trying to talk a vulnerable, confused, attractive girl, on the rebound from a failed romance, into taking up with him as a panacea to her problems: phrases are uttered and rejoinders offered, but one can't be sure exactly what the situation is or where it's leading. It's not the insufferable experience this description might lead you to expect, mostly because of the enticing (if similar-sounding) melancholy of the tunes.The CD reissue added two previously unreleased tracks that are similar to the rest of the album in both mood and quality.[allmusic]