After his debut solo release, Dr. John found himself in a strange and awkward position. The US was deep into the Vietnam War, and the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy were fresh in the public memory. On top of that, Dr. John was being pursued by various Los Angeles authorities for a handful of criminal offenses. It was, in his own words: “a heavy time for me.”
This set the stage for Babylon being a reflection of the chaotic and tumultuous time that he was living. He and band dove deeper into the voodoo-inflected psychedelic rock and R&B of Gris-Gris, while touching upon elements of free jazz and Captain Beefheart-style avant garde. Babylon stands out as a psychedelic swamp of apocalyptic lyrical content, drunk, disorienting experimentation, and a fascinating entry into Dr. John’s catalogue well-worthy of his expansive legacy.
Get On Down is all too eager to reissue this unique record for Record Store Day Black Friday, which has not been repressed on vinyl in over 40 years. In keeping with the album’s hallucinogenic sound, it is presented on trippy splatter-colored vinyl, and housed in a deluxe gatefold jacket.
A3. Black Window Spider
A4. Barefoot Lady
B1. Twilight Zone
B2. The Patriotic Flag-Waver
B3. The Lonesome Guitar Strangler