Released in late 1968, the second Pearls Before Swine record continued to deliver music with a preternatural sense of what the youth of America wanted to hear. One Nation Underground had been a surprise hit when released in 1967 by the hipster free-jazz indie label ESP, receiving an incredible organic response, with continuous underground radio play and sales.
Like One Nation Underground before it, Balaklava celebrates 50 years of life in stunning fashion. Original producer Richard Alderson has remastered the album, restoring the precision of the original mix - and in the process, revealing fantastically dynamic performances and dispersing the haze of the years that had gathered over latter-day editions of Balaklava. The music and message it intended to deliver to the world are still needed, the peace still sought. The fight to understand and to change is still ongoing. And so, Balaklava has fresh purpose, after all this time.
The music of Balaklava strips away the manic, post-garage band diversity of the first album, instead grounding the production around Tom Rapp's guitar and singing, with the touches of instrumental color all the more dramatic and striking. Tom Rapp passed away while this album was being readied for re-release. While he spent the majority of his life working as a lawyer who practiced humanist, equal-rights law - "60s law", as he put it - for the benefit of many underrepresented people, his name will best remembered and will forever be synonymous with the music of Pearls Before Swine. We are grateful to help in pushing this music forward toward the eternity it deserves.
It goes without saying that this anniversary restoration of Balaklava is dedicated to Tom's memory. May he rest in peacefulness, and live in the positivity that Pearls Before Swine bring to all who hear their music. It's been 50 long years, but you can finally own the definitive version of this masterpiece on December 14th!