Saturday, September 13, 2014

David Axelrod - Song of Innocence (1968) + Songs of Experience (1969)

Amidst all of the totally justified animosity directed at U2 for forcing their crappy new album on something like 100 million people, no one seems to be pointing out a more subtle reason to be mad at them: the album in question is called Songs of Innocence, and they have a planned follow-up album called Songs of Experience. Meaning, not only did they sneak their album into the libraries of countless innocent Apple devices, they're ripping off David Axelrod.

Of course, Axelrod's records were named after poet William Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience, but he made no secret of this, as the albums were written as musical interpretations of Blake's work. So, in order to glean some sort of positivity from U2-gate, I'm sharing Axelrod's brilliant first two albums, which weave together psychedelic rock, baroque pop, and jazz fusion, forming a gleaming, kaleidoscopic tapestry of instrumental bliss.

Track listing:
-Song of Innocence-
1. Urizen
2. Holy Thursday
3. The Smile
4. A Dream
5. Song of Innocence
6. Merlin's Prophecy
7. The Mental Traveler
-Songs of Experience-
1. A Poison Tree
2. A Little Girl Lost
3. London
4. The Sick Rose
5. The School Boy
6. The Human Abstract
7. The Fly
8. A Divine Image



  1. Blessings for giving Axelrod his due, and outing The Bono Band. An Axelrod comp was released a few years that features some of the work he did with vocalists in addition to his instrumentals. Not to be missed.

  2. Ironically, that Axelrod comp is title, "The Edge".

  3. Songs no. 5-6-7 on ''Innocence'' and all but no. 3 and 7 on ''Experience'' are unplayable... Nice eclectic blog, though!

    1. Just made a new file and reupped it. They play fine for me, let me know if there's a problem.

  4. killer stuff, some of the most bad-ass records ever made by the LA Wrecking Crew... or by anyone, really. The new files play fine for me. And I'd like to think Bono & co. are cool enough to even know about these albums, but I wouldn't even give them that much credit.

  5. Thanks so much for the upload, as well as the appreciation for the original artist. You're awesome!

  6. You the man, THANKS

  7. Any chance upping this before the weekend? would love to play this on the train :)

    1. You're the best! Anymore from Axelrod? I just discovered him and your blog :(

    2. Delayed response.... sure! I only have one other record of his, "Earth Rot", and it's a strange one. I'll post it sometime soon.

  8. Although I've seen these recordings in discographies and shops many times over the decades I have never heard them. That changes tonight! Another pair of records I've not heard are the 2 he did with The Electric Prunes in 1968. They are hard to find. Many thanks for these, I look forward to listening.


  9. Found your site trying to find the chords to David Axelrod's 'The Sick Rose' - now I don't care, cos I'm having a look round here. Great site and thanks for the music :-))