Reissued and Revisited: Ace of Cups | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Reissued and Revisited: Ace of Cups

It’s Bad for You But Buy It! [Big Beat]

Jul 03, 2019 By Frank Valish Bookmark and Share

In 1968, the Ace of Cups were on the doorstep to greatness. An all-female band in late-‘60s San Francisco, Mary Gannon (bass), Marla Hunt (organ, piano), Denise Kaufman (guitar, harmonica), Mary Ellen Simpson (lead guitar), and Diane Vitalich (drums) found themselves lauded by Jimi Hendrix and opening for acts like Jefferson Airplane, Mike Bloomfield, and the Grateful Dead. But the band never recorded a proper album. Personal and professional difficulties splintered the band and by the early ‘70s, The Ace of Cups was a shell of its former self.

Now, on the heels of the band reforming and releasing its formal debut album, 51 years after its inception, Big Beat Records has finally released some of the band’s 1960s recordings to vinyl. Cherry picking from the previously released 16-track CD of the same name, It’s Bad for You But Buy It! features 9 original era Ace of Cups tracks, taken from demos and live tapes.

These nine songs shed light on what this band could have been, and this collection stands up well against any of the proper records of the era. Beginning with the a capella “Music,” It’s Bad for You follows with the harmony-drenched “Taste of One,” the bluesy “Stones,” the epic soulful jam, “Afro Blue,” and the psychedelic “Glue,” complete with mid-song spoken-word commercial. Notes of Jefferson Airplane are present throughout, but what these songs show is how diverse and accomplished this band was before it imploded.

The band’s recent official debut is a fine reminder of what Ace of Cups was capable of, but It’s Bad for You But Buy It! showcases the band in its heyday. Releasing these songs on vinyl is a much-needed addition to the band’s legacy. Long live Ace of Cups!



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