God bless reissue labels. Case in point, the Dragons’ BFI—a West coast surf/psych romp resurrected in 2007 via London’s Ninja Tune Records. It’s one of those quintessential crate-digger finds, seemingly forgotten, only to gain a new audience 30+ years after it original release. The story goes (and there is always a story) that several years ago, after catching the Dragons tune “Food For My Soul” in the 1970 surf flick A Sea For Yourself, that Ninja Tune’s DJ Food went searching for the film’s soundtrack and eventually the source of the track…which led to the Dragons themselves. The master tapes were resurrected and BFI was once again in print.

Recorded on the fly in 1970, at Hollywood’s Sunwest Studios during off-hours, BFI (Blue Forces Intelligence) unfolds like a happy accident. Far too weird and out there for a major label at the time, it is no wonder the LP lingered in schizophrenic obscurity. Over the span of 11 songs in 45 minutes the album veers between atmospheric psych-rock, pop, blue-eyed soul and back again. This, of course, wouldn’t be all that radical except the changes often happen during the course of the same song. Oh, and there’s bizarre organ and synths peppered throughout along with ringing telephones, screams, some sort of pastiche Asian chimes, fake James Brown vocals, etc, etc. Below are a couple of the more, err, “normal” songs. Dig in—you know you wanna.

MP3: The Dragons :: Amplified Emotion
MP3: The Dragons :: Food For My Soul
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+ Download The Dragons :: BFI via eMusic’s 25 free MP3 no risk trial offer
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3 Responses to “The Dragons :: BFI (Blue Forces Intelligence) Reissued”

  1. It’s a good album, but you left out one of the coolest bits about it. The “bizarre organ and synths” were courtesy of Daryl Dragon, who later became the “Captain” of Captain and Tennille who had several hits in the 70s as well as their own variety TV show.

    Someone needs to interview that guy for a couple of hours.

  2. Food For My Soul is sick chill. On a sidenote, when are you going to host one of these rock n roll shindigs on the east coast (namely, DC)?!? All these adverts are just bad teases. Bring some of your west coast musical darlings, and maybe even throw an act or two from the fruitful Bmore/Dc basket onto the bill. Just a thought… Ok, a plea.

  3. It gets even cooler. The Dragons were a “family” band. The principal members of the “band” were brothers Doug & Dennis; “Captain” Daryl also helped out too. All three Dragon brothers worked w/ the Beach Boys, another “family” band, either as session musicians or as traveling band musicians. The Dragons played a special role on the BB’s “Sunflower” LP, read more here:

    http://recordingsunflower.blogspot.com/2008/02/special-daryl-and-dennis-dragon.html

    Also, Daryl helped out Dennis Wilson on several solo recordings; for just one great example of their collaboration, check out the single “Sound of Free/Lady.” Here’s an interview w/ Daryl.

    http://www.danaddington.com/denny/dragon.html

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