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.