Mazhar ve Fuat – Türküz Türkü Çagiririz! (Shadok’s Music)

I like late-60s and early-70s Anatolian rock reissues. The combination of hard-edged psychedelia and Turkish folk motifs, best exemplified in albums from Baris Manco, Erkin Koray and Cem Karaca, usually makes for a fun listen. However, this 1973 album is one of the weakest in the genre. The band’s two principle members (Aziz Fuat Guner and Mazhar Alanson) first bonded as Beatles-loving teens in 1966, and seven years later they recorded their sole album together. By that time their tastes had moved on to folk rock with mild remnants of psychedelia, which is good and well, but their execution leaves a lot to be desired. The duo’s biggest flaw is their vocals, which are largely devoid of emotion or personality. In fact, the two songs with lead vocals from an unnamed female guest singer (good luck getting info from the clumsy liner notes) are the album’s best. But singing isn’t the only shortcoming – the duo also fall victim to stale songwriting and boring musicianship. The worst offender is the album’s only English-language song, “Upside Down”, which combines generic hippie-dippy folk-rock and terribly dated protest lyrics about how “we gotta turn the whole damn thing upside down”. Oddly enough, songs from this album have been repurposed as beats for Action Bronson and Oh No tracks. So there’s that.