Although Buddy Miles
' alchemical fusion of psychedelia, blues, and soul did not truly coalesce until his masterpiece Them Changes
, his debut LP, Expressway to Your Skull
, remains an inspired and original statement of intent, a record that's both timeless and an unmistakable product of counterculture consciousness. Each of the album's seven songs is a fascinating montage of sounds and styles -- acid-fuzz guitar collides with zig-zagging funk horns, and shrieking keyboards meet juke joint blues riffs head on. Not everything works -- a cover of Sam & Dave
's "Wrap It Up" is more leaden than lively, and the instrumental "Funky Mule" feels like filler -- but the remaining material is brilliant, its twists and turns navigated by Miles
' deeply soulful vocals and monster drumming.