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Gabriel Rivera
Gabriel Rivera

How to Find and Listen to Bob Ray Initiation Of A Mystic Rar: A Guide for Rare Vinyl Collectors

Bob Ray Initiation Of A Mystic Rar: A Lost Gem of Psychedelic Folk Rock

If you are a fan of psychedelic folk rock, you may have heard of Bob Ray, a singer-songwriter who released one solo album in 1970 called Initiation Of A Mystic. This album is considered by many to be a masterpiece of the genre, blending acoustic guitar, orchestral arrangements, poetic lyrics, and mystical imagery. However, it is also one of the most obscure and hard-to-find albums ever made, as it was only released in a limited number of copies and never reissued on CD or digital platforms. In this article, we will explore the story behind this rare gem, who Bob Ray was, what his album was about, and why it is so sought-after by collectors and music lovers.

Bob Ray Initiation Of A Mystic Rar

Who is Bob Ray?

His early career and involvement with Donovan and Thorinshield

Bob Ray was born in Los Angeles, California, in the early 1940s. He started his musical career as a session bassist, playing on various recordings by artists such as The Monkees, The Association, The Mamas & The Papas, and others. He also contributed bass to Donovan's legendary sessions in May 1966 that produced songs like "Season of the Witch", "Sunshine Superman", and "Mellow Yellow". He became friends with Donovan and shared his interest in folk music, spirituality, and psychedelia.

In 1967, he formed a sunshine pop trio called Thorinshield with singer-guitarist James Smith and drummer Terry Hand. They signed to Philips Records and released their debut single "The Best of It", produced by saxophonist Steve Douglas and arranged by Perry Botkin Jr., who were both famous for their work with Phil Spector. They followed with a self-titled album that featured catchy melodies, harmonies, and pop hooks. They also released another single "Family of Man" in 1968, but soon after they disbanded due to lack of commercial success.

His solo debut album and collaboration with Johnny Rivers and the Wrecking Crew

After Thorinshield broke up, Bob Ray signed to Soul City Records, a label owned by singer Johnny Rivers. Rivers was impressed by Ray's songwriting skills and decided to produce his solo debut album. He also hired some of the best studio musicians in Los Angeles to back him up, including the famous Wrecking Crew, a group of session players who had worked with artists like The Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, and many more. Among them were drummer Hal Blaine, bassist Joe Osborne, keyboardist Larry Knechtel, and flutist Jim Horn. The album also featured string arrangements by Hal David, who had collaborated with Burt Bacharach on many hit songs.

The result was Initiation Of A Mystic, an ambitious and eclectic album that showcased Ray's talent as a singer-songwriter. The album was recorded in late 1968 and released in early 1970. It contained 11 tracks that ranged from folk rock, pop, country, blues, to psychedelic rock. The album had a concept and a theme, as the title suggested, of a spiritual journey and a quest for enlightenment. Ray's lyrics were poetic and mystical, drawing inspiration from various sources such as Eastern philosophy, Celtic mythology, Native American culture, and personal experience. He also used imagery of nature, seasons, colors, and elements to convey his message.

His disappearance from the music scene and cult status

Despite the high quality of the album and the involvement of many prominent musicians and producers, Initiation Of A Mystic failed to attract much attention or sales. It was largely ignored by the critics and the public, and soon faded into obscurity. Ray himself seemed to vanish from the music scene after the album's release, and little is known about his whereabouts or activities since then. Some rumors suggest that he moved to Hawaii or India, or that he became a recluse or a hermit. Others claim that he died of a drug overdose or a car accident. However, none of these claims have been verified or confirmed.

Over the years, however, Initiation Of A Mystic gained a cult following among fans of psychedelic folk rock and rare vinyl collectors. The album was praised for its originality, creativity, and beauty, and compared to other classics of the genre such as Donovan's Hurdy Gurdy Man, Nick Drake's Pink Moon, or Tim Buckley's Goodbye and Hello. The album also influenced some contemporary artists such as Devendra Banhart, Fleet Foxes, or Father John Misty. The album became one of the most sought-after and expensive records ever made, with original copies selling for thousands of dollars on online auctions or record fairs.

What is Initiation Of A Mystic?

The album's concept and themes

As the title implies, Initiation Of A Mystic is an album that tells the story of a spiritual journey and a quest for enlightenment. The album is divided into two sides, each representing a different stage of the journey. The first side is called "The Initiation", and it depicts the awakening of the mystic's consciousness and his exploration of the world around him. The second side is called "The Mystic", and it portrays the mystic's transcendence of the material world and his connection with the divine.

The album's themes are universal and timeless, as they deal with questions of existence, meaning, purpose, identity, love, death, and rebirth. The album also reflects Ray's personal views and experiences, as he was influenced by various spiritual traditions and practices such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Zen, Yoga, Meditation, Astrology, Tarot, Numerology, and others. He also incorporated elements of his own background and culture, such as his Celtic heritage, his Native American ancestry, his Californian lifestyle, and his involvement with the 1960s counterculture.

The album's musical style and influences

Initiation Of A Mystic is an album that combines various musical genres and influences to create a unique and original sound. The album's main genre is psychedelic folk rock, which is characterized by acoustic guitar-based songs with electric instrumentation, orchestral arrangements, complex melodies, harmonies 71b2f0854b


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