Fraternal Order Of The All: Greetings From Planet Love (1997)

Hey, remember when I used to talk about albums all the time, before I decided to pivot to a daily write-up of my 1000 favorite songs? Good times, good times. Anyway, this essentially forgotten out-of-print gem from 1997 was just re-released, so it seems like a good excuse to chat it up a bit.

Fraternal Order Of The All are a make-believe band, basically the alter ego of late songwriter Andrew Gold. (You may remember him from his 1976 hit "Lonely Boy," or as the guy who wrote the song they used in Golden Girls?) He recorded Greetings From Planet Love as a faux-psychedelia one-off, a pastiche largely of Smile-era Beach Boys and Sgt. Pepper-era Beatles. It calls to mind XTC's Dukes of Stratosphear side-project, though it's a little less sprawling in its tribute to late 60s psychedelic bands; and, indeed, it sounds a lot like XTC in places (i.e. the very Dukes-like "Rainbow People"), as well as XTC-inspired Elephant 6 acts like the Minders.

There's a lot of obvious Beach Boys love here, or at least Brian Wilson-worshipping acts like Wondermints (i.e. "Love Tonight"), but there are some fun variations, like the Byrds ode "Space and Time" and the "Tomorrow Never Knows" by-way-of XTC closer "Tomorrow Drop Dead." It bounces around between fully-realized songs and interstitial instrumentals, making for a trippy headphone-friendly romp.

Anyway, it's a ton of fun, and nice to see it back in print.

"Tomorrow Drop Dead":

"Space And Time":