Hard Coming Love - The United States of America

Rola: Hard Coming Love
Traducción: El amor viene duro
Intérprete: The United States of America
Compositor: Joseph Byrd, Dorothy Moskowitz
Disco: The United States of America
Productor: David Rubinson


"Hard Coming Love" is the second song on the 1968 album The United States of America. It was written by Joe Byrd and Dorothy Moskowitz and is sung by Moskowitz.

The song was released as a 7" single by Sundazed Records in 2004 as part of their "Kustom Shop" of original releases. Its b-side was the song "Osamu’s Birthday". The originally-unissued "Osamu's Birthday" has a strange vocal track which Moskowitz recorded by singing the lyrics phonetically backwards, then the track was reversed for an other-worldly effect.

Both these songs are previously unissued versions recorded live-in-the-studio, 1967. They are different from the versions that appear on the 2004 bonus track version the band's only album.


Duración: 04:53
Año: 1968
Formato: 7"
A la venta: 16/03/1968
Lado B: Osamu's Birthday
Disquera: Sundazed Records


Joseph Byrd – electronic music, electric harpsichord, organ, calliope, piano
Dorothy Moskowitz – lead vocals
Gordon Marron – electric violin, ring modulator
Rand Forbes – electric bass
Craig Woodson – electric drums, percussion
Ed Bogas – occasional organ, piano, calliope



Hard Coming Love
El amor viene duro
I don't love easy, babe,
Got to be slow.
Simple to talk about love,
But I want to know
All the things you're thinking
When the colored lights are blinking
And your head starts slowly sinking down,
Cause it's hard coming, love
Hard coming, love. . . coming love

Something about you, babe,
Turning me round,
So if you want me, babe,
You can't put me down.
When you say you need me,
And no other one can please me
There's that whole thing coming on where you belong.
Oh it's hard coming, love,
Hard coming, love. . . coming love.

If you're uncertain, babe
Don't turn it aside
Save it for this time, now.
You can't run and hide.
Tell me all the ones you're riding
Round with all the time you're hiding
Down beneath the cover of your blind,
Cause it's hard coming love
Hard coming love. . . Coming, love.


1. "The American Metaphysical Circus"
2. "Hard Coming Love"
3. "Cloud Song"
4. "The Garden Of Earthly Delights"
5. "I Won't Leave My Wooden Wife For You, Sugar"

1. "Where Is Yesterday"
2. "Coming Down"
3. "Love Song For The Dead Ché"
4. "Stranded In Time"
5. "The American Way Of Love"
-"Metaphore For An Older Man"
-"California Good Time Music"
-"Love Is All"

The United States of America is a 1968 album by The United States of America. Produced by David Rubinson, it was released by Columbia Records in 1968. The album was the only release by The United States of America when they were still together and received positive reviews on its release, charting at 181 on the Billboard 200. The album has been re-issued several times and continues to receive critical acclaim decades after its original release.

The United States of America was produced by David Rubinson, who also signed the group to Columbia Records. Rubinson knew members Joe Byrd and Dorothy Moskowitz previously. Creating the electronic sounds on the album was difficult because of the technical limitations. Byrd recalled "the only available functioning keyable synthesizers were Robert Moog's at +$20,000. We were left with whatever sounds I could squeeze from three variable wave shape generators, modulating one another." The oscillators were built for the group by Richard Durrett. Electronic devices were also used live and on the album to process other instruments and Moskowitz's voice. This is used on "The American Metaphysical Circus" where towards the end of the song the voice becomes so distorted it is unintelligible.

Byrd was the group's leader. He stated his aesthetic aims for the band and album were to have an avant-garde political/musical rock group with the idea of combining Electronic sound (not electronic music), musical/political radicalism and Performance art. During the 1960s, Byrd was drawn to the leftist Communist Party group, explaining that it was "the one group that had discipline, an agenda, and was willing to work within the existing institutions to educate and radicalize American society." The song "Love Song for the Dead Ché" reflects these ideas. Columbia Records originally wanted this title changed due to its political implications.[8] Byrd suggested "Julius and Ethel Rosenberg" as a replacement title if the original title had not been taken.

The album is littered with references to Byrd's obsession with old-time American music such as the dixieland jazz intro on "I Won't Leave My Wooden Wife for You, Sugar". "The American Metaphysical Circus" also starts out with no fewer than 5 layers of sound being heard in a collage. A calliope playing "National Emblem", a ragtime piano playing "At a Georgia Camp Meeting", two marching bands playing "Marching Through Georgia" and "The Red, White and Blue" switching between left and right channels. The other two tracks are of electronic sounds.

Dorothy Moskowitz and Joseph Byrd collaborated as lyricists on the album for most of the songs. In "Garden of Earthly Delights", Bogas wrote the lyrics for the first verse and chorus. Moskowitz came with the track's title and the other tuneful changes and accents. On "Coming Down", Moskowitz contributed to the melody line as well as writing about the second and third. On "Hard Coming Love", Byrd wrote the title and first verse, and Moskowitz contributed to what she referred to as the "lame doggerel that follows".

The album was originally released to minimal press. A review from Rolling Stone was fairly mixed, it was praised for its style by stating "The tunes are infectious, the harmonies adventurous yet eminently satisfying. And the lyrics (which Columbia has wisely printed on the jacket) are the best thing of all." But, "this first album falls short of being really satisfying. Mainly I think it's because the strictly technical abilities of the U.S.A. are not quite on a level with their ideas. The voices are flat and uninteresting, showing little technical or interpretive power. The instruments perform their assigned tasks adroitly, but all too mechanically".

Modern reception of the album has been very positive. Richie Unterberger of Allmusic gave the album a rating of four and half stars out of five, and referred to the album as "one of the most exciting and experimental psychedelic albums of the late '60s" and compared some of the bands more hard-edged material to early Pink Floyd and The Velvet Underground. Music webzine Pitchfork Media gave the album a high rating of 8.9 out of 10, and claimed that "USA's self-titled album still stands above the work of most of their Monterey-era, psych-rock peers". Dusted Magazine also praised the album on its 2004 re-issue, stating "The most ambitious, idiosyncratic debut album of 2004 is 36 years old.". Negative points of the album were mentioned by Allmusic noting that "Occasionally things get too excessive and self-conscious, and the attempts at comedy are a bit flat, but otherwise this is a near classic." The Dusted Magazine review also noted this stating "The less successful tracks on the album are the ones that ditch subtlety for extremely strident attacks on bourgeois America." Pitchfork Media's only problem with the album was some of the dated electronic effects, suggesting that "some of the album's synthesizer works haven't aged well and are stigmatized by the "B-flick sound effects" tag that magnifies the wrinkles on so many electro-acoustic pieces from the analog years."


The United States of America: Los Angeles

The United States of America was an American experimental rock and psychedelic band whose works are an example of early electronic music in rock and roll.

Formed in 1967 by Joseph Byrd, the band membership consisted of the following: Joseph Byrd (electronic music, electric harpsichord, organ, calliope, piano, and Durrett Electronic Music Synthesizer), Dorothy Moskowitz (lead vocals), Gordon Marron (electric violin, ring modulator), Rand Forbes (an early adopter of the fretless electric bass) and Craig Woodson (drums and percussion). Ed Bogas also performed on the record with occasional organ, piano, and calliope; he became a full member of the band on its first and only tour.

Their self-titled record was recorded in December 1967, produced by David Rubinson for CBS Records, and released in 1968. It was rereleased on CD by Sundazed Records in 2004 with various alternate takes, demos, and outtakes.

Their sound blended a range of musical genres, including avant-garde, psychedelic, and progressive. One of the more notable points of the band was that it had no guitar player, which for its time was quite radical, as the electric guitar occupied a central position in rock music of the time. Instead, they used strings, keyboards and electronics, including primitive synthesizers, and various audio processors, including the ring modulator.

The record was released in early 1968, at a time when there was a receptive audience for “underground music” which combined musical experimentalism with radical social and/or political lyrics – other examples, in their very different ways, including the Velvet Underground (who shared a common background in the New York experimental music scene; according to Moskowitz, Nico at one point tried to join the USA), Frank Zappa (whom Byrd considered a niche-marketer "subsumed in a self-referential loop"), Love’s Forever Changes, Country Joe and the Fish, and Jefferson Airplane.

Whether intended or not, the record took the form of a coherent “song cycle”, a radical commentary on contemporary American society. The words ranged from satires on decadence ("The American Metaphysical Circus" , "..Wooden Wife..", (this title being a parody of the old music hall song, "I Wouldn't Leave My Little Wooden Hut for You" by Tom Mellor and Charles Collins) to lyrical expressions of longing (the pastoral "Cloud Song", the political "Love Song For The Dead Che"). Musically, the songs ranged from pseudo-classical elegance ("Stranded In Time", "Where Is Yesterday") to aggressive discordance and hard rock ("The Garden of Earthly Delights", "Hard Coming Love"), with heavy electronic distortion and collages of “found” music such as brass bands, Byrd being heavily influenced by Charles Ives. The final suite "The American Way of Love" integrates most of these elements, with a dreamlike ending containing a collage of earlier tracks.

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