1971: Various Artists: Elektra - A Child’s Garden Of Grass

“Many people have smoked marijuana, many have seen marijuana, but very few people have ever heard marijuana.”

Everyone knows that Cheech & Chong’s Up In Smoke, a natural conclusion to their early seventies comedy records, is the single greatest and funniest pot movie ever made (narrowly beating out Half Baked), but you’re either a fool or ill informed if you think that burnout duo produced the best ever pot album. A Child’s Garden Of Grass, a companion to the Jack S. Margolis’ 1969 book of the same name, easily takes that dubious honour. Every eccentric quirk and isolated experience you have ever known about the indisputable best recreational drug in recorded history is picked at here, all produced under the format of an educational fifties school slide show.

Utilizing all the studio tricks and sound effects the early seventies had to offer, the authentic instructional video outline is injected with surreal qualities, paced by ancient synths providing slide cues. “Have you ever been caught watching the {Flying Nun? Experienced a heightened awareness of your anus and genitals? Had three thoughts at once in a room with four story high ceilings while listening to Myron Florin music? Ever attended a meditation class where raucous Yogi mantras trail inconspicuously into a vicious “SEIG HEIL!?”} It’s all acted out vividly in quadraphonic sound.

The preparatory guidance given, though it may seem obvious to veteran smokers, is priceless to people just learning about the non-Satanic qualities of reefer. Tips on the methods of acquiring pot as well as a brief rundown of its glorious history are bound to start newbees off on the right foot. “A basic truth about being stoned is that everything –even television– is good… you must learn to be careful of this.” Good advice to young reviewers out there. Don’t make the same mistakes your parents did.

Which is most remarkable, this LP has inarguably aged with amazing grace, and is still every bit as accurate and punchy as when it miraculously found release on Elektra in 1971. The cultural relevance is evident by samples that still turn up on contemporary hip-hop and electronic albums, notably the Madvillain debut, DJ Vadim’s USSR: The Art Of Listening, and Mark Farina’s “Betcha Do” from Air Farina. And yet, despite the solid testimony, this record has yet to have a decent re-release.


There’s a lot of good music out there, and it’s not all being released this year. With DeLorean, we aim to rediscover overlooked artists and genres, to listen to music historically and contextually, to underscore the fluidity of music. While we will cover reissues here, our focus will be on music that’s not being pushed by a PR firm.