by Badmoon USER (65 Reviews)
January 14th, 2005 | 21 replies

Release Date: 1989 | Tracklist

Though Phish by many are said to have poor lyrics (Great, by others), it's albums like Junta that show that all they wanted to do is jam and have fun. And when you think about it, that is basically what Jam Bands are about. Like "Were going to do our thing, and if you enjoy it, great" and that is why Jam Bands usually do not hit the mainstream, and are cult groups. JOON - ta, not HUNTA - ta, (Named after a good friend) was not Phish's first official release. Their first, entitled The White Tapes or oddly enough The White Album was never released to the public through a record company. So, in a way, Junta is Phish's first album.

Junta is strongly based on jamming, definatley more so than any other Phish album. The album also gives off a very real sound, similar to how a bands first album usually is. Mainly because at this time, their were simply a couple of Vermont dorm room pals who just liked to jam. Money really wasn't a must, cathing fame (Especially from a Jam Band) were very unrealilistic. But luckily Phish managed to break into the mainstream and put a scar into it, unlike anyone has really done before.


"Fee", a latin influenced, piano driven track is one of my favorites just because of it's odd recording. Trey actually attempts to sing some long, smooth notes, which he executes nicely. The song contains various solos, mostly from Page on the piano. And the tune tells a story of a weasel named Fee, who tries to live a live that is completley free. The lyrics incoporate some humorous lines, one being "Floyd is dead; he's nothing but a ripple. Cause Milly took that paper, and sliced him on the nipple". Overall, it's a great song. 5/5

You Enjoy Myself

This supposable fan favorite is a great nine minute jam. Full of great rythm, and plenty of solos. The song suprising only contains six lines in it's lyrics that are in English. Those would be, "Boy, "Man", "God", "****", "Boy Man", and "Boy Man". The standout solo in my opinion is around four and half minutes, when Trey throws out a solo that, in my opinion, almost goes over the top. Great jam, odd lyrics. 4/5


"Esther" is opened with Page playing an organ, sounding very much like the organ playing at a baseball game. The song has some odd lyrics, about person named Esther. The 9:21 jam is very different, everything flows like it's just one sound, but each member is playing. Very hard to describe. 3.5/5

Golgi Apparatus

Here is a great, fun number with a great groove. The chorus is quite powerful, and the verse is just moderate. Trey and Page give off some great interludes and fills, which gives the song quite a spark. Not much more to really say. 4/5


The opening to this track shows Mike's ability to slap and pop. Though he shows his skills much better on other tracks on other albums. One being "Poor Heart" from A Picture of Nectar, or "Ghost" from The Story of the Ghost. For a while the track contains no guitar playing, and only the rythm section. And the vocals, which are occasionally performed by each member seem to be stack (Which is a recording method that makes several voices together sound smooth). 4/5

Dinner and a Movie

"Dinner and a Movie" along with "Fluffhead" are probably the closet to being a regular lengthed track on the album. The song, once again, only contains a small number of lyrics. Which is actually ten. Those lyrics are "Let's go out and see a movie". Not exactly single material, but still okay. 3.5/5

The Divided Sky

Here is a beautiful acoustic, with some nice xylophone playing, and incredible bass lines. The vocals at certain points (mainly the chorus) are sang by the whole group. Which is interesting to hear, being that each of their voices have a different tone. All the lyrics sang are simply "The divided sky, the wind blows high". And soon after the singing is finished, Trey changes to electric. Overall, the song also includes a rather long jam with a fabulous guitar solo, and many tempo changes. Fabulous jam. 4/5

David Bowie

"David Bowie" obviously named after the musician, is definatley a fan favorite, and is commonly played at concerts. The song's simple lyrics "David Bowie, UB40", are strongly backed up by a faublous Latin like groove. Which includes many tempo changes, Mike playing slap, Trey's melodic style, Page's ability to play lead and rythm very well, and Fishman's aggressive and perfect drumming. Like many of the songs on Junta, 5/5 for a Jam lover, 1/5 for a Jam hater.


"Fluffhead", the first track to start off the second disc, and is actually the shortest track. Running at 3:24, you could actually imagine this being played on the radio. Rythmicly, this is my favorite song on both discs. Page plays lead, and Trey holds back on the acoustic, while Mike and Fish acompany him. The lyrics are mediocre compared to their more recent, better lyrics. 5/5

Fluff's Travels

"Fluffhead" carries on into "Fluff's Travels" as though it's only one song. The continued track opens with Trey playing an acoustic solo. Trey also throws in many interludes, and several other solos. The bass is rather hard to hear, but if you turn up the bass it is easily heard that Mike is a fantastic bassist, and highly underrated. After about two and a half minutes Trey switched to electric and performs that way through the rest of the 11:35 track. Around 4:50, the band starts singing lyrics together. And the lyrics are very random and odd. Ex. "Tipsy fuddled boozy groogy elevated, prim did edit her. Hellborn elfchild roadhog mountain fortune hunter, man beheaded her." Great song and jam. 4.5/5


It's songs like these that make you (atleast me) feel that Phish can be seen playing anywhere and they would fit in. Like I wouldn't be suprised to be hearing a song like "Contact" in lounge or restaurant. Musically, I like this song more than any other on the album. It contains a great solo, which includes Mike and Page going at it at the same time. 4/5

Union Federal

The first of the three bonus tracks added in 1992. "Union Federal" is the longest track on the album, running at 25:31. It opens with some terrible trombone playing by Fish mixed with Mike's good bass playing. The mix slowly cuts off, and then the song is led by Mike and Page. Soon enough each member joins in. The song is recorded live, but the album does not state where. The track is also one-hundred percent jammed, including no lyrics, or skat, or noises, or whatever. 2/5 The track just doesn't excite me.


"Sanity" was recorded live at Nectar's, which is the bar the band got their start at. Phish also named their album A Picture of Nectar, after the bar's owner, and friend of Phish named Nectar. The playing and lyrics are quite leisure, that is until about 2:42 where Trey adds a lot of distorion. The song is also quite funny, being that the band adds in some humorous lyrics, and because Trey occasionally screws up singing because he is laughing. The song kind of reminds me of a Mothers of Invention song. 4/5


"Icculus" was also recorded live at Nectar's, apparently at the same date that "Sanity" was. The song opens up with Trey saying " We're going to lighten it up a bit.". He then continues by saying "This isn't really a stupid song (Refering to the previous played song", this is a special song, this is an imporant song, this is a dance song, this is....this is RED ROCKS, THIS IS THE EDGE!!!! I don't really know what he means by that, but it is still quite humorous. The song's main character Icculus (obviously similar to Icurus) is "The great and knowledgable, the philosopher, and the author of the great and friendly book" The song and band goes on to annoy the audience with the anticaption of knowing who they are talking about (Because they described Icculus before saying his name), and other hilarious antics. 5/5

Overall, the album gives off so many great jams, and some great humorous lyrics. Very interesting album 4/5.

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user ratings (94)

Comments:Add a Comment 
June 25th 2004


The only Phish cd I own is farmhouse but after reading the review I think I am going to pick this album up. I've heard some of the songs on the album live. I might be going to see Phish on one of their last concerts in Camden, NJ. Oh yeah Badmoon, Do you own Mars Hotel or Wake of the Flood by the Grateful Dead? Because those are two great dead albums I think I'm going to review them, just wanted to let you know since you'll probably be the one of the few people to read the reviews.

June 25th 2004


^And you should buy Lawn Boy first. Most would agree to that.

Badmoon, Do you own Mars Hotel or Wake of the Flood by the Grateful Dead?

No, but I have most of the songs on each of those albums downloaded though.

keep on phishin'
June 26th 2004


i have most phish albums excluding this one and round room after reading this it sounds like a winner. i have heard a number of these songs on various live albums.
so i think ill pick it up.

nice review :thumb:

June 26th 2004


I may review Round Room some time. But I can easily say that it is the worst Phish album.

June 26th 2004


Their first, entitled The White Tapes or oddly enough The White Album was never released to the public through a record company.

It's been released. It's at my Barnes & Noble's. I hid it from everybody under a desk so only I can buy it. And I'm gonna this weekend.

Union Federal

It's a weird song because it was from an Oh Kee Pa Ceremony. This was way back in '89 where the band would drink some "magic" tea or coffee or something which had a lot of pot and other stuff in it. Then they would just jam the whole day producking jack but still they ended up puting this song on Junta. Funny stuff.

Now, as for the rest of the album you did a great job reviewing even though I don't agree with some of it, I guess I'm just biased because I'd give every song a 5/5. I love this album to death because it has countless Phish classics and IMO it's the second best Phish album. 1st being Picture of Nectar, 3rd is Rift, and on, and on, and on...

p.s. I'll get of my lazy *** and start reviews all the albums I got. I gotta keep my promise....

June 26th 2004


It's been released. It's at my Barnes & Noble's. I hid it from everybody under a desk so only I can buy it. And I'm gonna this weekend.

It wasn't commercial though.

Plus it was released in 1998, so in a way Junta is Phish's first album.

June 26th 2004


Release date - Yay

Written date - Nay

But I know what you're getting at.

June 26th 2004


Lets just agree that it's doesn't matter.

January 17th 2005


I love this album. My favorite tracks are Fee, You Enjoy Myself, and Fluffhead. Good review aswell

March 31st 2006


The Divided Sky on LivePhish 7 is really good. Its so amazing when they go off into the jam... you guys should check it out

March 31st 2006


also on livephish 7 YEM is really good. They jam for about 20 minutes, and they even play Smoke on the Water in the middle of it... its awesome

April 17th 2006


I love live 7. thats probably one of my favorite live albums actually. live 16 is also really good

June 14th 2006


Album Rating: 5.0

Phish is awesome!!!

This is by far their best album, so Jammy.

My Favs R: all of the first 8

The Sloth
July 16th 2006


Album Rating: 5.0

This album is classic. If you turly respect and acknowledge music as GREAT this album will certainly please you. The Divided Sky is one of my all-time favorites and having all recorded and many love albums by Phish that says alot. The song is just a constant build-up until the end when it just explodes. I also suggest reading into the origin of this song. Search online its good stuff.

July 17th 2006


yeah have any of you guys read/heard about gamehendge, or "tmwsiy" (The Man Who Stepped Into to Yesterday)... Its a little story essay thing that trey wrote for his senoir project in college. you guys should check it out

July 17th 2006


trust me, its some real interesting stuff...

October 5th 2009


Album Rating: 3.0

first half of this album was kickass, then it really started to peter out. I like this, but only Fee and You Enjoy Myself are up with some of their later material for me.

April 4th 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

Let's go out to dinner and see a movie.

Digging: Fen - Winter

April 5th 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

Love this album so much.

December 11th 2012


Man. The word "jam" is used way too often in this review. As a graduate of music school, I can say that much of the music on Junta is composed (as in scored out on paper). The entire first part of You Enjoy Myself is written out. These are compositions more than they are jams. The compositions on this album employ highly complex classical composing techniques and should be recognized as such. "Jam" implies improvisation, and most of these songs are not improvised. Granted, sections of them are, but there are strict chord arrangements underneath those parts even. A "jam" can be boring, and boring doesn't describe this album at all.

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