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The Association - Birthday (1968)

The Association - Birthday (1968)


The Association - Birthday (1968)

Birthday is a strong record. Vocally, the intricate harmonies shine, and there is a lyrical depth on some songs that challenge the Association's reputation as a mere pop group. Granted, there are some light moments, such as the opening cut, "Come On In" (though the vocals do stand out on this cut). And "Toymaker" and "Hear in Here" show the vocal limitations of the lead singers. But "Like Always" does an excellent job of wryly commenting on the loss of a relationship, with the usual fine vocal interplay. "The Time It Is Today" mixes the political and personal in an effective way. And "Everything That Touches You" (their final Top Ten ) is one of their finest love songs, if not one of their best songs, period. The vocals are as intricate as the arrangement, and the sincerity of the lyrics is very apparent. 

The Association - Birthday (1968)

Chad & Jeremy - Distant Shores (1966)

Chad & Jeremy - Distant Shores (1966)

Musical styles were changing and threatening to leave Chad & Jeremy's light, pleasant folk-rock-cum-British beat pop style behind. Amazingly, in the midst of this tectonic shift in the musical landscape, they managed to put together the strongest of their Columbia albums, which isn't saying too much, but for those who care to start with their best effort, this is it. Distant Shores catches the duo belatedly evolving out of their old folk-style and light pop sound, with denser production and some better songs to work with. It wasn't an abrupt break from their past, however, as evidenced by the title track, a beautiful and more complex sequel to "A Summer Song," authored by producer James William Guercio (and sporting a string, horn, and reed accompaniment that sounds like it was lifted straight from the embellishment to Gerry & the Pacemakers' "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying"); it might not have stood out on a Beatles album of the era, but for these two, the overall sound was a step forward, at least in ambition (and it was their final Top 40 hit). And with Guercio calling the production shots, they manage to turn Bobby Goldsboro's "When Your Love Has Gone" into a faux Burt Bacharach number that adds up to slightly more than the sum of its parts, as does the album closer, "Don't Make Me Do It," the latter one of three originals by the duo on this record. Their version of Jonathan King's "Everyone's Gone to the Moon" benefits from the pair's harmonies, but otherwise adds little significant beyond a very busy percussion part behind them. Of the other two originals, "You Are She" stands out as a glittering piece of Baroque pop, with enough use of the harpsichord to rival the Left Banke. On the other hand, "The Way You Look Tonight," "Early Mornin' Rain," and "Homeward Bound" (done in an arrangement identical to Simon & Garfunkel's) didn't depart at all from the duo's prior sound, suggesting that even Guercio found his limits in extending their range. Despite these caveats, and the fact that they still had their feet in several different musical camps, there are more high points to this record than anything else that Chad & Jeremy issued in their waning two years. Distant Shores had "transitional" written all over it, although it wasn't clear what Chad & Jeremy were making a transition to.

Chad & Jeremy - Distant Shores (1966)

Chad & Jeremy - Distant Shores (1966)

VA - My World of Make Believe




Turned-on 32-track set of sunshine, soft and studio pop, spanning 1966 to 1972! Features David Gates, Bob Dileo, The Freshmen, The Seagulls, Don Grady, Paul Vigrass and others...


Sunshine pop from deep in the 60s underground – not the overplayed hits you'd know from oldies stations, but instead the kind of well-produced by totally obscure gems that drive the true collectors of the style! These tunes are amazing – really well-written and recorded, often with harmonies on the vocals, mixed with some psych instrumentation and sometimes set to larger arrangements – the kind of top-shelf work you'd know from big sunshine pop classics on labels like Capitol, Uni, or Warner Brothers – but much less familiar! The set's maybe the best we've seen so far on the Teensville label, and features a whopping 32 tracks in all – with titles that include "Sing To Me" by Bob Dileo, "My World Of Make Believe" by Barry Darvel, "Thinkin Bout Me" by Fairchilds, "Twiggs" by The Seagulls, "Don't Let Me Catch You In His Arms" by The Razor's Edge, "Shine A Little Light" by Bat McGrath & D Harvey Potter, "I Can't Get Nowhere With You" by Kris Jensen, "Let It Happen" by Don Grady, "I Just Haven't Got What It Takes" by Toni Scotti, "Loving Two" by Peter Courtney, "Like It Never Was" by Peter Vigrass, "It's Waiting There For You" by The Furnacemen, and "Don't Look At Me" by Frank Lyndon. ( © 1996-2018, Dusty Groove, Inc.)


Thanks Robert for this...

The Association - Birthday (1968)Chad & Jeremy - Distant Shores (1966)VA - My World of Make Believe

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