There’s something striking, and a bit unnerving about the cover of Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66’s 1967 album Equinox. First of all, since their debut album dropped in 1966, and this is their sophomore effort, shouldn’t they have referred to themselves as Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’67? But more importantly, the angle of the cover photo, and the pensive looks across the faces of this great Latin jazz band suggest some hidden, otherworldly connection. When taking the photo for this record, I nonchalantly framed the album on my desk and through my camera saw six, 1967 musicians staring back at me. It was a moment I couldn’t shake, hence the subject of this post. Anyway, the music is great, like I said, Latin jazz, and you should check it out, if you can get past the chilling cover.
I don’t listen to the Lovin’ Spoonful that much these days, and it’s not because the records are located on the shelf right next to Loverboy. But when I do listen to the Lovin’ Spoonful, I get a hearty dose of The Best of. Now, I’m fully aware that greatest hits albums are for lazy bastards and fascist sympathizers, but every once and a while it’s good to “spin the hits,” especially when you forgot you even owned the record.
1967’s Belafonte on Campus is a modest collection of college touring favorites played on a then forty school, forty day tour. It’s often easy to overlook the power of folk music on North American youth throughout the murky turmoil that surrounded the late 1960s. Mr. Belafonte was first and foremost a man of the people, and his profound followers filled assembly halls and auditoriums to capacity (in some cases beyond), and Belafonte on Campus is a must listen for any fan of music history, and / or prolific performers. “… if you don’t move to this one, then you’re dead.” – William A. Attaway, Belafonte on Campus back cover.
I’ve been holding out for the 2012 remastered mono / stereo reissue of The Kink’s 1967 masterpiece, Something Else by the Kinks, but had to pull the trigger on this original US stereo pressing when faced with the decision. Chapter two in the “perfect album string” that started with 1966’s Face to Face and ended with 1971’s Muswell Hillbillies (6 albums in total), Something Else… is home to the following flawless cuts: Harry Rag, Waterloo Sunset, Death of a Clown (a Dave track), David Watts, and Two Sisters. Like with all early, middle, and late Kinks releases, Something Else… is nothing short of essential listening material. Ray Davies = genius… that is all.
This 1967 psych-rock album is the first from Long Island’s Vanilla Fudge, and would serve as the band’s most successful offering, peaking at #6 on the Billboard charts. With only three originals on the album Illusions of My Childhood, Pts. 1-3 (all instrumentals), Vanilla Fudge contains far-out and refreshing covers by The Zombies (She’s Not There), The Beatles (Eleanor Rigby and Ticket to Ride), The Supremes (You Keep Me Hangin’ On), and Cher (Bang Bang). For a refreshing take on classic 60’s flare, try some Vanilla Fudge in your groove diet.
The elegant mysticism that surrounds the ethereal journey that is Days of Future Passed is as inviting as it is comforting, and is, for this blue-skied Saturday afternoon, the perfect melodic mate. The Moody Blues and I are forever intertwined, as they were the first live band I’ve ever seen. I used to scoff at that fact, but now embrace it with humbled pride. Thanks, Big Guy for introducing us.
Happy Saturday, kids! Please drink / consume responsibly.