I apologize for the lag between the last post and the new one, but as most of you in the northern hemisphere have experienced in the last few days the weather has been gearing up towards the glorious summer.
As a result I have been enjoying the weather, as many of you; but at the same time have compiled a list of some of my favourite summer songs (in no particular order) to accompany you in the (sunny) days to come.
DONOVAN – SUNNY SOUTH KENSINGTON (1967)
A psychedelic gem from Donovan’s 1967 album “Mellow Yellow”. Similar in subject to Sunshine Superman’s “The Trip”, as it was a tale of a night on acid out in Los Angles with Bob Dylan and Mama Cass amongst the others, Sunny South Kensington is a song about the vibrant scene in South West London in the mid 60. Lyrics such as “Mary Quant and Jean-Paul Belmondo/Got stoned to say the least,/ and Ginsberg ended up dry/So he too a trip out East” tell the tale of what Swinging London’s finest were doing at the moment; and it’s not only drugs!
If you’re interested in another sunny part of London sung about by Donovan, here is “Sunny Goodge Street”
THE YOUNG RASCALS – GROOVIN’ (1967)
“Groovin’ ” is a step away from the blue eyed soul that predominated the Young Rascals sound towards more afro-cuban rhythms that at the time intrigued lead singer and main songwriter Felix Cavaliere.
The song was a massive hit in the US in May 1967 and has reappeared in the charts in later years through various reinterpretations.
THE BUBBLE PUPPY – I’VE GOT TO REACH YOU (1969)
The Bubble Puppy were label mates to the pioneering 13th Floor Elevators in the massively influential International Artists label. This epic 7 minute song starts off with a hard-bluesy riff that leads to a melodic flower-power guitar verse followed by a majestic chorus. (Unfortunately the version on the video was recorded from a faulty turntable resulting in a slower-than-normal sounding song).
OS MUTANTES – A MINHA MENINHA (1968)
Os Mutantes, together with other Brazilian greats such as Gilberto Gil, in a time of military dictatorship in their home country created a sound that blended typical Brazilian sounds together with psychedelic rock resulting in one of the most interesting genres in South America, Tropicalia. Os Mutantes split in 1978 and have since influenced many artists, Kurt Cobain was a massive fan and in the early 90s wrote a letter to the three founding members begging them to reform.
LOVE – MAYBE THE PEOPLE WOULD BE THE TIMES OR BETWEEN CLARK AND HILLDALE (1967)
Taken from Love’s 1967 psychedelic masterpiece “Forever Changes”; Maybe The People Would Be The Times Or Between Clark and Hilldale describes Arthur Lee’s peace of mind when on Sunset Strip in L.A. in the mid/late 60s.
The legendary Whiskey a GO-GO club was situated between Clark and Hilldale and the song describes the LA subculture through a spanish flamenco guitars fused with a more electric West Coast Sound, backed by Lee’s generation-defining lyrics:
“What is happening and how have you been
Gotta go but I’ll see you again
And oh, the music is so loud
And then I fade into the…
Crowds of people standing everywhere
‘Cross the street I’m at this laugh affair
And here they always play my songs
And me, I wonder if it’s…
Wrong or right they come here just the same
Telling everyone about their games
And if you think it obsolete
Then you go back across the street
Yeah, street, hey hey
When I leave now don’t you weep for me
I’ll be back, just save a seat for me
But if you just can’t make the room
Look up and see me on the…
Moon’s a common scene around my town
Here where everyone is painted brown
And if we feel that’s not the way
Let’s go paint everybody gray
Yeah, gray, yeah”.