Sunday, December 03, 2006

Youngbloods - Sunrise

I always felt "Elephant Mountain," the Youngbloods' second album, and the album on which "Sunrise" appeared, was tremendously underrated. It got some airplay when it came out in 1969, particularly the song "Darkness, Darkness," (later covered with typical knowingness and taste by Mott the Hoople on "Brain Capers) but in retrospect it seems to be much more sophisticated than a lot of the music in the post-Lovin Spoonful, post San Francisco stew to which prog FM radio consigned it. (It didn't help that the Youngbloods' follow-up, a live album called "Festival," was unlistenable.)
What I remember thinking about the album when it came out was that it had a lot of electric piano (tinkly, monotonic, pre-synthesizer electric piano) and I didn't like electric piano. Now I hear that sound and love it. A lot of neo-eloctronic folk stuff I'm listening to these days builds on a base of that kind of electric piano. (Check out the band called the Album Leaf.)
"Sunlight" is one of those songs that seems so familiar you're certain you've heard it a million times, but in fact that's not the case. You've NEVER heard it! (Well, maybe you've heard it a few times.) It reminds me of a slightly less-edgy Tim Harding song. Jesse Colin Young's jazzy vocal works very well against the pop melody of the chorus, and the arrangement is nicely understated and restrained.
Youngbloods - Sunlight
"Sunlight" is available on a Youngbloods greatest hits package at Amazon

1 comment:

William said...

"Sunlight" was the Youngbloods song that hooked me into being interested in them, and Jesse Colin Young in general. I've been acquiring their records but I don't have Elephant Music yet, so I'm not quite ready to take the plunge :)