Thursday, October 1, 1970

July - July

July (self-titled)
Compact Disc
Rev-Ola 243

1. My Clown
2. Dandelion Seeds
3. Jolly Mary
4. Hallo to Me
5. You Missed it All
6. The Way
7. To Be Free
8. Move on Sweet Flower
9. Crying is For Writers
10. I See
11. Friendly Man
12. A Bird Lived
*~*~*Bonus Tracks*~*~*
13. My Clown (single version)
14. Dandelion Seeds (single version)
15. Hello, Who's There?
16. The Way (single version)

True psychedelia. 'Nuff said.

The Family Tree - Miss Butters

The Family Tree
Miss Butters
Compact Disc
Rev-Ola 185

1. Birthday/Dirgeday
2. Melancholy Vaudeville Man
3. Any Other Baby
4. Sideshow
5. Mrs. McPheeny (Has Flu in Her Chest and Has Needed a Rest For So Long)
6. Butters Lament
7. Simple Life
8. Slippin' Thru My Fingers
9. Nine to Three
10. Lesson Book Life
11. Nickelodeon Music
12. Miss Butters
13. The Underture
14. Keepin' a Secret (bonus)
15. Do You Have the Time (bonus)
16. She Had to Fly (bonus)
17. He Spins Around (bonus)

The first rock opera? Possibly. "Months before the release of the Pretty Things' S.F. Sorrow," it says on here. I wouldn't call it "rock," though....more Nilsson-esque pop with a touch of psych. Little surprise, though, considering they were very close to Harry at the time. Many personnel in common, in fact, according to this. Whatever the case, nice melodies and fine songwriting here. I just love the particularly psychedelic songs at the end, "Miss Butters" and "The Underture," particularly the latter, which seldom fails to make me shiver.

The Mandrake Memorial - The Mandrake Memorial

The Mandrake Memorial (self-titled)
Poppy Records 40,002
Released in 1968

1. Bird Journey
2. Here I Am
3. Rainy May
4. This Can't Be Real
5. Dark Lady
6. House of Mirrors
7. To a Lonely
8. Strange
9. Next Number
10. Sunday Noon

A wonderfully odd mixture of pop and baroque sounds with just a slight dash of rock. Many of the songs feature a pseudo-harpsichord sound. Although my favorite song on here is the well-paced "Dark Lady," I think that, overall, the softer sounds on this album are the ones that work the best. The vocalist's voice seems especially well-suited to soft sounds. Some of the musical themes seem to reappear throughout the album, as though the whole album were a Beethoven-esque symphony. All said and done, though, this is a nice album. Some soft moments, some odd moments, some songs that run right into each other, and a proper psychedelic ending with voices and a sound effect. Good stuff.