Saturday, 8 April 2017

Jan & Dean - Carnival Of Sound (1966 - 1968) 2010 Rhino (Flac)

Liner Notes By Rhino
Jan Berry and Dean Torrence rode a wave of popularity in the early ’60s that earned the So-Cal duo more than a dozen Top 40 hits, including the #1 smash “Surf City.” The group’s good fortune came to a tragic halt in 1966 when Berry suffered debilitating injuries in a car accident near Dead Man’s Curve, a treacherous road that, ironically, was the subject of one of the group’s earlier hits. As he battled tirelessly to recover, Berry spent the next three years recording songs for a new Jan and Dean album to be titled Carnival of Sound. Despite the quality of the music, the album was never released and became one of rock ’n’ roll’s lost treasures, until now. Rhino Handmade offers two versions of CARNIVAL OF SOUND. The first is a single CD whose 29 songs include mono and stereo mixes of the album along with bonus tracks from the 1966-68 sessions. The other is a deluxe edition that combines the aforementioned CD with a vinyl version of the album in mono presented in a gorgeous hardbound gatefold jacket. To present a clear and vivid picture of what Berry was up to during this transitional phase, the collection’s producer Andrew Sandoval spent three years carefully reviewing and compiling every tape Berry submitted to Warner Bros. for use on CARNIVAL OF SOUND. “Although Jan cut multiple LP-length acetates of his work at the time, he left behind no definitive track list or sequence for the songs to be included on the album,” he explains in the liner notes. “I created the sequence you hear … by grouping his post-accident tracks together and closing with his pre-accident masters. The two parts of this story have such different flavors that they seem to flow best in this manner.” CARNIVAL OF SOUND opens with “Girl, You’re Blowing My Mind,” an upbeat poppy track that kicks off with a guitar that sounds like a jet engine. It then moves into songs that expand Jan and Dean’s signature sound, including the sitar-infused “Mulholland,” the wild imagery of “Laurel And Hardy,” the poignant ballad “I Know My Mind” and the Indian instrumentation of the title track. To round out the album, a selection of oldies was brought in from sessions Berry cut prior to his accident.
Maurice Williams & The Zodiac’s “Stay” was given a quick, 1:35 run-through. The Five Satins’ “In The Still Of The Night” displayed Berry’s new friendship with The Monkees’ Davy Jones, who gave the song some true bubblegum sincerity with a spoken interlude. Berry added horns and woodwinds to his ’66 tracking session for Rusty and Doug Kershaw’s 1961 swamp pop hit “Louisiana Man.” Among the collection’s bonus tracks are “Don’t Drop It” and a demo for “Laurel And Hardy,” plus two versions of “Girl, You’re Blowing My Mind,” Berry’s final mix and another with an alternate backing track. The CD contains Berry’s original mono mixes along with new stereo mixes that Sandoval says are meant to be more illustrative of Jan’s work, rather than a definitive statement. “On careful inspection, Jan’s mono mixes can’t be beat, but the new stereo versions afford the listener a bigger window into his production prowess,” Sandoval says. “Listen out for such anomalies as the longer coda on ‘Mulholland,’ or the vocal verse that later became a guitar solo on ‘Girl, You’re Blowing My Mind.’” More than four decades after Berry found solace in these sounds, they arrive for everyone to share as the Carnival finally comes to town. (End)

It's difficult to know how to assess this album. On the one hand, it's enjoyable listening, and it's an essential archival release -- if not as well-known as Brian Wilson's Smile, Carnival of Sound is just as tantalizing a "lost" artifact of the psychedelic '60s, buried these 40-plus years. And those factors alone make owning it a no-brainer for fans of Jan & Dean, surf music, or psychedelic music (and it embraces both). But unlike SMiLE, which was well within Brian Wilson's grasp, at least when he started it, it's clear that Carnival of Sound was pushing the envelope of what Jan Berry was capable of doing in 1967-1968; listening to it is akin to watching someone run a marathon with a partly injured foot -- they might succeed and possibly even do it well, but there's also the dread of doing untold harm to themselves in the process. Some of the material here actually pre-dates Berry's April 12, 1966 car crash; in March of that year, he had recorded a small group of covers, including "Stay" and "Yakety Yak," for a planned new album that was to carry the duo's work into wholly new territory. Then came the car wreck, and months and years of recovery.
What is here is mostly fun, and beautifully accomplished, with superb playing and excellent singing; and the production is, at times, stunning, and also far more self-consciously ambitious than prior Jan & Dean releases -- Jan & Dean had always managed to quietly impress listeners by slipping these beautifully produced jewels past them as pop music, but on Carnival of Sound, they were very obviously calling more attention to the layers of sound swirling and shifting below the surface of material such as "Girl, You're Blowing My Mind," "Fan Tan," "Hawaii," and even "Tijuana" (a marijuana-laced re-casting of "Little Old Lady from Pasadena"). Listening is a little more work than on their earlier records, but the effort is worth it -- the sitars work for them, and the Laurel & Hardy vignette is goofy fun; but whether the public would have accepted an album that juxtaposed those numbers with the anti-Vietnam War ode "Only a Boy" is questionable. And how well it all holds together is still not clear -- it seems incomplete, as though there are dots that still needed to be connected, for the makers as well as the listener. The CD comes appended with stereo mixes, plus surviving demos, which add to the level of goofiness in the overall picture of the production. And there are liner notes that put to shame almost any archival pop/rock release seen to date, in both their detail and underlying sense of wonder about the music. (

Incomplete or not it's definitely Jan & Dean's best effort.
Have fun
               SB1   New Flac link


  1. Thank you Frank!

  2. Thanks form "Carnival of sound". Do you have "Save for a rainy day"? Can you upload it? I think that "Save for a rainy day" is better than "Carnival of sound".

  3. Hello Frank , great blog , is that possible to re do the jan & dean file ?

    1. New link is up! Have fun.
      Kind regards

  4. Hi,
    I'm getting late again,any chance of re-up in flac?.Thanks