Wednesday, 10 May 2017
Psychedelic Pop from 1968 by The Collage - The Collage 1968 (2011 Now Sounds) Flac & mp3
Part of the idea behind the formation of the Collage was to emulate the Mamas & the Papas' lineup with a two-man, two-woman quartet of harmonizing singers. The group's sole self-titled album does indeed resemble the Mamas & the Papas in some ways, but has a yet more pronounced sunshine pop feel, as well as yet lusher production (even using some of the same Wrecking Crew musicians heard on records by the Mamas & the Papas and so many other Hollywood pop/rock sessions of the period, with Wrecking Crew saxophonist Steve Douglas producing).
The songs have a sweeter tone, almost as if elements of the Mamas & the Papas and the 5th Dimension have been layered with production and songwriting a little more oriented toward an adult pop/variety entertainment audience. While four of the ten songs were written by the male half of the Collage (Ron Joelson and Jerry Careaga), there are also covers of compositions by notable figures on the Los Angeles pop/rock scene (Kenny Edwards and Bob Kimmel of the Stone Poneys, Roger Nichols, Tony Asher, Curt Boettcher, the Addrisi Brothers), though none of those tunes count among their more outstanding efforts.
There are some mild psychedelic touches, but also some hammy vaudevillian ones, and as Careaga himself writes in his excellent lengthy liner notes to Now Sounds' expanded CD reissue, the Collage's original songs had showtune-style melodies. He also admits that the album wasn't "commercial or radio-friendly," and while that in and of itself isn't a knock against the LP, the songs aren't quite high-caliber enough to make this a top-flight record (though the psych-pop-circus feel of "Any Day's a Sunday Afternoon" might have made for the best attempt at a hit single).
Overall, it's a bit above average for the sunshine pop genre; however, owing to the imaginative (if sometimes overly ornate) arrangements (by Perry Botkin, Jr., of early Nilsson fame) and strong, full harmonies. [The 2011 CD reissue on Now Sounds enhances the original album substantially with ten bonus tracks, including mono 45 versions of four songs from the LP and a half-dozen outtakes that generally have a slightly earthier bittersweet folk-pop/rock grounding, including a cover of Harry Nilsson's "Story of Rock and Roll."](allmusic.com)
A very good popsike/sunshine pop album of its time. Stronger than a lot albums of contemporarys who worked in the same genre. There is no need to talk about the craftsmanship of the musicians. We all know the Wrecking Crew. Here are a lot different songs where everyone will find his favourites. To me the album is more than just a bit above average. 5 stars out of six for a wonderful sunshiney album.
Frank Flac link 1 & Flac link 2
mp3 link 1 & mp3 link 2
You need both Flac and/or both mp3 links!