Summer of Love Playlist

July 10, 2012

This month we have a “Summer of Love” book and CD display in the Arts Division and thought it would be fun to put together a playlist with the same theme…and as always, all selections are available to check out or place on hold at your Rochester and Monroe County Library. I can just smell the patchouli!

Sugar Magnolia/ Grateful Dead

A companion piece to the luminous Workingman’s Dead, American Beautyis an even stronger document of the Grateful Dead’s return to their musical roots. Sporting a more full-bodied and intricate sound than its predecessor thanks to the addition of subtle electric textures, the record is also more representative of the group as a collective unit, allowing for stunning contributions from Phil Lesh (the poignant opener, “Box of Rain”) and Bob Weir (“Sugar Magnolia”); at the top of his game as well is Jerry Garcia, who delivers the superb “Friend of the Devil,” “Candyman,” and “Ripple.” Climaxing with the perennial “Truckin’,” American Beauty remains the Dead’s studio masterpiece — never again would they be so musically focused or so emotionally direct.-All Music Guide

Somebody to love/ Jefferson Airplane

The second album by Jefferson Airplane, Surrealistic Pillow was a groundbreaking piece of folk-rock-based psychedelia, and it hit — literally — like a shot heard round the world; where the later efforts from bands like the Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service, and especially,  the Charlatans, were initially not too much more than cult successes, Surrealistic Pillow rode the pop charts for most of 1967, soaring into that rarefied Top Five region occupied by the likes of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and so on, to which few American rock acts apart from the Byrds had been able to lay claim since 1964. And decades later the album still comes off as strong as any of those artists’ best work.- All Music Guide

I-Feel-like-I’m-Fixin’-to-Die Rag/ Country Joe & the Fish

Country Joe & the Fish are well represented on this 19-track compilation that traces their development from a politically-oriented folk/jug band ensemble to a politically oriented rock and soul band. Most of the material comes from 1967, the band’s high-water mark, and the centerpiece is the still-cutting “I-Feel-like-I’m-Fixin’-to-Die Rag.”- All Music Guide

Summertime/ Janis Joplin

Cheap Thrills, the major-label debut of Janis Joplin, was one of the most eagerly anticipated, and one of the most successful, albums of 1968.Joplin and her band Big Brother & the Holding Company had earned extensive press notice ever since they played the Monterey Pop Festival in June 1967, but for a year after that their only recorded work was a poorly produced, self-titled album that they’d done early in their history for Mainstream Records; and it took the band and the best legal minds at Columbia Records seven months to extricate them from their Mainstream contract, so that they could sign with Columbia. Heard today,Cheap Thrills is a musical time capsule and remains a showcase for one of rock’s most distinctive singers.-All Music Guide

California dreamin’/ The Mamas & The Papas

With the lengthy title of Historic Performances Recorded at the Monterey International Pop Festival,this 1971 release was recorded at the event held at Monterey, CA, between June 16-18 in 1967. Listen to the band cook on “California Dreamin'” and John Phillips belt it out with Mama Cass countering his moves. As credible as any garage rock group churning out “Pushin’ Too Hard” and hoping for stardom, these stars shine perhaps because the performance is somewhat ragged. Who wants a clone of the studio stuff anyway? -All Music Guide

The wind cries Mary/ The Jimi Hendrix Experience

One of the most stunning debuts in rock history, and one of the definitive albums of the psychedelic era. On Are you Experienced?, Jimi Hendrix synthesized various elements of the cutting edge of 1967 rock into music that sounded both futuristic and rooted in the best traditions of rock, blues, pop, and soul. It wouldn’t have meant much, however, without his excellent material, whether psychedelic frenzy (“Foxey Lady,” “Manic Depression,” “Purple Haze”), instrumental freak-out jams (“Third Stone From the Sun”), blues (“Red House,” “Hey Joe”), or tender, poetic compositions (“The Wind Cries Mary”) that demonstrated the breadth of his songwriting talents.- All Music Guide

Suite: Judy blue eyes/ Crosby, Still & Nash

CSN was the trio’s last fully realized album, and also the last recording on which the three principals handled all the vocal parts without the sweetening of additional voices. It has held up remarkably well, both as a memento of its time and as a thoroughly enjoyable musical work. -All Music Guide

 

Groovin’ is easy/ The Electric Flag

A sumptuous, four-CD box set with all the deluxe trimmings celebrating the grandaddy of all outdoor rock concerts. With legendary performances by Otis Redding, the Who, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, the Byrds, and Paul Butterfieldall taken from the mobile-unit multi-track masters (not to mention an album-sized booklet that’ll knock your eyes out), this box evokes a sound and an era the way few (if any) retrospectives of like material ever do. Important music from a turning point in rock’s history.- All Music Guide

I’ll feel a whole lot better/ The Byrds

One of the greatest debuts in the history of rock, Mr. Tambourine Man was nothing less than a significant step in the evolution of rock & roll itself, demonstrating that intelligent lyrical content could be wedded to compelling electric guitar riffs and a solid backbeat. From the first peals of Jim McGuinn’s 12-string Rickenbacker, “Feel a Whole Lot Better” bears all the trademarks of the Byrds’ trailblazing blend of folk and rock, but it also has the distinction of being the first tune written by a member of the band to make a dent in the marketplace. While the group’s first two hits, “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “All I Really Want to Do,” had been penned by Bob Dylan, and their biggest single, “Turn! Turn! Turn!,” was adapted from a passage in the book of Ecclesiastes by Pete Seeger, “Feel a Whole Lot Better” was written by Gene Clark, who would prove to be the strongest songwriter in the group during his short tenure with the band. – All Music Guide

Coming into Los Angeles/Arlo Guthrie

It’s almost impossible to regard the soundtrack albums for the Michael Wadleigh documentary Woodstock, simply as music, apart from the event that inspired them or what that event has come to represent. The inclusion of “Coming Into Los Angeles” on the Woodstock (1970) feature film documentary made it one of Arlo Guthrie’s most memorable works. The sheer novelty and anti-authoritarian stance are key components in this 1960s counter-cultural anthem. Deeper still and even more resonant is the bold political and social statement that Guthrie makes in this folk-rocker. – All Music Guide

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