» » The Art of Lovin'- Selftitled (Superb West-Coast Rock US 1968)

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The Art of Lovin'- Selftitled (Superb West-Coast Rock US 1968)

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Code - OD-K-106827

The Art of Lovin'- Selftitled (Superb West-Coast Rock US 1968)

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Source: Japan 24-Bit Remaster

A Massachussefts outfit whose album is full of interesting and quite imaginative pop/folk-rock, obscure enough to have been reissued. Apart from a cover of Tim Hardin's Hang On To A Dream, all the songs were penned by Paul Applebaum. It's certainly worth hearing.

In an effort to compete with the success RCA Victor and other labels were having with San Francisco based bands, the mid-1960s found Mike Curb and MGM Records signing virtually every New England band they could lay their hands on. In their efforts to market the Bosstown Sound, Curb and company somehow managed to miss one of Massachusetts more talented outfits - The Art of Lovin'.

Built around the talents of singer/guitarist Paul Applebaum, bassist Johnny Lank, sax player Barry Tatelman, vocalist Gail Winnick and drummer Sandy Winslow, 1968 saw the band signed by the small Detroit-based Mainstream Records. Released later in the year, "The Art of Lovin'" made for one of the year's more interesting debuts. Curiously, for years I'd read reviews that labeled this album as being folk-rock oriented. It's not.

That said, the first time I spun the collection I was left with the nagging feeling I'd heard it somewhere before. The second time around, the comparison instantly dawned us. Powered by Applebaum's pseudo-psychedelic material and Winslow's crystalline voice, stylistically tracks such as 'What the Young Mind Says', the rocker 'Take a Ride' and 'Good Times' bore more than a passing resemblance to early Jefferson Airplane. Imagine the Airplane having elected to abandon some of their more strident moves in favor of a slightly more commercial orientation and you'll get a good feel for the LP.

At the other end of the spectrum, harmony rich tracks such as 'Daily Prayer' sounded like The Mamas and the Papas having abandoned their chirpy top-40 orientation. Simultaneously catchy and quite commercial, it's easy to see why this album is valued so highly by collectors. The funny thing is that it gets better each time I go back and listen to it.

Shortly after the album was released Winslow suffered a schizophrenic episode that left him in and out of care for the next 30 years. In spite of his fragile mental health, he managed to attract national attention through his scratchboard art. Sadly, in October 2002 he died after a brief bout with cancer.
We were a bunch of kids who loved creating music in a time that was ripe for psychedelic pop. We spent most of our time working on the tunes in the bass player's basement. A tape was sent to Mainstream records through a friend and we got signed, much to our surprise. A month later we were in NY recording. The entire album took 20 hours to record at A&R Studios. It was a fantastic experience. We had a ball doing the "rock star" thing, well, at least in our heads.

I guess we were one of the projects that Mainstream was hoping to sell off if our music could show some limited success, as they had done with Big Brother and the Holding Company and the Amboy Dukes. Unfortunately, the album didn't do that well, although Billboard red-starred us, and described us as a cross between the Mamas and Papas and Jefferson Airplane. Quite a compliment, and totally unexpected.

We didn't play out too much. We opened for Mountain once at a club in Boston, and otherwise did a few local gigs. We disbanded shortly after the LP came out. Most of the members headed off to college, and felt that the band was an enjoyable endeavor, but not so much of a commitment that they would put off a college education, etc.

It was a great experience, and I admit that I am still amazed that the album generates interest, 40 years later. [rateyourmusic.com - RDTEN1]

01.Paul's Circus
02.What The Young Minds Say
03.You´ve Got The Power
04.Take A Ride
05.Good Times
06.Daily Prayer
07.The First Time
08.You'll Walk Away
09.(How Can we) Hang On To A Dream
10.State Of Mind

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