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Various Artists - Summer of Love: The Hits of 1967

Summer of Love:
The Hits of 1967

Various Artists

Time Life Music - M19337

Available from Time Life Music.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange by Bob Gottlieb (taoboy@cox.net)

This ambitious project is actually a fairly good overview of the music and 'what was happening' in the country, but particularly San Francisco during 1967. It is a history of hippies and their disenchantment with the war, the way anyone outside mainstream white America was treated, the cold war, and an exceedingly unpopular president. This is a set of two CDs and one DVD, and there is a booklet that gives background. This said, can any year be summed up in that small amount of space; 40 songs, about an hour of visuals and the 39 pages of booklet and do a job that will please? The answer of course is no, however this project gives a fairly comprehensive overview of the situation. It will not please everyone and the will be quibbles about the songs selected, the spokespersons heard, etc., but it is a good and fair start to it.

The CD labeled 1 is mostly music that could be heard on the AM radio, in other words, more commercial music, artists such as Scott McKenzie, Strawberry Alarm Clock, The Beach Boys and Spanky and Our Gang. On CD #2 are songs that were more likely to be on the FM stations, as the groups or the songs weren't as commercially viable; Country Joe and The Fish, The Seeds, Blues Magoos and The Blues Project to name some. On this disc it might not be the group but the song that was not as much a 'hit'. Again, this varied depending on what part of the country you were in and how adventuresome the FM station you listened to was. (One of the best of the Free Form stations was coming from the University of Denver, and a typical set might go from Bach to Beatles to the Soft Machine with all manner of permutations in-between.) Asked if I agree with all the songs and groups? Of course not. However as stated, you can't please everyone with every selection.

The DVD is about an hour of some great footage of rarely seen jams, The Dead, Santana, and The Jefferson Airplane, some rare interviews with people such as Janis Joplin, David Crosby, and many more and hosted by Paul Kantner. Though the best summation of what was happening is maybe given by Jerry Garcia right in the opening few minutes. The concert footage is good and for those of you who weren't there it is a good swift overview of what was happening with maybe some inadvertent explanations of why and who and where and when. For those of you who lived through those times, and were of age, as I was, there are going to be many familiar scenes, and maybe even some ah ha moments. Plus the footage at Woodstock, even though that was held in '69, helps to put bits of clarity to what was happening in 1967. It is a good overview of this time of pushing limits of all kinds. Perhaps that is the key word of that era—growth.

Track Lists:

Disc 1Disc 2
  • San Francisco (Make Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair) Scott McKenzie
  • Happy Together The Turtles
  • Windy The Association
  • Creeque Alley The Mamas & The Papas
  • Gimme Some Lovin' The Spencer Davis Group
  • Incense and Peppermints Strawberry Alarm Clock
  • Little Bit o' Soul The Music Explosion
  • The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy) Harpers Bizarre
  • The Letter The Box Tops
  • Heroes and Villains The Beach Boys
  • Reflections Diana Ross and the Supremes
  • Let's Live for Today The Grass Roots
  • Darling Be Home Soon The Lovin' Spoonful
  • I Was Made to Love Her Stevie Wonder
  • Pleasant Valley Sunday The Monkees
  • Carrie-Anne The Hollies
  • Talk Talk The Music Machine
  • Sunday Will Never Be the Same Spanky and Our Gang
  • Kind of a Drag The Buckinghams
  • A Whiter Shade of Pale Procol Harum
  • I Feel Free Cream
  • So You Want to Be a Rock 'n' Roll Star The Byrds
  • Somebody to Love Jefferson Airplane
  • I Had too Much to Dream (Last Night) The Electric Prunes
  • Get Together The Youngbloods
  • I'm a Man The Spencer Davis Group
  • Brown Eyed Girl Van Morrison
  • Friday on My Mind The Easybeats
  • San Franciscan Nights Eric Burdon & the Animals
  • (We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet Blues Magoos
  • Season of the Witch Donovan
  • Wake Me, Shake Me The Blues Projects
  • Down on Me Big Brother & The Holding Company
  • You Keep Me Hangin' On Vanilla Fudge
  • Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine Country Joe and the Fish
  • Paper Sun Traffic featuring Stevie Winwood
  • Pushin' Too Hard The Seeds
  • It's a Happening Thing The Peanut Butter Conspiracy
  • Mary, Mary The Butterfield Blues Band
  • Stroll On The Yardbirds
DVD Chapter Titles
  • Opening
  • A Communal Experience
  • The Human Be-In
  • An Interactive Event: The Grateful Dead
  • Jimi Hendrix and the Real Foxey Lady
  • Getting Real Experimental
  • Going Against the Grain
  • Cream: Challenging Musical Landscapes
  • The Who: A Distinctive Sound
  • Images of Woodstock
  • Rock 'n' Roll's Power
  • Crosby, Stills & Nash Add a Fourth
  • Bad Vibes at Isle of Wight
  • The Pressures on Janis Joplin
  • All My Friends Are Dead

Edited by: David N. Pyles
(dnpyles@acousticmusic.com)

Copyright 2007, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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