It’s time to put this sluggish month behind me with some final noteworthy June ’68 releases. I hope everyone has had a nice start to the summer. There are some heavy hitters coming in July to heat up the hi-fi.
Otis Redding – The Immortal Otis Redding
This posthumous release consists of tracks Redding recorded in the weeks before his death. Only one of the 11 songs had been previously released, and the album was received very well by critics. Redding’s Hard to Handle, famously covered by the Black Crowes, is found here.
The Beach Boys – Friends
The Beach Boys, along with the Beatles, had jumped on the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Transcendental Meditation train in the summer of ’67, and Mike Love was among the guru’s students in Rishikesh with the Beatles in February and March of 1968. This collection of brief, mellow songs became known as their TM Album, influenced by their time with the Maharishi. Fans were still waiting for a return to the glory of Pet Sounds, and while this wasn’t it, retrospective critiques have been kind.
The 5th Dimension – Single: Stoned Soul Picnic
This great tune, written and recorded earlier in 1968 by Laura Nyro, was soon covered by the 5th Dimension on their album of the same name as the track. They made it their song, as it reached #3 on the US Pop chart and #2 on the Billboard R&B chart. There’s always a place for a well crafted pop tune in my collection, even if I don’t know what the hell it means to “surry.”