June Tunes, Pt. 3

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.

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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.

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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.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Immortal_Otis_Redding

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friends_(The_Beach_Boys_album)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stoned_Soul_Picnic_(song)

-Stephen

10 thoughts on “June Tunes, Pt. 3”

  1. While I like The Beach Boys- I am not even close to being fanatical about them- it is interesting how unhip they had become just two years from Pet Sounds- Friends peaked at #126 on the album chart- how could such a high profile band have such a commercial flop so quickly after having years of success? I think the only song on this album that I know is Busy Doin’ Nothin’–of course a commercial dud can still be a good album- in looking at the reviews they are pretty good. I am going to give this neglected album a listen…… side note- Mike Love the biggest jerk in rock history?

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  2. When the Beach Boys skipped Monterey didn’t their stock drop after that? Maybe they knew how they would fare against the newer acts.

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    1. I don’t know if that caused their stock to drop – I don’t know enough about them to say. However, the Association didn’t exactly match well with the heavies who played Monterey but I think their set was received positively.

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      1. I forgot about The Association completely…
        The Beach Boys dropped out and some say Brian was worried about their image compared to others. I wonder if they could reproduce some of the things they were doing at that time on stage. Like you I don’t know a lot about them.

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      2. It’s hard to imagine them reproducing the sounds from Pet Sounds or the aborted Smile on stage. Perhaps that’s why they dropped out – they would’ve had to have fallen back on their surfer hits which really wouldn’t have fit the scene.

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  3. I certainly have mixed feelings about Beach Boys albums after Pet Sounds, but there are moments in many of those albums, with Surf’s Up being quite good, though I must admit I haven’t listened to Surf’s Up in decades, so probably should play it again before making such a comment. 🙂

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