Sunday, June 26, 2011

Did You Give the World Some Love Today, Baby?

As I mentioned on my last post, I've been on a bit of a 60's kick. Most of my favourite albums from the 60's/early 70's are the obscure ones. So, today I am posting about the album Did You Give The World Some Love Today Baby by Doris because you can't have a list of largely unknown albums without it!

This is undeniably one of the oddest albums in my collection. It was initially released in Sweden in 1970 by Swedish singer Doris {Svensson}, but did not get much attention until its re-issue in the 90's. This album is a diverse collection of covers and also songs that I think may have been written for her by a songwriting team of Francis Cowan and Berndt Egerbladh.
Wikipedia lists its genres as "pop, soul, funk, and psychedelia". That basically sums it up except I would add "jazz" to the list. The album does indeed have an interesting paraphernalia of songs, from the strange siren-wails and psychedelia of 'You Never Come Closer', to soft ballads such as 'Grey Rain of Sweden, to the almost western fiddles of 'Waiting at the Station', to the big band arrangements of half the songs... it epitomizes eclectic. Even Doris's voice is uncommon. At times she sounds like a child but her voice has a rougher side that banishes any such thoughts. And to top it all off, the cover is one of the most befuddling I've ever seen.

Like I said, it's an odd album. Still, it is strangely addicting and is both an amusing and gratifying listen. My favourite song is definitely the title track, 'Did You Give the World Some Love Today, Baby'. There is nothing terribly strange about this song, it's one of the more conventional ones on the album.
On itunes this song is included on a "Go Green" compilation which is interesting since it's not about "loving the earth" bu rather about loving the people of the world. It was recorded in 1970 after all. Those compilators must have not listened to the lyrics. :P


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wendy & Bonnie

It's always nice to be driven by inspiration but let's face it, inspiration isn't always around when we need it. That's when the desperation kicks in.

In other words, I've been trying to write my artist of the month post for days. Since I don't have a new artist to wax eloquent about at the moment, I decided to pick an old favourite. Well, the artist I picked {who will remain anonymous :P} just wasn't doing anything for me, though I love them. Then yesterday, out of the blue, I started writing a post about the album Genesis by Wendy & Bonnie. For some reason that is what my muse wanted me to write about. So, thanks to my perverse muse, I bring you June's artist of the month: Wendy & Bonnie!

This is an old favourite, like from when I first started listening to obscure music. It's one of those delicious albums that was "lost" soon after its release but later resurfaced and, thanks to the internet and a re-issue, has gained more popularity. Wendy and Bonnie Flower, two sisters from California, recorded this album in 1969 when Wendy was 17 and Bonnie was 13. But fate was seemingly against these two as their label went bankrupt shortly after the release of Genesis and the man who wanted to see them about further recording was murdered {!?!}. They never recorded together again but pursued separate careers in music.
Incredibly, Wendy and Bonnie composed all the songs on Genesis themselves. They might have played an instrument or two as well, but mainly they were backed by an awesome group of musicians.

Their album represents the best of the 60's, the innocent desire for personal and universal love, unclouded by drugs. But their songs still have a pleasing sense of light psychedelia and are brimming with the sister's harmonies. The first half of the album {sans any bonus tracks} is the best, both lyrically and in musical composition, but begins to falter a bit after that. Overall, though, it's a darn fine album and a merit to the creative era it came from.

It's so hard to pick a favourite off this album; I've been vacillating for a while now. I think I'm going to go with the lovely and sad 'By the Sea' but 'I Realized You' and 'You Keep Hanging Up On My Mind' are two other absolute favourites.


{My divshare players have been acting up. If you press play you can hear the music but can't see the time nor pause it. Sorry about that. If this persists I may have to find another file host.}

This post has opened a floodgate I've been obsessively listening to lesser-known 60's music since yesterday evening. *happy sigh* I've missed it so.