The Young Rascals
It's fun going through your old records. Not only do you relive memories, but occasionally new perspectives appear about favorites. The Young Rascals mega album Groovin' is a good example. The original carried more than a few chartable hits -- "A Girl Like You," "How Can I Be Sure" and "Groovin'" are the ones you're hearing on AM Oldies right now -- but listen harder, and notice 1967's other trends. The Young Rascals are moving away from the hook and bridge 3:05 pop song, and beginning to experiment with styles out of their main record buying demographic. "Sueno" takes its cue from classical Spanish guitar and "If You Knew" nearly has an island sound. The other shift heads into the longer, more experimental pieces that fed burgeoning FM rock scene. "You Better Run" is a good example; bluesy yet pop sounding, ranging from overproduced Phil Spector-ism to desert sparse stretches of jug band music. Close your eyes and you can almost smell the patchouli oil.
Collector's Choice provides its usual great liner notes, in this case written by Ritchie Unterberger, historian to the band you almost remember. Most interestingly, you get both the stereo and mono versions of the songs, as this album appeared just as stereo was catching on, but the huge installed base of monaural equipment still needed support. It's a quality product I hold in my hands, both the original material and the new CD issue. I recommend this for all aging hippies and their grandchildren.