One of the most mysterious, beautiful, and above all *quiet* songs you'll ever hear. It comes at the end of the first half of the album 'Still Crazy After All These Years' and is nominally about baseball, but don't let that put you off. Worth a listen if you like subtle 70s singer-songwriters like Joni Mitchell or James Taylor, or if (like me) you're a fan of Red House Painters, upon whom Paul Simon's earlier work was a great influence.
Any North American readers may already be familiar with this haunting folk-rock number, as I believe it's a bit of an FM staple over there. For UK-based music fans such as myself, however, it's a bolt from the blue. Imagine a combination of The Mamas & The Papas and Jefferson Airplane at their spookiest, with shedloads of virtuoso violin and flanged percussion all the way through.
One more note: the self-titled album from which this song comes has an absolutely gorgeous cover (see http://images-eu.amazon.com/images/P/B000000DPF.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg), but the re-release is just white type on black - shame on Columbia.
from It's A Beautiful Day, available on CD
16 Jan 03 ·konsu: Unfortunately, nothing quite this good is an FM staple in the US. Their market is crowded with crap
mook-rock like Boston or Journey... Although I have
heard their stuff on more "educated" radio, like say
NPR or maybe college-based freeform playlists.
Great stuff! 17 Jan 03 ·G400 Custom: I love Journey and Boston as well... does this make me a mook? :-) 17 Jan 03 ·konsu: ;) Escape was one of my first records... I have no
shame! 19 Apr 07 ·artlongjr: This song got substantial airplay when I was a boy, back around 1970...I loved the melancholy sound that it has. I got the CD as a gift and it is pretty good, although "White Bird" is by far the best song on it.
This was one of the second generation San Francisco bands that came up after the Haight-Ashbury era.
Margo Guryan wrote several quite famous songs in the 60s, the most famous of which are probably 'Sunday Morning' (made famous by Spanky and our Gang; also recorded by Julie London and others) and 'Think of Rain' (recorded by Claudine Longet, among others).
After the incredibly brilliant reissue of Margo's solo LP, 'Take a Picture', Franklin Castle released a compilation of Margo Guryan's demos. This is the standout track on that disc, a very spare and funky number with a cool organ sound, nice drums and catchy vocals. As would be expected from a recording intended only as a demo, this is a little rougher sounding than the studio LP, but it's a brilliant song. I wonder if anyone else ever recorded it...
I'm into blonde women, always have been. Perhaps I share a kindship with the late great Jeff Buckley. I can just imagine where he's coming from, standing on stage, electric guitar amped to rock, all that power in his hands, peering out through the crowd into a yard of blonde girls. How wonderfully empowering! Just think of it? A young man in his prime slashing power chords in front of a legion of women, and leaving this song to remind us of what it's like to live this mythical life. I sing along, dreaming of what it would have been like as a rock star, what kind of pleasure could I derive from the world?
Jeff has certainly proven and disproven his own stylings from the seminal album, Grace, to the somewhat obscure and fragile My Sweetheart the Drunk. What could have been still reverberates through my mind when listening to this song in particular. Its compelling simplicity and catchy chorus, "very sexy, very sexy, okay, okay" beckons my blonde girlfriend to break out into song. The slow thrust of crunching guitars, standard rock 4/4 time, heavy drums sitting on every beat - it's almost glam, almost British invasion, almost cock-rock, but Buckley style. And yes, very sexy, very sexy. Trust me guys, girls will love this song!
from My Sweetheart the Drunk, available on CD
07 Feb 03 ·amyliner: Hi,
Just to say that Jeff Buckley didn't write Yard of Blonde Girls (not that you'd ever know from the way he performs it. *sigh*) It was written by A.Clark - L.Kramer - I.Lorre. But yes, girls do love this song. Espencially we blonde ones!!!! 11 Feb 04 ·elision: 'yard of blonde girls' seems to be a somewhat pejorative term (the middle-upper class socialites, the 'gold sharks') so while Jeff Buckley may have stood rock god-like and looked upon legions of blonde girls (somehow I doubt that was his main audience) with a sexually approving eye, if the song spoke anything about his truth, he would probably have been looking out for the different one, the pure one who rises above social politicking in her innocence, the Lola. 18 Feb 04 ·ultra-violent romantic: eloquently said elison; i have to agree with you, especially in reference to the "gold sharks glittering." in david browne's dual biography on tim and jeff buckley titled "dream brother," he points out that when jeff recorded this song he made it very apparent that he didn't want any Sony reps to get a hold of it...
Although it's simple and rather well known, I never seem to tire of hearing this track. The blend of percussion, vocals and instrumentation is so delicious that people always stop to listen when I put it on. It's also a perfect distillation of what I think Latin Jazz should be - the horns, percussion and vocals are relentless and full of energy, but always tasteful.
from Spanish Grease (Verve V 8631) available on CD - Uno, Dos, Tres/Spanish Grease (Verve)