Masterpiece! This record, a legend amongst those who know it, with its fine writing, arranging and singing clearly deserves its place in the Pantheon of great pop. It may have failed commercially in its time but the beauty of their pop puts it amongst the best of our times and explains why 37 years after its creation it remains exquisitely artful to our ears. I could write 100,000 words scratching at what I love about this group and their first 4 records, and this song alone.But, the Free Design deserve, rather than my dull hyperbole, a good listen. Rousing and sublime, almost TOO GOOD to have been a big hit. If you read a bit about them you realize that these singing siblings made some naive career choices that favored music over money. Our gain.
Some bonehead on this site claimed The Free Design sound like Stereolab. That writer got it butt backwards. Sadly, Stereolab doesn't have the skill to really reach the musical and spiritual depth of the Free Design. Stereolab's OK, don't get me wrong, but they are often a pale imitation of a much richer source. Letitia from Stereolab cites The Free Design as one of her all-time favorite bands, so at least they have sublime taste and honesty when it comes to revealing their sources.
Guaranteed to lift you up way high.
Buy or download NOW!!!
02 Aug 04 ·konsu: No, you have it backwards, because your emotions get in the way. Understandable though, with this group, and particularly this song (which is one of my all-time faves). It "blows your mind but not completely..." is what I like to say. Stereolab have always worn their influences on their sleeves, from the Beach Boys to Can. And it seems like I should explain by saying that they are a gateway group for so many young people to discover older pop, but shallow as some are, they only like the FD songs that sound like more contemporary artists. Not that it's a super bad thing, just a little dissapointing, considering the depth and beauty of this groups entire body of work... Dig?
A great track with that supreme thick kind of arrangement that reminds me of Scott Walker's late 60s solo work.
Julie's vocal delivery is interesting. She's hipper sounding than Jackie Trent; more like a slightly looser Dusty Springfield. But she also has a weird kind of Annie Lennox way of sounding over the top.
The song is pretty simple, but the production and arrangement are so vibrant and colourful that it works very well.
Well, i guess musicaltaste is a rather safe place to recommend some Free Design without getting laughed at. It always strikes me they haven't been more popular back in the late sixties. "Kites Are Fun" is one of their more popular and one of their best tracks for sure. Uber-jolly, playfull, catchy with superb vocal harmonies, gentle guitar, flute, bass and drums and some keyboards.
10 Jun 05 ·nighteye: This is great song! Sunshine pop at its best, how can you not feel happy listening to this song? I like kites! 10 Jun 05 ·Festy: I really dig "My Brother Woody" from the same album. Whoever the drummer is, he really cooks on this track. 11 Jun 05 ·konsu: The drummer's name is Bill LaVorgna. He has an unmistakable touch on the drums. He's also on some of Pat Williams Verve LP's.
Opposed to the dramatic Morricone interpretation of "Se telefonando", recommended elsewhere on Musicaltaste, Mina is in a beautifully light bossa mood here on "Conversazione". And the arrangement adequately reflects this with joyful flutes, gentle electric guitar and rather muted strings.
This track sounds better to me every time I hear it. Ironically, I had a copy of The Association's Renaissance LP for years, but for some odd reason didn't get as far as listening to this song until recently.
It's a very accessible but powerful late 60s pop song with a psychedelic edge. It can't have taken long to write, but the production is excellent, with a nice effect on the vocals, and a wonderful use of early 70s Beach Boys-style swelling vocal harmonies over the vocal phrase 'and all that's left for me to do...is cry'.
Musically, it's an upbeat track with a slightly claustrophobic arrangement. But it's cool - that's all part of the effect! As well as drums, vocals and upbeat guitars, they employ the koto, which adds an unusual edge to the sound.
19 Sep 04 ·konsu: Again, one of the most underrated of US pop bands. Confined to "Oldies" FM radio forever, except for the occasional DJ who is tempted by the album "filler" which is where their real gems lie. This album is almost never mentioned, even though this tune charted in the top 40. And it being overshadowed by their more popular Curt Boettcher produced LP "And Along Comes...". A great
tune, and a record that deserves more attention indeed!