This song has become known as one of the quintessential "Now Sound" numbers, and I go a LONG way back with it as far as memories go! As a kid in the sixties I used to love the Benson and Hedges cigarette commercials-although I was very much anti-smoking even then! But the cool theme music and humorous content of these commercials was a hit with us kids. Well, flash forward to the mid-1980's...I was doing my usual record collector thing in a local thrift store and came across an album called "The Dis-Advantages of You" by the Brass Ring, a group that I had several 45s by already. It looked interesting, so I picked it up...and was blown away by the first track, which was that wonderful Benson and Hedges theme that I remembered from childhood. I
couldn't believe my luck in stumbling across it, and
it immediately became one of my all time favorite tracks. The cool, wordless female vocals, whimsical melody, and smooth saxophone playing never fail to transport me back to the 1960's of my youth! I did some research on the song at the time and was surprised to find that it had been a chart hit in the spring of 1967. I was listening to the radio a lot back then and didn't recall hearing it. But rediscovering this recording really was a highlight of my musical development.
This song is a classic of the psychedelic era, by a group that later became known as the Peanut Butter Conspiracy. I first discovered it years ago on a 1967 compilation album called "West Coast Love-In" which featured about four of the Ashes' songs. It was "Dark on You Now" that really wigged me out-it is an awesome, slow-paced, moody number that features the spine-tingling vocals of Sandi Robison and the prominent 12-string guitar of John Merrill. The song is incredibly atmospheric and reminds me of a combination of the Byrds and Jefferson Airplane when both of those groups were in their prime. It is also at four minutes plus quite long for the era. I listed this as being recorded in 1967 but it may have been waxed in 1966...at any rate it is surely one of the great songs of the early psychedelic era.
I have the first Peanut Butter Conspiracy album which contains a re-recorded version of this song, harder rocking and not nearly as good. The original Ashes version was recorded as a 45 for the Vault label (which also issued "West Coast Love-In").
from Spreading from the Ashes (Big Beat) available on CD - Spreading From the Ashes (Big Beat)
01 May 07 ·n-jeff: I'm sure I have this on one of the pebbles "Highs of the mid sixties" series ("volume 3 Hollywood a go-go" IIRC) although I believe they credit it as "Follow the sun", I'm sure. Great summer song. 01 May 07 ·artlongjr: That is a cover version by a band called the Love Exchange..."Swallow the Sun" is a key lyric in this
song, but I really don't know what it means!
The U.K. (or possibly Australian?)group the Settlers do a great job on this Tony Hatch song, sounding somewhat like American contemporaries the Sunshine Company and the Mamas and the Papas. I just love the vocal harmony groups of the mid to late 60's and this is an excellent example of that musical genre. The arrangement is very dramatic and the male-female vocal blend is very well done. This is much more pop than rock, and is definitely one of my favorite Tony Hatch tunes.
Just discovered this cover of the Neil Diamond song on Youtube, along with several other videos by the Music Machine, and it really stunned me. It's a beautiful soft pop version of "Cherry Cherry" complete with flute solo-nothing like the other songs I've heard from the band. Nothing garagey about it at all, more in the easy listening vein...and I mean that in a good way!
Another great cover version that the Music Machine do is "Hey Joe"-their's is my favorite version of that oft-recorded chestnut.
available on CD - Turn On the Music Machine (Collectables)