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180 tracks from 1968 have been recommended.
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The 8.17 Northbound Success Merry-go round  performed by Margo Guryan  1968
Recommended by delicado [profile]

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...


available on CD - 25 Demos (Franklin Castle)



Darlin  performed by Paper Dolls  1968
Recommended by Ashley [profile]

Brian Wilson given the full-on 60s Brit-Girl treatment. It has wonderfully uplifting brass and some powerful vocals. The Paper Dolls had a couple of decent soulful easy hits in the UK in 1968. The CD is well worth checking out.

from Paper Dolls House (Sequel CMRCD 342), available on CD


Sha La la La Lee  performed by Elmer Hockett  1968
Recommended by Ashley [profile]

It's a cover of the Small Faces classic that's about as far removed from the original as it is possible to be. Instead of replicating the mod-beat pounder, producer Mark Wirtz slows the pace down, blends in all kinds of weird percussion instruments and gooes for broke with a kitchen sink finale. Some Small Faces rate this as bordering on blasphemy, I think it's an easy listening classic

from The Fantastic Story of Mark Wirtz and the Teenage Opera (RPM 503), available on CD


Ode to Billy Joe  performed by Buddy Merrill  1968
Recommended by delicado [profile]

Another amazing version of this fantastic tune. This features several very different-sounding multitracked guitars, and really is quite astounding. It feels very short at a little under 2 and a half minutes. The opening features an acoustic guitar playing a wonderfully delicate and precise rhythm, accompanied by a nice wall of strings and electric guitar hits. A twangy picked guitar plays the melody, building gradually for about a minute.

The track then explodes into a quite amazing sequence, in which a dirty-sounding fuzz guitar picks out a bassline while a manic and jazzy improvised guitar solo moves around over the top and the strings maintain some solid bluesey chords. The sound is extremely funky, and vaguely reminiscent of some tracks from the late 60s 101 strings album 'Astro Sounds from beyond the year 2000', but ends up being more tasteful. Pure genius!

from Land of a Thousand Guitars (Accent ACS 5026)
available on CD - 25 All time hits (Accent)



On a clear day you can see forever  performed by The Peddlers  1968
Recommended by mojoto [profile]

I recently (March 2002) went through my Peddlers albums and made a selection of my faves, which was exactly enough to fill an 80 minute CD. I could probably recommend any song that's on it, so why "On a clear day?" Because it never failed to cheer me up, I guess, and after 30 years it still hasn't managed to induce the slightest sign of boredom in me, because I just love Roy Phillips's singing, his characteristic smokey, velvety voice, and his fabulously stuttering hammond solo, and because of the lush stringy orchestration and Trevor Morais's typical drumbreaks. The song itself is a blast in itself too, of course, I know of a version from the same period by Cleo Laine that I also really like.

from Three in a Cell (CBS S63411)



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