Monday, March 28, 2011

The Psychedelic Era meets soft pop:The Arbors--The Letter (1969)

Many artists were criticized for jumping on the disco bandwagon in the late 70's, but the same phenomenon occurred in the late 60's during what was considered "the Psychedelic Era".  Artists and producers attempted things that later could be looked at as noble experiments, or just plain awful. All in the name of sounding "hip" enough to sell to an audience who's taste would change in just a year or two anyway.

The Arbors were four man vocal group that had success in 66 and 67 with a sound much like The Letterman. Very safe, very professional with a sound that appealed to that kind of audience. Nothing however really prepared one for their cover of The Box Tops, "The Letter'. From the start it sounded different (in a good way) from what had been released previously, then something happens during the song that could have only been done in the late 60's. It never fully turns into a head trip, but it sounded surprisingly satisfying for a group that never shown an inclination for creativity. It was by far the biggest hit they ever had, but after one more charting song, they went into writing and playing for commercials, which they did for the next 30 years.


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