Monday, April 18, 2011

In Praise of: The Association

   I still remember going to the record shop (in Sears department store methinks...), and buying the 45 of "Windy". Even at the age of 7, it was obvious that harmonies were to define my thinking musically and the Association was IT (had not discovered Brian Wilson as of yet). They defined "soft rock" which has served them well over the years, but it's the one thing that has kept music critics from looking at them seriously (which is a problem with music critics over the years...they mistake the craft of making music with their own tastes). The hits were all light, but well crafted pop, however listening to their albums show members who were willing to experiment. As all musical experiments in the late 60's, all were interesting if not always listenable. However, take a listen to "Requiem For The Masses" as an example of what happens when it's done right. The peak was about two years and they recorded what has become more than a few pop standards. They recorded for years after that, even rejoining the charts as late as 1981, and now tour as an oldies act. As we look back at them we see most of all a group who's vocal harmonies and underrated musical sophistication demands that we take a second look....and so we shall....


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