Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Turtles-All The Singles

In a span of 5 years (1965-1970), the Turtles effortlessly straddled the styles of the times, from stellar folk-rock through timeless top 40 pop to an eclectic smatterings of styles simply because they could.  They were the recipients of vast piles of first-rate songs from the high tide of ‘60s songwriters (e.g., Dylan, P.F. Sloan, Gene Clark David Gates, Warren Zevon and Bonner & Gordon). Many of their shifts and swerves were illuminated with sunburst harmonies and requisite humor needed to stave off the chicanery of the music industry.  They were also versatile enough to be a singles machine almost ready made for AM radio and as an album group who would garner airplay on the FM stereo side with their more theatrical & experimental excursions. “All The Singles” presents both an introduction to the band –say a child hearing “Happy Together” for the first time or second time (as it frequently appears in commercials and movies) and as the current definitive overview of the band. For long-time Turtles listeners, what’s especially exciting are some the rarely heard B-sides and previously unissued recordings like the haunting and brittle “So Goes Love,” one of my favorite Gerry Goffin & Carole King compositions. It was not until seeing Flo (Mark Volman) & Eddie (Howard Kayland) live in 2011 at Wild Horse Pass Casino did I realize their enormous vast talents and what a hoot they are as a “musical comedic" duo.  Buoyed by its underlying classical elements, the night became transcendent when the entire audience sang along to “Happy Together” with unbridled joy. Like their namesake, they were not the sleekest band, but their playful and oblique ‘60s sounds have continued to convey levity, express elation and endure over the long haul.

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