Sunshine Pop Part I

sunIn reflecting on my introductory post to this subject, there are two things to add.

1.  My choice of Tomorrow (by the Strawberry Alarm Clock, henceforth known as the SAC) is appropriate but… for compilation purposes, will be revisited as the final track in our set.

2.  More to say on the characteristics of Sunshine Pop… but I should mention now that it tended to be more adventuresome instrumentally (with keyboards, orchestration and other goodies… part of the “sophisticated arrangements” I mentioned) than “straight-ahead” rock and roll, whose principal instruments were guitars and drums.  And, of course, that statement is something of a generalization for which there will be (many) exceptions!

So… how should we start off this collection?

Track One

Correct time period? check

Upbeat melody and lyrics?  check

More sophisticated arrangement?  check

Originated from California?  Not exactly… but maybe they visited…

Cheerful and apolitical? check(unless I missed something)

The song comes from an album titled Revolver released in 1966.   This arrangement features keyboard (in lieu of guitar) as the prominent instrument, along with their signature vocals.  Given the title, what better song to start off our journey!

The Beatles circa 1966
The Beatles circa 1966

The band’s touring days were over as of 1965.  They had anticipated Revolver with a more folk-rock (another term which we’ll revisit) sound on their preceding album- Rubber Soul Good Day Sunshine is both a reflection of this period and anticipates further experimentation in their upcoming Sgt. Pepper.

Track Two

In any compilation, it’s good to vary the style/arrangement/sound from track to track.  Our second track does exactly that with a visit to 1968 and a group which, if not Californian, is at least American.  In this case the song, Like to Get to Know You, is also the album’s title.

The group featured the voice of Elaine "Spanky" McFarlane.
Spanky and Our Gang featured the voice of Elaine “Spanky” McFarlane.

If you’re just a bit less familiar with Spanky and Co.  than the Fab Four, here’s a nifty collage of the group performing the song.

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