Monday, January 19, 2009

The Superfine Dandelion - Superfine Dandelion (1967)



One of several second-to-third-division West Coast (or nearly West Coast) '60s bands on the Mainstream label, the Superfine Dandelion made one middling album in 1967 that mixed San Francisco psychedelic, folk-rock, pop, and jug band influences. They were formed in Phoenix in early 1967 by singer, guitarist, and principal songwriter Mike McFadden. McFadden had been in local garage band the Mile Ends, who had released a good punky Rolling Stones-y single, "Bottle Up and Go," in 1966; bassist Ed Black, who had been in the Mile Ends in their final days, was also in the Superfine Dandelion. Their self-titled LP had a good deal of sub-Jefferson Airplane... Read More...


1. Candy Man Neil, Ross 2:51 2. Bottle Up and Go McFadden 2:16 3. I Can Never Say Arthur, May, Taylor 3:07 4. Bring 'Em on In Morrison 3:035. Ferris Wheel McFadden 2:436. People in the Street Black, Carver, Collins ... 3:32 7. Crazy Town (Move on Little Children) Collins, Musil 3:078. My Place McFadden, Musil 2:149. Day and Night McFadden, Musil 2:4910. Shameful Lady McFadden, Musil 2:4311. Janie's Tomb McFadden, Musil 2:5512. It's Raining Collins, Musil 3:0513. Don't Try to Call Me McFadden, Musil 2:5614. The Other Sidewalk Collins, Musil 3:0515. What's the Hurry? McFadden, Musil 2:5016. Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head [#] Black, Carver, Collins ... 2:46 17. Ferris Wheel McFadden 2:3818. The Other Sidewalk [Acoustic Version] Collins, Musil 6:39


Superfine Dandelion drew from a lot of fine inspirations on their sole album: Jefferson Airplane, the Lovin' Spoonful, and Buffalo Springfield foremost among them. Good taste, however, does not guarantee a good record. Superfine Dandelion isn't lousy; it's just average and unmemorable. It seems as though they did their share of listening to the early Jefferson Airplane, judging from the extremely Airplane-like vocal interplay and minor chord structure of "People in the Street" and "Crazy Town." "My Place," on the other hand, has something of the country-flavored buoyancy of the Lovin' Spoonful and Buffalo Springfield, while the cheeriest cuts have the sunny folk-pop/rock feel of, say, some of the L.A. folk-rock issued by the Dunhill label ("Don't Try to Call Me" recalls P.F. Sloan) or the Monkees. Then "Janie's Tomb" and "It's Raining" have a jokey jug band vibe, like a cross between the Charlatans and the Lovin' Spoonl These are lot of references to cram into one review, and also an indication that there wasn't much originality to Superfine Dandelion's sound. That wouldn't matter so much if the songs were outstanding, but they're just so-so.


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