Monday, December 14, 2009

The Grass Roots - Let's Live for Today (1967)


Mp3\90Mb
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From Jancy
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Released in the spring of 1967, Let's Live for Today was almost a musical throwback, steeped in folk-rock, which was fairly passé at the time, rather than psychedelia, but that's what makes it so appealing to listeners today. Listeners in 1967 were probably disappointed that there was nothing on the album as dramatic or memorable as the title track, but everything else is solid folk-rock with a pretty hard edge, which allows it to stand quite well alongside rival releases by the Beau Brummels, the Cryan Shames, the Blue Things, et al. Most of the music here is derived from the P.F. Sloan/Steve Barri songwriting and production team, spiced with four surprisingly strong originals — mostly drawn from the original demo tape that they submitted as the 13th Floor — by the band members themselves. The Sloan-Barri numbers are smooth, hook-laden folk-rock "Things I Should Have Said," "Is It Any Wonder," some of it with a garage band edge, and with elements of mild pop psychedelia ("Wake Up, Wake Up") occasionally manifesting themselves. Sloan and Barri's production gave the music a polish that made it thoroughly commercial without entirely losing sight of the band's fervor; the Grass Roots, only a few months out of playing bowling alleys, rose to the occasion in the singing and the basic playing, but they were also in the hands of two producers who knew how to add such embellishments as an unobtrusive harpsichord or flute over a garage band workout like "Tip of My Tongue," and who also took full advantage of stereo separation. The latter made this album a real treat for the fans, who bought it and got to hear the playing by Sloan (who contributed some guitar), Creed Bratton, and Warren Entner, and the singing by all of them (especially on "Is It Any Wonder") in vivid detail. Also surprising are the group originals, such as Entner and Bratton's "Beatin' Round the Bush" and Bratton's rocking "House of Stone," each of which is a match musically for most of the Sloan-Barri numbers. Admittedly, the lyrics on Sloan and Barri's songs are somewhat more sophisticated than those on most of the group originals, but the simpler words on the latter firm up this album's rock & roll credentials. The CD reissue has decent sound and is worth tracking down as one of the last examples of 1960s commercial folk-rock.
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01 - Let's Live For Today
02 - Depressed Feeling
03 - Things I Should Have Said
04 - Wake Up, Wake Up
05 - Is It Any Wonder
06 - Let's Live For Today
07 - Beatin Around The Bush
08 - Out Of Touch
09 - This Precious Time
10 - House Of Stone
11 - Days Of Pearly Spencer
12 - Feelings
13 - Here's Where You Belong
14 - Midnight Confessions

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