Monday, 7 November 2016

The Youngbloods - Selftitled (US Psychedelic Folk-Rock US 1967)



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The Youngbloods is an album by the American rock band The Youngbloods, released in 1967. It was also reissued in 1971 under the title Get Together after the popular single from the album. The album peaked at number 131 on the Billboard 200 although two years later the single "Get Together" reached number five and sold more than a million copies.


"Get Together" was written by Chet Powers (aka Dino Valenti of Quicksilver Messenger Service) and had already appeared in 1966 as a track on the first album by The Jefferson Airplane. Upon first release as a single by The Youngbloods in 1967, it only went to #62 in the pop charts. Two years later, after being featured in radio and television commercials, the track was re-released and climbed to number 5 in charts, selling more than a million records.

The first song on the album, "Grizzly Bear" (spelled "Grizzely Bear" on the album cover), was also released as a single reaching #52 in the pop charts in December 1966. Jerry Corbitt took credit for writing this song, but it had appeared on a 1928 recording by singer/songwriter Jim Jackson. The song featured the "jug band" style popularized by The Lovin' Spoonful, Jim Kweskin Jug Band and other similar groups of the middle 1960s. The title refers to a popular dance style of the 1910s. Corbitt also wrote the second song on the LP, the ballad "All Over the World (La La)". Side one also featured Blind Willie McTell's "Statesboro Blues" and another ballad, "One Note Man" written by fellow Cambridge folk musician Paul Arnoldi (spelled "Arnaldi" on the record label).

Side Two featured two more songs written by fellow folk singer-songwriters, Fred Neil's "The Other Side of This Life" and "Four in the Morning" by George "Robin" Remailly (who became a member of the Holy Modal Rounders in the 1970s).

Jesse Colin Young wrote two ballads on side two, "Tears Are Falling" and "Foolin' Around (The Waltz)" which alternates between 4/4 and 3/4 time signatures. Classical cello was added to "Foolin' Around" by George Ricci. Side two ends with two blues standards, Jimmy Reed's "Ain't That Lovin' You" and Mississippi John Hurt's "C.C. Rider". The last song featured a hard-rocking guitar jam that was common in the late 1960s, especially for San Francisco, which would soon become the Youngbloods' destination both geographically and musically.

The Youngbloods were an American rock band consisting of Jesse Colin Young (vocals, bass), Jerry Corbitt (guitar), Lowell Levinger, nicknamed "Banana" (guitar and electric piano), and Joe Bauer (drums). Despite receiving critical acclaim, they never achieved widespread popularity. Their only U.S. Top 40 entry was "Get Together".

Jesse Colin Young (born Perry Miller, November 22, 1941, Queens, New York City) was a moderately successful folk singer with two LPs under his belt – Soul of a City Boy (1964) and Youngblood (1965) – when he met fellow folk singer and former bluegrass musician from Cambridge, Jerry Corbitt (born Jerry Byron Corbitt, January 7, 1943, Tifton, Georgia). When in town, Young would drop in on Corbitt, and the two played together exchanging harmonies.

Beginning in January 1965, the two began performing on the Canadian circuit as a duo, eventually adopting the name "The Youngbloods". Young played bass, and Corbitt played piano, harmonica and lead guitar. Corbitt introduced Young to a bluegrass musician, Lowell Levinger (born Lowell Levinger III, 1946, Cambridge, Massachusetts). Levinger, known as "Banana", could play the piano, banjo, mandolin, mandola, guitar and bass; he had played in the Proper Bostonians and the Trolls, and played mainly piano and guitar in the Youngbloods. He knew of a fellow tenant who could flesh out the band, Joe Bauer (born September 26, 1941, Memphis, Tennessee), an aspiring jazz drummer with experience playing in society dance bands.

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Once the line-up was set, Jesse Colin Young and the Youngbloods, as the group was then known, began building a reputation from their club dates. (Early demo sides from 1965 were later issued by Mercury Records on the Two Trips album.) Their first concert had been at Gerde's Folk City in Greenwich Village; months later, they were the house band at the Cafe Au Go Go and had signed a recording contract with RCA Records. Young, however, was not satisfied with RCA. "Nobody at [RCA] was really mean or anything; everybody was just kind of stupid," he explained to Rolling Stone magazine. "They never knew what to make of us, and tried to set us up as a bubblegum act... they never knew what we were, and never knew how to merchandise us."

The arrangement did produce one charting single in "Grizzly Bear" (#52, 1967). Several critically praised albums followed: The Youngbloods (1967, later retitled Get Together); Earth Music (1967); and Elephant Mountain (1969), with its track, "Darkness, Darkness".

In 1967, when "Get Together", a paean to universal brotherhood, first appeared, it did not sell very well, reaching only No. 62 on the chart. But two years later – after Dan Ingram had recorded a brotherhood promotion for WABC-AM in which the song was used as a bed for the promotion, and after the National Council of Christians and Jews subsequently used the song as their theme song on television and radio commercials – the track was re-released and cracked the Top 5. This disc sold over one million copies, and received a gold record, awarded by the R.I.A.A. on 7 October 1969.

Johnny Carson once reportedly refused to allow the band to perform on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, saying they were overly demanding during the pre-show soundcheck. In a 2009 interview, Young stated that the band refused to perform because the show reneged on a promise that they would be allowed to play a song from their new album Elephant Mountain, instead demanding that they only play "Get Together".

With Corbitt's departure from the band (for a solo career) in 1969, before the band recorded the Elephant Mountain album, Levinger assumed lead guitar duties and played extensively on Wurlitzer electric piano. The band became adept at lengthy improvisations in their live performances (as captured on the albums Rock Festival and Ride the Wind released after the band moved over to their own Warner Brothers distributed Raccoon label).

In 1971 the group added bassist Michael Kane to their line-up and put out two more albums Good & Dusty (1971), which featured an answer to Merle Haggard's Okie from Muskogee, "Hippie from Olema", and High on a Ridgetop (1972) before disbanding. Young, Levinger and Bauer all went on to solo careers, of which only Young had any notable success. Levinger, Bauer and Kane were part of another group, Noggins, in 1972 that only lasted for one album, Crab Tunes. Bauer died of a brain tumor in September 1982, at the age of 40.

In 1971 Jerry Corbitt and former Youngbloods producer Charlie Daniels formed a band called Corbitt & Daniels and toured.

In 1976 HT Rabin, drummer from Alias, joined the Youngbloods for a brief tour.

Banana supplied guitar, banjo, synthesizer, and back-up vocals to Mimi Fariña's 1985 solo album, Solo, and also toured with her on and off from 1973 until the 1990s. During the 1980s and 1990s, he played with the jam rock band Zero on keyboards, vocals and rhythm guitar.

In late 1984, The Youngbloods briefly reunited for a club tour. The 1984 line-up contained Young, Corbitt and Levinger, plus new members David Perper (drums, ex-Pablo Cruise) and Scott Lawrence (keyboards, woodwinds). Once the tour was completed, the group disbanded once again by mid-1985.

Following the September 11 terrorist attacks, the media conglomerate Clear Channel Communications included The Youngbloods' recording of "Get Together" on a list of "lyrically questionable" songs that was sent to its 1,200 radio stations in the United States.

Jerry Corbitt died of lung cancer on March 8, 2014. He was 71.

Personnel
Jesse Colin Young – bass, lead vocals, rhythm guitar
 Jerry Corbitt – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
 Lowell "Banana" Levinger – lead guitar, electric piano
 Joe Bauer – drums, percussion

Original Album Mono Version:
01. Grizzly Bear 02:23
02. All Over The World (La-La) 03:18
03. Statesboro Blues 02:22
04. Get Together 04:41
05. One Note Man 02:27
06. The Other Side Of This Life 02:31
07. Tears Are Falling 02:29
08. Four In The Morning 02:55
09. Foolin' Around (The Waltz) 02:56
10. Ain't That Lovin' You, Baby 02:47
11. C. C. Rider 02:41

Original Album Stereo Version:
12. Grizzly Bear 02:23
13. All Over The World (La-La) 03:16
14. Statesboro Blues 02:20
15. Get Together 04:39
16. One Note Man 02:26
17. The Other Side Of This Life 02:30
18. Tears Are Falling 02:28
19. Four In The Morning 02:53
20. Foolin' Around (The Waltz) 02:52
21. Ain't That Lovin' You, Baby 02:41
22. C. C. Rider 02:40

Bonus Tracks:
23. Get Together (Promotional Single Version) 03:27
24. Merry-Go-Round 02:13
25. Se Qualcuno Mi Dira (Get Together Italian Version) 03:47
26. Qui Con Noi, Tra Di Noi (Grizzly Bear Italian Version) 02:20

More Bonus:

The Youngbloods
March 30, 1969
The Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco, CA.
FM broadcast on KPFA 

01. Ride the Wind  06:47
02. Sugar Babe  03:15
03. Four in the Morning  05:54
04. Too much monkey Business  05:08
05. Banana's  05:45
06. Dolphins  11:22
07. The Wine Song  03:33
08. Darkness, Darkness  05:10
09. Beautiful  07:32

Part 1: Young 1
Part 2: Young 2
or
Part 1: Young 1
Part 2: Young 2
or
Part 1: Young 1
Part 2: Young 2

4 comments:

alpo said...

Thank you, sir Chris. The Bloods are a sound that this 60's hound will never lose the scent of.

Anonymous said...

Hi, can you re-up the albums of Gandalf The Grey - The Thin Angel and The Grey Wizard Am I? Thanks.

Carol

Psyclist said...

Thx for the Youngbloods

Anonymous said...

if you can, post the 'rock concert' album by the youngbloods!