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The Five Best Albums Celebrating Their 40th Anniversary

List Of The Day

I used to think people were kidding when they told me that 1967 was a great year for music. Cream? Jefferson Airplane? The Doors? Jimi Hendrix? What is this other than classic rock radio sticking us with the music THEY want us to hear? How about the music the PEOPLE want to hear? The music that made a difference and that has now been shut out because it was simply TOO POWERFUL? That's what we've got here. The Five Albums from 1967 celebrating their 40th anniversary that aren't named Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

 

The Electric Prunes - I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)

Any album that includes a song called "Are You Lovin' Me More (But Enjoying It Less)" deserves to be better remembered. Any album that also includes tunes with names such as "Luvin'," which indicates that about ten seconds went into the effort for a title, "The Toonerville Trolley" and "About A Quarter To Nine," one of the finest songs to get the time approximately right, should be owned by everyone. The fact that Electric Prunes' guitarist Weasel Spagnola has a cooler name than "Eric Clapton" cannot be denied. And the title track? Who doesn't love a song with a great parenthetical ending?

 

Every Mother's Son - Every Mother's Son

Considered to be not Beatles clones, but Monkees clones, Every Mother's Son really knew how to ride the wave of expectation. We're an imitation of an imitation! "Come On Down to My Boat" (originally "Come and Take a Ride in My Boat") is a nautical RV company's marketing dream! Come on down for BIG savings! With the three Larden brothers - Dennis, Larry and Schuyler - forming a powerful voting bloc within the band, you can imagine the hell the other two guys went through whenever anything came up for a vote. Their self-titled debut featured the hit and did pretty well, but their next album, Every Mother's Son's Back, didn't have the hit on it and, therefore, did lousy. Oh, the evil twists of fate.

 

Strawberry Alarm Clock - Incense And Peppermints

"Rainy Day Mushroom Pillow," "Paxton's Back Street Carnival," "Hummin' Happy," "Pass Time With the SAC," and "Unwind With the Clock," all on one album! They don't write 'em like this anymore. They barely wrote 'em like that back then. And then they had that hit with the "Incense and Peppermints" which helped spike sales in both those items as well. Talk about synergy! Imagine how many mushroom pillows could've been sold if someone in corporate hadn't dropped the ball. Damn!

 

Keith - Ain't Gonna Lie / 98.6

98.6 is the perfect human temperature and, therefore, a perfect song, too. See the logic. "Keith" turned out to be a guy from Philadelphia named James Barry Keefer, who recorded three albums but never had another big hit. A shame, since he named his second album Out Of Crank, which, as most methamphetamine abusers will tell you, is not a good thing. The tune "Ain't Gonna Lie" was a mild hit and the album shares its title with the two singles. Imagine the madness had there been a third single!

 

The Royal Guardsmen - The Return Of The Red Baron

Man, were the '60s crazy or what? All those cutting edge concepts and none more revolutionary than Ocala, Florida's Royal Guardsmen! Thinking outside the box, the group made the Peanuts character Snoopy a main character in their songs much like Bruce Springsteen would do for guys named Johnny and girls named Mary a decade later. The G-men threw Snoopy into piloting school so he could face off against German World War I flying ace Baron Von Richthofen for several hit singles. While 1966's "Snoopy Vs. the Red Baron" was good, 1967's "The Return of the Red Baron" was gooder.  Throw in album cuts that push the concept to the brink, such as "Airplane Song (My Airplane)" and "Shot Down" and it's no wonder these guys were unstoppable and now so favorably remembered as the most important Snoopy Group of all-time.

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