Album #164 – Elephant Mountain
This album was a little different than I expected. I was familiar with The Youngbloods but I only knew two of their songs: this album’s opening track, Darkness Darkness, and their biggest hit, Get Together, which has been used in countless TV commercials and featured on countless 60’s music compilations. I can remember back in high school in a young male choir I was in, the director wanted us to add this song to our repetoire. He let us vote on it. Mostly everybody in the choir, including myself, voted it off. I kinda wanted to sing it but I was already looked at as a wierdo by the rest of the members of the choir. I did not want to become more out of place. Anyway, they did not even write their biggest hit. It was a cover and the song was originally written by Chet Powers a.k.a Dino Valenti who would later become a member of Quicksilver Messenger Service. Joni Mitchell sang the song at her concerts during the late 60’s. Jefferson Airplane recorded a version and Nirvana, to my delight, made fun of the song at the beginning of their song Territorial Pissings. This song was released in 1967 and was on their self-titled debut album. Needless to say, I was kind of thinking this album would sound like their version of Get Together. I did not. This album reminded me more of The Byrds and their album The Notorious Byrd Brothers. This album was very similar. There were all kinds of different influences on here: country, folk, blues, jazz and even ragtime. The album was produced by Charlie Daniels!!! Yes, the same Charlie Daniels of The Charlie Daniels Band who sang The Devil Went Down To Georgia. I was surprised that he of all people produced this album. Maybe that is why this album is not that good. There were only three songs I really liked: Darkness Darkness, Sunlight (which reminds me of the 1970’s singer-songwriter movement which was coming up; the track sounded an Eagles song!!!) and Quicksand. There were a couple of tracks that were very short on this album as well. Overall, I was somewhat disapointed. I read some reviews of the 1001 albums book online and one reviewer said this book had too many one-hit wonders in it. I agree. Do not worry, I am not giving up. There are still may great and exciting albums on this list. This was not one of them. Bob Dylan’s late 60’s albums such as: John Wesley Harding and Nashville Skyline should have been on the list instead. Sadly, Darkness Darkness is the album’s best track. The rest of the album was background music. It was very dull and predictable. Overall, I give this album 2.5 out of 5.
Next: Hot Buttered Soul by Isaac Hayes