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Lovin' Spoonful - Daydream (2002) Retail CD
"Daydream", the Spoonful's sophomore LP, appeared in March 1966, merely four months after their successful debut.
On this album, the band continues to mix pop/rock with folk, blues and country elements to achieve a very distinctive sound. Although the band had to spend a lot of time on the road, this second album includes - surprisingly - a greater proportion of originals than the first.
Musically very strong, the LP proved a big commercial success, peaking at #10 on the US pop charts (whilst reaching the #8 spot in the UK.) I have kept my mono copy of the British original release (Pye NPL 28078more…) to this day.
The title track, "Daydream", was a Top 2 US & British single and it is maybe my all-time favourite Spoonful song. This good time tune with delightful lyrics opens the LP in a kind of rag-timey fashion, courtesy of Steve Boone's piano playing. John Sebastian (electric Gibson Les Paul) and Zal Yanovsky (acoustic Gibson Heritage) play the basic guitar parts. The latter also overdubbed his Guild Thunderbird. John Sebastian's groovy singing and whistling blend delightfully. Joe Butler also plays spoons on the track. A certified classic!
"There She Is" is a spirited, rocking tune, sung by Joe Butler with John Sebastian over fingerpicked acoustic guitar and amplified lead. Great stuff!
"It's not Time Now", a rare Sebastian/Yanovsky composition, has a country feel very reminiscent of the original Johnny Cash trio (greatly enhanced by Zal's electric guitar.) The lyrics, cleverly dealing with domestic disagreement, are excellent.
"Warm Baby" is very sweet. Its chorus is lifted from "Kind Hearted Woman", recorded in 1936 by legendary Delta bluesman Robert Johnson! This track features fine autoharp by Sebastian and falsetto backup vocals by Butler.
Zal Yanovsky sings "Day Blues", a Sebastian/Boone composition. It is a slow blues, with excellent electric guitar and harmonica by Zal and John Sebastian, respectively. Zal's world-weary vocals are well suited to the lyrics. " Well, it's day blues / Sunlight's shining down on bad news / ... / Sunlight frownin' down on me."
"Let the Boy Rock and Roll" is an (uncredited) straight cover of John Lee Hooker's landmark "Boogie Chillen" 1948 hit single (complete with the same spoken introduction!) This version really rocks. Boone and Butler, who are chugging along effectively on bass and drums, effectively support John Sebastian vocals. All the while, Zal Yanovsky coaxes an electric, trebly flurry of notes from his axe.
"Jug Band Music" is a lyrically cunning, musically exquisite ode to the Memphis blues jug bands from the thirties that inspired so much of the band's covers (particularly on their first album.) Steve Boone's solid bass kicks off the track. Zal shines on lead guitar playing (see also my note at the end of the review regarding the alternate bonus take.)
"Didn't Want to Have to Do It" is one of Sebastian's earliest composition. He perfectly sings this bittersweet ballad about the end of a relationship. The tracks features soft acoustic and electric guitars, delicate backing vocals and John's trademark autoharp. One of their better song, it was also released as the B-side to their "Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind" smash (the latter was included on their debut LP.)
The instrumental intro to "You Didn't Have To Be So Nice" is unforgettable. Boone came up with the basic riff and some lyrics. John Sebastian finished the tune. The lyrics are, again, very poetic in their simplicity. This very poppy tune sees Sebastian again on top form vocally, with backup vocals by Joe Butler and John Sebastian himself. Autoharp is well to the fore whilst Zal Yanovsky plays muted lead guitar. Steve Boone also plays distinctive sounding chimes that happened to lie around in the studio. Released as a single, the song peaked at #10 in the USA.
Zalman Yanovsky sings "Bald-Headed Lena" a goofy, novelty tune released by R&B artist Piano Red in 1962 under the name "Dr. Feelgood & the Interns". (Trivia fans please note that the songwriting credits are slightly off the mark and should read Edgar SneAd/Willie PErryman.) Although the band members knew Piano Red, they were prompted to record one of his songs after they realized that the Beatles listened to the same music that they did. In 1965, the Fab Four had released another Dr. Feelgood's title - "Mr. Moonlight - sung by John Lennon. In-between his vocals, Zal gargled using a nearby glass of water. Definitely not one of my favourite Spoonful track (I don't dig the original either.)
"Butchie's Tune" was basically written by Steve Boone and finished off by John. Softly sung by Joe Butler, the track has a definite country feel (particularly noticeable in both the strummed acoustic guitar part and Zal Yanovsky's lead guitar work). Butchie was a lady friend of Erik Jacobsen, the band's producer.
The Spoonful chose to close their second album with an instrumental. They did the same on their debut album with "Night Owl Blues." The choice here again proves brilliant. "Big Noise from Speonk" is a rocking, loose track based on a simple blues foundation. Zal Yanovsky's excellent electric guitar thunders along impressively, John Sebastian's harmonica wails away as it did on his session work over a rock solid rhythm section. Here, all the band members show that they excelled at ensemble playing.
This CD adds five previously unreleased bonus tracks to the original LP release.
First, there is an alternate instrumental version of Henry Thomas' "Fishing' Blues" (originally included on their debut album.)
Then comes a good, early take of "Didn't Want to Have to Do It."
An alternate instrumental "Jug Band Music" follows. This take is very interesting as Zal Yanovsky's first-rate contribution is much more easily audible (he plays the lead guitar part on a modified Danelectro 6-string bass!)
Take 6 of "Daydream" comes next and proves very fresh and enjoyable in its own right.
Lastly, the complete take of the aforementioned "Night Owl Blues" is included. This is the unedited recording. It includes a mistake from Steve Boone. This is the reason why the original track, featured on their first LP, was faded.
It is refreshing to see that, finally, this certified masterpiece has been reissued with so much care. The booklet is very complete and features very interesting notes. However, the big plus is the fact that this CD has been remastered from the original master tapes. Owners of original mono or stereo vinyl already knew that the LP sound was outstanding for the time. Kudos to Bob Irwin at Sundazed Studios who remastered this new CD: the music has never sounded better to my ears!
|2||There She Is|
|3||It's Not Time Now|
|6||Let The Boy Rock 'n' Roll|
|7||Jug Band Music|
|8||Didn't Want To Have To Do It|
|9||You Didn't Have To Be So Nice|
|10||Bald Headed Lena|
|12||Big Nose From Speonk|
|14||Didn't Want To Have To Do It|
|15||Jug Band Music|
|17||Night Owl Blues|
- Lovin' Spoonful - Daydream (2002) Retail CD
- 1202 x 1200 px
- 372 KB
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- 01/01/08 by Sarge!
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