11 Songs, 33 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The six-man band The Association were at their creative and commercial peak (and averaging 250 shows a year) when they recorded 1968’s Birthday with producer Bones Howe and members of the Wrecking Crew. The opener, “Come on In” (written by San Francisco folkie Joe Mapes), power pops alongside a pair of Top 40 carefree groove-fests: “Time for Livin’” and “Everything That Touches You” (the band’s last Top 10 hit). From there, the beautifully arranged musical detours are many (and no doubt influenced by Sgt. Pepper). Guitarist Jim Yester, for example, contributes two gentle psych ditties that sound like David Crosby fronting The Mamas & The Papas: "Birthday Morning” and “Barefoot Gentlemen.” (The latter features a lovely, elaborate mix of French horns, flugelhorns, and tubas.) Singer/guitarist Russ Giguere’s self-serious dreamer “The Time It Is Today” sounds like an intellectual folkster taking on Gene Clark. The baroque and reaching “Bus Song” is told in three musical chapters, complete with an imagined audience, a barbershop quartet, and a plethora of experimental studio ideas worthy of Brian Wilson.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The six-man band The Association were at their creative and commercial peak (and averaging 250 shows a year) when they recorded 1968’s Birthday with producer Bones Howe and members of the Wrecking Crew. The opener, “Come on In” (written by San Francisco folkie Joe Mapes), power pops alongside a pair of Top 40 carefree groove-fests: “Time for Livin’” and “Everything That Touches You” (the band’s last Top 10 hit). From there, the beautifully arranged musical detours are many (and no doubt influenced by Sgt. Pepper). Guitarist Jim Yester, for example, contributes two gentle psych ditties that sound like David Crosby fronting The Mamas & The Papas: "Birthday Morning” and “Barefoot Gentlemen.” (The latter features a lovely, elaborate mix of French horns, flugelhorns, and tubas.) Singer/guitarist Russ Giguere’s self-serious dreamer “The Time It Is Today” sounds like an intellectual folkster taking on Gene Clark. The baroque and reaching “Bus Song” is told in three musical chapters, complete with an imagined audience, a barbershop quartet, and a plethora of experimental studio ideas worthy of Brian Wilson.

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