The Lovin’ Spoonful

TrackAlbum
Summer In The CityHums Of The Lovin' Spoonful
Did You Ever Have
To Make Up Your Mind?
Do You Believe In Magic
DaydreamDaydream
Nashville CatsHums Of The Lovin' Spoonful
Rain On The RoofHums Of The Lovin' Spoonful
Darlin' Be Home SoonYou’'re A Big Boy Now OST
Do You Believe In MagicDo You Believe In Magic
Jug Band MusicDaydream
Never Going BackRevelation: Revolution ‘'69
Wild About My Lovin'Do You Believe In Magic

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Contributors: Roger Woods & Merric Davidson

The songs are listed somewhat in order of preference but there’s little between the choices. They’re all outstanding pop songs and there are plenty more equally as delightful as those in this list. You’ll find all the above on the Very Best Of The Lovin’ Spoonful CD at a nice price. Although they recorded a handful of studio albums, the Spoonful were a ‘singles’ group – many of the albums out there are collections and compilations. There are no concept albums. They’d disbanded before pop had evolved into rock with its associated suites of songs on albums. There’s nothing wrong with that; their business was writing and performing good, honest two minute pop songs which were insightful and extremely well written and produced. Listen to the words and the phrasing on Did You Ever have To Make Up Your Mind?, Wild About My Lovin’ or Summer In The City.

Cole Porter had a way with a rhyme, and Noel Coward – and later on Gerry Goffin, Jackie DeShannon, and many more – and John Sebastian should be up there for his brief, but immortal, body of work in that two year period. Perversely, it’s perhaps this ability to fashion a rhyme that failed to bring him the plaudits that he deserved (until much later – see below).

From penning one of the most romantic songs of those times, Darlin’ Be Home Soon

I couldn’t bear to wait an extra minute if you dawdled …
It’s not just these few hours but I’ve been waiting since I toddled

… to iconic summer sounds such as Summer In The City, the words, although possibly strangled out of the muse, were supreme:

All around people lookin’ half dead
Walking on the sidewalk, hotter than a match-head

Daydream was the song that broke The Lovin’ Spoonful in the UK (No.2 in 1966):

I’m blowing the day to take a walk in the sun
And fall on my face on somebody’s new-mown lawn

And even if time is passing me by a lot
I couldn’t care less about the dues you say I got

Really, the only other John Sebastian song that should go in the selection above (but at the expense of what?) is the gorgeous Six O’Clock (from Everything Playing)

And I could feel I could say what I want
That I could nudge her and call her my confidant

Sebastian was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1968.

There was a two year period, 1966 to 1968, when everybody knew them. That was about the life of many a pop group back then. John Sebastian left in 1968 a year after Canadian guitarist Zal Yanovsky had quit and the force which had been with them had gone. But don’t search for what isn’t there. Just listen and enjoy.

 

The Lovin’ Spoonful now

John Sebastian official website

The Lovin’ Spoonful biography (iTunes)

Solo career of John B. Sebastian – any tie-dyed pot-heads out there want to give it a go?

TopperPost #66

3 Comments

  1. Rob Millis
    Sep 9, 2013

    Six O’Clock indeed – a wonderful song, one of his best. At the expense of anything from Revelation: Revolution ’69 would be my answer to your question.

    You know you’re a Zal Yanovsky obsessive when you are sitting typing a comment and there’s a Guild Thunderbird replica guitar sitting next to you…

  2. Nick Worrall
    Sep 9, 2013

    It’s a genuine crime that She Is Still A Mystery isn’t on the list. A perfect pop song by any standard. Still, nice list and it’s always worth reminding yourself of the joys of the Spoonful.

  3. Colin Duncan
    Oct 9, 2013

    Playing ‘Very Best of the Loving Spoonful’ today – an album which still gets very regular plays. I think the list is good and I once selected ‘Do You Believe In Magic?’ in a list of my favourite twenty singles of all time a few years ago. Brilliant song. Like Nick, ‘She Is Still A Mystery’ and ‘(Sittin’ here) Lovin’ You’, ‘You Didn’t Have To Be So Nice’ and ‘Darling Companion’ would be on my list at the expense of ‘Jug Band Music’, ‘Nashville Cats’, ‘Wild About My Loving’ and ‘Rain On The Roof’. But I think the songs I rejected are great. Absolutely brilliant music. Quality song after quality song.

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