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Friday, January 24, 2014

The Youngbloods - Elephant Mountain (1969 us, outstanding west coast psych, Sundazed remaster and expanded and japan Blu Spec 2014)

Elephant Mountain, the magnetic third album by the Youngbloods, is commonly looked upon as the pinnacle of the legendary Bay Area combo’s abundant eight-year career. From its spine chilling opening track—the strains of a somber Appalachian fiddle permeating “Darkness, Darkness”—the listener is inexorably sucked into psychedelic quicksand by the haunting vocals of Jesse Colin Young, whose plaintive cry to “hide the constant yearning for things that cannot be” proves mournfully irresistible.

 In addition to Young’s songwriting masterpiece, the 1969 album also spotlights a sharp, country-rocking vocal duet (“Smug”) by Young and recently-departed singer Jerry Corbitt, as well as the jazzy interplay between electric keyboard whiz Banana and the locked-in groove of drummer Joe Bauer during magical instrumental “On Sir Francis Drake.” More songwriting gems loom like sacred totems on this landmark longplayer, including Young’s signature ballads “Sunlight,” “Quicksand” and “Ride the Wind.” It’s the Youngbloods at the top of their game, indelibly writing their names in the ledger of consummate San Francisco rock ‘n’ roll.

1. Darkness, Darkness - 3:48
2. Smug - 2:11
3. On Sir Francis Drake (Lowell Levinger) - 6:45
4. Sunlight (J. Bauer, J.C. Young, L. Levinger) - 3:07
5. Double Sunlight - 0:41
6. Beautiful - 3:46
7. Turn It Over (J. Bauer, J.C. Young, L. Levinger) - 0:13
8. Don’t Let The Rain Get You Down (J. Corbitt, F. Papalardi, Gail Collins) - 3:12
9. Trillium (J. Bauer, J.C. Young, L. Levinger) - 3:08
10.Quicksand - 2:41
11.Black Mountain Breakdown (J. Bauer, J.C. Young, L. Levinger) - 0:40
12.Sham - 2:44
13.Ride The Wind - 6:36
14.Pool Hall Song - 3:04
15.Beautiful (Alternate Version) - 9:31
All songs by Jesse Colin Young except where indicated

The Youngbloods
*Jesse Colin Young - Bass, Acoustic Guitar , Vocals
*Lowell "Banana" Levinger - Guitar, Electric Piano, Backing Vocals
*Joe Bauer - Drums
*David Lindley - Fiddle
*Plas Johnson - Tenor Saxophone
*Joe Clayton - Trumpet
*Victor Feldman - Vibraphone

1967/69  The Youngbloods / Earth Music / Elephant Mountain (2 disc set)
1971  Beautiful! Live In San Francisco (Sudazed issue)
1972  High On A Ridge Top 
Related Act
1973  Jesse Colin Young - Song For Juli (2009 edition)

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