Sunday, February 6, 2011

Get It Together! - Various Artists

Get It Together!
Various Artists
RCA Special Products DLP2-0045

The first rock album I ever owned, it has immense sentimental value for me and was highly influential on my early record collecting.  I was a child of the 1960s but I barely remember the 1960s at all.  I have plenty of memories from then, but they might as well be from 1950s or 1970s.  I lived 20 minutes away from Haight-Ashbury in 1967 yet I never knew the Summer of Love even happened.  I had two hippie uncles but I just thought they were scary and I wouldn't go near them.  My only memories of the Beatles during their lifetime as a band was their cartoon on Saturday morning.  I didn't know about the anti-war movement until Kent State happened.  My parents and my neighborhood were as square as they come.  My Dad liked Sinatra-style crooners and mariachi music, my Mom liked classical music and light jazz like Shelly Manne and Ella Fitzgerald.  The only rock record my Dad owned was the first the Mamas and the Papas record and he got that after they had already broken up.  I associated the 1960s with kids songs like "Puff The Magic Dragon" and "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport" and the Monkees.  By the time I owned my own radio, it was the 1970s.  Then in 1973 I started seeing television commercials for this record and it blew my mind.  I heard excerpts of "Get Together," "Somebody To Love," "Born To Be Wild" and "White Room" and they thrilled me.  I realized there was a lot more to music than the crap I was listening to on the local top 40 radio station.  Plus it had "Daydream Believer" on it and at the time the Monkees were completely out of print, my record store didn't even carry the old Colgems comp.  I had to have this record.  My parents had just gotten divorced and money was really tight at my house, but my mom finally agreed to shell out the $5.99 plus shipping and handling and I'll be forever grateful.  When this double record set arrived, my world had changed forever.  I listened to this over and over, mesmerized.  I suddenly hated the music on the radio, I was only interested in the music of the 1960s.  This record became my road map into what is still my favorite era of music.  After hearing their songs on this comp, I started buying albums by the Who, Jefferson Airplane, Cream, the Rascals and the Kinks.  Ultimately I ended up buying albums from every artist on here except Music Explosion and Buddy Miles.  I probably will end up with those two as well, I'm just not in any big hurry anymore.  Admittedly I ended up with a few lemons, the Zager & Evans album is pretty awful, but for the most part the original albums were worthwhile.  I doubt that I ever would have bought the John Fred album "Agnes English" were it not for his inclusion on this record and it is a real gem.  I can't really recommend a 1960s comp that claims to represent "The New Rock Music" but has nothing from the Beatles, Beach Boys, Dylan, the Byrds, the Rolling Stones, Zombies, Grateful Dead, Hendrix or CCR to name a few, yet features no less than 3 songs by the Guess Who as well less than essential artists like Four Jacks and a Jill, Los Bravos, and Zager and Evans.  Nonetheless I do love this record and I still play it occasionally, not just as an exercise in nostalgia, but because it is a nice mix of music.  You could do a lot worse than this as far as 1960s comps go, especially one that was sold on TV.  Recommended to people who don't know the music of the 1960s very well but stumble across this at a garage sale or a flea market.

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