Search - Cowsills :: Best of

Best of
Best of
Genres: Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Cowsills
Title: Best of
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Umvd Special Markets
Release Date: 4/16/1995
Album Type: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
Genres: Pop, Rock
Styles: Oldies, Power Pop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 731452020420

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CD Reviews

An incredible collection!!!!
Joe Comer | Robinson, IL United States | 03/22/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"From the "First Family of Pop" comes this comprehensive collection of their late 60's hits. Beginning with the first big hit "The Rain, the Park and Other Things (The Flower Girl Song)" and continuing through to their last big hit which is the title song of the super successful Broadway rock show, "Hair", this C.D. is a musical journey that is both wide-ranging and surprising.Of all the bands of the 1960's, the Cowsills were probably the most underrated. Hailing from Newport, Rhode Island, they began performing in local churches and clubs when John Cowsill (their drummer) was only 7 or 8. In 1966, as a foursome (Bill, Bob, Barry and John), they were signed to Joda records. They recorded one single, the garage folk/rock, "All I Wanta Be is Me". Featuring Bill on rhythm guitar, Bob playing lead, Barry on bass and John on drums, it was quite an achievement for a first effort. Unfortunately, it sold very little nationally and the band slipped back into relative obscurity. It was through an appearance on the "Today" show that a talent scout signed them to the Wing branch of Mercury records. They recorded several singles. One of them, "Most of All", a catchy saying-goodbye-for-the-summer number was something of a regional hit, but they remained basically unknown. Although that contract yielded little notoriety, one of Mercury's employees, Artie Kornfeld, who, two years later in 1969, became a producer and organizer for the original "Woodstock", had a song about a girl sitting in a park in the rain and had some hopes that it might be a hit. He thought it might be perfect for the Cowsills. Kornfeld is given credit by most people as the person who suggested that their mom, Barbara, sing with them. This was a bit of a disapointment for the boys as they had always attempted to mold their sound after a certain other famous foursome from Liverpool, England. Although, the Beatles were all young men at the time of their first success, the Cowsills, in 1967 were all in their teens or younger. However, the addition of their mom gave the band just enough of a difference to stand out. Kornfeld recorded them and MGM finally signed the band. The rest, as they often say, was history. Later sister Susan and brother Paul joined and the harmonies rang all the more stronger. Only Bob's twin brother Richard was denied the opportunity to sing with his famous family, but that's another story for another time. This CD release of the original vinyl is a mix of ballads ("Meet Me at the Wishing Well", "A Time for Remembrance"), socially aware songs ("Newspaper Blanket" must have been one of the first songs written about the homeless) and rock 'n roll ("Gotta Get Away From It All"). Most of the songs here were written or co-written by Bill and Bob. It's nice to know that unlike a certain other recording act (not to mention any names here but their last name started with the letter P) that was based on the life and career of the Cowsills, this band were 100% real. That television show cast were not a real family or even a real band. And except for David Cassidy and a very inconspicuous Shirley Jones, the sound was the creation of studio musicians and vocalists. The Cowsills, however, were very much in evidence in the studio. Besides writing a good deal of the tunes, Bill and Bob produced the majority of the Cowsills recordings and had a good deal of control over what was created. And the fact that from "Hair" on, the band played all or most of the instruments made them just as formidable as any other act from the period, maybe more so. One listen to the guitar work on "Hair" (Barry's bass guitar is incredible for anyone let alone for one who was only 14 years of age) and any remark about their lack of talent is completely out of line. The vocal arrangements, also a product of Bill and Bob, are among the best ever. C.D.'s were invented for the crisp and clear sound of voices and arrangements such as the Cowsills'. And if you think the Cowsills were only a band for the 60's and early 70's, one listen to their latest recording, GLOBAL will change your mind immediately. It's available through the bands web site.But if you are looking for an overview of the early sound of this super-talented family, this C.D. is the one for you. And it's an excellent representation of the "happy, happy, happy" infectious rock of the period. And that's not bad at all!"
Some Big Hits...Lots of Misses
Steve Vrana | Aurora, NE | 02/03/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Thirty years later, the Cowsills hits are still as engaging and cheery as the day they were released. Their debut "The Rain, the Park, and Other Things" was elbowed out of the top spot only by Lulu's "To Sir with Love," and was characteristic of the kind of catchy pop song put out by the group that served as the real-life inspiration for TV's "The Partridge Family."Their other big hits are here: "We Can Fly" (No. 21), "Indian Lake" (No. 10), and the million-seller "Hair" (No. 2).But quite frankly some of the rest of the material is hard to listen to. The Cowsill's original "Meet Me at the Wishing Well" is as schmaltzy as anything by Bobby Goldsboro. Another original "A Time for Remembrance" is overly sentimental. "Newspaper Blanket" is a saccharine attempt at social revelance. They occasionally hit the mark with tracks like "Gotta Get Away from It All," "In Need of a Friend," and "Poor Baby." [The last two were minor hits--No. 54 and No. 44 respectively.] Overall, the album tracks haven't worn very well and in most cases only serve to tarnish the image of the band. If you have to have all their hits, this is the way to go. But if you're really only interested in "The Rain" and "Hair," seek out any number of various artists compilations that inlcudes these songs (along with others you'll probably enjoy just as much)."
El Cheapo Collection in Every Way!
D. L Masters | California | 08/01/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)

"This Best Of can't be recommended, even at the dirt cheap price.
Sonically, it gets a 1 star and sounds like about a 5th generation dub. In addition, the mastering is so poor, that there are noticable db fluctuations between certain songs!
Also, there are NO liner notes whatsoever.
You'd be much better served by popping 2 more bucks for the 20th Century Masters Collection which has much better sound, some liner info, and a better song selection."