Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genuine Imitation Life Gazette
Genres: Pop, Rock
Reissue of 1968 album with four bonus tracks: 'Watch The Flowers Grow', 'Raven', 'Will You Love Me Tomor- row' (cover of Goffin/ King tune Shirelles popularized) and 'Electric Stories'. 14 tracks total. Other (original) 10... more »
Reissue of 1968 album with four bonus tracks: 'Watch The Flowers Grow', 'Raven', 'Will You Love Me Tomor- row' (cover of Goffin/ King tune Shirelles popularized) and 'Electric Stories'. 14 tracks total. Other (original) 10: 'American Crucifixion Resurrection', 'Mrs. Stately's Garden''Look Up Look Over', 'Something's On Her Mind', 'Saturday's Father', 'Wall Street Village Day', 'Genuine Imitation Life''Idaho', 'Wonder What You'll Be' and 'Soul Of A Woman'.
An Album in the Shadows
Kevin Killian | San Francisco, CA United States | 02/24/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Recently with all the hoopla over Brian Wilson's release of the SMiLE album, it set me thinking back to the past when his influence, and the Beatles and other progressive rock groups, caused a whole generation of pop musicians to change their ways very drastically, and I recalled this fine LP from 1968. GENUINE IMITATION LIFE GAZETTE was modelled after Orson Welles and the Mercury Project of the WPA era and their "living newspaper," so every track on the LP was inspired by an article ripped out of the headlines of the day.
The "living newspaper" device was of course the feature of Irving Berlin's early 30s musical AS THOUSANDS CHEER so it wasn't exactly original even to Orson Welles.
The music was superb, but it wasn't what 4 Seasons fans were expecting and many of us were appalled and betrayed. For myself, I couldn't make up my mind. Part of me preferred the old pop sounds of OPUS 17, etc. But another part of my liked the seriousness, the depth, the symphonic touches, even the pretension of the title, which blended in the old Douglas Sirk IMITATION OF LIFE, with all its camp association, with an assertion of "genuine-ness" like Miller Beer.
Today I prefer it to SMiLE in many ways. If SMiLE has the "Americana" thing going on better, this LP has a better mesh of voices and instruments, and the political statements are clearer and more cohesive. It's unbelievable is what it is. The bonus tracks help put the material into perspective, though they're not strictly "Gazette" material."
H. Drew Wilder | South Carolina | 07/31/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was a 4 Seasons fan from the days of "Sherry" and "Big Girls Don't Cry" all the way through their comeback hits of "Who Loves You" and "December 1963 (Oh, What A Night)", and I can say with some authority...."Genuine Imitation Life Gazette" was their greatest collection of non-hit material. The album was not well-received by either their fans or the music industry when it was released. I loved it THEN and I love it NOW. Turn down the lights, close your eyes and listen...REALLY LISTEN....to "Soul of a Woman". It still sends chills down my spine. "Genuine Imitation Life Gazette" is a genuine treasure. By the way, the cover is fun to read, too...but the music is magnificent."
The 4 Seasons most impressive album.
Somewhere in Texas | Planet Texas | 10/15/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After years of making outstanding hit singles and surviving the Top 40 onslaught of teen idols, surfin'/car songs, girl groups, Motown, garage bands and the British Invasion, the 4 Seasons were hit with another challenge in 1967-8. Pet Sounds and Sgt Pepper's had instantly changed the rules for Pop LP making, and like other hitmakers they set out to create an concept album that would impress the growing number of "progressive free-form FM" stations at the time and then-new magazines like Rolling Stone.
Like so many mainstream Pop artists who appealed to the AM Radio-16 Magazine croud and then tried to court the progressive LP buyer "Genuine Imitation Life Gazette" sold poorly. The teenyboppers were confused at hearing this drastically different, advanced music while the hippies and counterculture laughed at the Seasons' attempt to "be hip".
That's a shame because this is the Seasons most impressive album, lyrically and musically. After years of making good to excellent albums consisting of big hit singles with disjointed (though many times oustanding) originals and cover versions, they instead created a "real" album that flows nicely together with wonderful songs and adventurous arrangements.
That this album didnt sell well and that singles like the catchy "Somethings On Her Mind" didnt score on AM radio is a mystery. Compared to other concept albums of the time it sounds more modern and less dated. An interesting attempt to blend the legendary Seasons falsetto vocal harmonies with psychedelic arrangements, thoughtful lyrics and modern production techniques.
Sadly, the Seasons were never the same after this album flopped. The group further moved toward an adult MOR direction and the original four-member hitmaking line-up (stable since 1966) broke up in 1970.
The remastered CD sounds great dispite some loud tape hiss. But ACE (and Rhino's earlier reissue) removed and changed much of the cover artwork to fit on the samll CD booklet. I suggest digging around used record stores (or on E-bay) and finding an original American copy of the LP. The cover and insert are a lot of fun to read for all the in-jokes, and I think it's one of the best album covers of the late 60's. The Seasons were much more than just 3 minute hitmakers - this album shows it."