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Barefoot Adventure: 4 Star Sessions 1962-66
Gary Usher
Barefoot Adventure: 4 Star Sessions 1962-66
Genres: Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (18) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (18) - Disc #2

One of the most stubborn myths of revisionist musical history is this: the early '60s were the Dark Ages of American pop, a sad and embarrassing era of prefab teen idols and silly dance crazes that was put out of its miser...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Gary Usher
Title: Barefoot Adventure: 4 Star Sessions 1962-66
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Sundazed Music Inc.
Original Release Date: 1/1/2008
Re-Release Date: 8/19/2008
Genres: Pop, Rock
Styles: Singer-Songwriters, Oldies, Oldies & Retro
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
UPC: 090771116727


Album Description
One of the most stubborn myths of revisionist musical history is this: the early '60s were the Dark Ages of American pop, a sad and embarrassing era of prefab teen idols and silly dance crazes that was put out of its misery by the British Invasion. In reality, strange and wonderful things were happening with American music in the months before The Beatles met Ed Sullivan, creative big bangs that continued to evolve for decades to come. In Detroit, Berry Gordy was defining the Motown Sound, while Stax and James Brown were inventing soul music. At 1650 Broadway, the Aldon table of songwriters was bringing sophistication to teen pop, while The Four Seasons reinvented group harmony. And in California, where America's youth culture was being born, a trio of songwriters--Brian Wilson, Roger Christian and Gary Usher--were drawing up the blueprints for the West Coast sound. This collection explores Gary Usher's tenure as co-architect of the happiest pop music ever written, a guileless celebration of sun, surf and cars that's become an enduring symbol of the American dream. Barefoot Adventure does more than simply collect a bunch of songs that sound great on the car radio and mean exactly what they say (take that, psychedelic music!). It's also a remarkable glimpse of the process, of a struggling songwriter angling for a break, sometimes tapdancing in tangents, oblivious to the bullseye he was hitting on the way to forging an important new sound. So here's the whole story, 36 terrific tracks, including exclusive Sundazed interviews with Usher himself, plus a gorgeous package with an illuminating essay and track commentary by author and Usher-biographer Stephen McParland. It's musical scholarship that's perfect for parties! We're not sure if this is history masquerading as fun, or vice-versa, but we're definitely sure that it's fun. Which, in the end, is all that matters. * Gary Usher was a primary architect of the sound of the early-sixties West Coast; cars, girls, sun and surf! * 36 incredible tracks available in double-CD and double-LP editions, plus download!
* A landmark anthology, containing 21 never-before-heard recordings!
* Gorgeous packaging featuring rare photos and graphics, plus detailed liner notes by noted author Stephen McParland!

CD Reviews

Stuart Jefferson | San Diego,Ca | 12/15/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Two discs-38,35 minutes each approximately. Remastered by Sundazed Records. Having grown up in Southern California during the era this music was popular,and being saturated by it,I will try to be as unbiased as I can. This was the time before The Beatles and all the rest of the "British Invasion" groups changed music forever. This music was simple sounding yet was profound in it's message of fun under the sun at the beach,watching the girls stroll by. For anyone who remembers the innocence of those times,or for anyone who wants an insight into what it was all about-listen to this.

Gary Usher was one of the architects of the "Southern California sound",and was ,in his own way,a genius in his field of music. The tracks in this collection are fun-pure and simple. No great messages to ponder,just escapist tunes that sounded good on the car radio or blasting from your parents hi-fi when they weren't at home. The arrangements ,by today's standards,are straight out of the pop music era,an era that others,like Brian Wilson(a collaborator of Usher's) and The Beach Boys for example,took all the way to the top of the charts. Some listeners will note that Usher was the producer of albums by some of the best 60's groups-like The Byrds(Younger Than Yesterday,Sweetheart of the Rodeo,and one of The Byrd's best,The Notorious Byrd Brothers),Jan and Dean,Dick Dale,and one of my favorite groups,The Peanut Butter Conspiracy.

This collection delves into Usher's music beyond The Hondells,which sixties music-lovers will remember,and has a number of "B"sides that few have heard,and a few tracks that have not previously been released. All these tracks show how music in the Los Angeles/Southern California area was adopted by many groups,both known and unknown. There are some short interviews interspersed throughout the two discs which give a better understanding of this era. Personally I would rather have had more music in place of the interviews,but that's a minor quibble.

The folks at Sundazed Records have done their usual good job with the liner notes. There is a track by track listing with information that is helpful(if you need it!) in understanding and enjoying these great sides. For the listener who still lives in this era,or for someone who wishes they could have-this is well worth picking up."