Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Strawberry Alarm Clock|
Strawberries Mean Love
Genres: Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
Turn on the lava lamp and enjoy rainy day mushroom pillows
Karen Anderson | USA | 09/25/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Well, perhaps the Strawberry Alarm Clock could have been one of the greatest of the 60s vanguard bands, but for the lack of charismatic lead singer. That is why the band's big hit, "Incense and Peppermints" became the hit that it was, because someone other than the regular band members sang the lead. In fact, the singer was just a friend of the band's hanging out in the studio when the song was recorded. "Incense and Peppermints" was put on the B side of a garage punk single "Birdman of Alkatrash," soon to be discovered by a DJ with a good ear, and the rest is history. It is truly one of the grooviest of the groovy hits of the 60s. (But yay all these years later, you have to dig "Birdman" too!)Still, many of these tunes are simply classic of the times, and showcase the excellent musicianship that was the hallmark of the Strawberry Alarm Clock. The Clock really does capture the hallucinogenic mushroom moments better than any band of the late 60s. Check out "Rainy Day Mushroom Pillow" for instance. One can laugh at the lyrics, but I think it was meant to be tongue in cheek all along (just like the magic mushroom that inspired it). "The World's On Fire" is a fantastic improvisational vehicle and is TOTALLY psychedelic, and when guitarist Ed King chimes in, you know you are listening to something special. "Tomorrow" has a classic 60s pop feel to it, yet like most of the Clock's songs, one can imagine the trippy and dark underpinnings of a drug-induced influence. The darkest song is "Black Butter," which has a subversive and paranoid feel to it, hard to know what exactly it's about, but heroin does come to mind.The Strawberry Alarm Clock seems to me to be a cross between the psychedelic influences of San Francisco rock, and the breezy pop feel of the L.A. scene that spawned Love and the Beach Boys. No surprise then, that the Clock hailed from between the two factions in Santa Barbara. Surely the Beach Boys, Love and the Airplane must have perceived the Clock as musical peers, for truly, they did have a lot going for them. I can only imagine what heights this band could have risen to had they had a stand-out lead singer. And like the era that inspired it, ..."
The Sweet, Rubicund Pith Of The Strawberry Alarm Clock
David Chirko | Sudbury, Ontario Canada | 07/25/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Next to the Left Banke, the Strawberry Alarm Clock has to be the most underrated group in rock'n'roll history. Their music, sometimes dismissed as period fluff (by caustic critics who should have known better), was as invigorating and incisive as anything else produced during the psychedelic era, circa 1965-1971.I recall purchasing "The Best Of The Strawberry Alarm Clock" on vinyl, over thirty years ago and was titillated by the way they could literally inject florid images into my mind with their lilting pop tone poems and more frenetic rock songs. It was a transforming rush, because their tone colour, often accented by Indian and Oriental incantations, made me feel that I was, for the moment, somewhere else. The Strawberry Alarm Clock accomplished this by exploiting the full potentiality of their instrumental and vocal arsenal, i.e., harpsichords conveyed rain, xylophones depicted fire, sung harmonies evoked speculation, etc. The themes of their tunes covered a munificent gamut, from the effects of LSD to the future of mankind. Many of their contemporaries tinkered, unsuccessfully, for years to euphoniously achieve that bewitching mood which was the Strawberry Alarm Clock's. After all, this is what psychedelic music, the genre inaugurated by the Byrds on "Eight Miles High," was all about: seeing sounds and hearing colours.In the past few years I bought all of the Strawberry Alarm Clock compilations available on CD, including the album I am here reviewing, "Strawberries Mean Love," from 1992 (although I first got the vinyl version of same from 1987, in the late '80s, which had eight fewer works), as well as the "Anthology" and "Incense & Peppermints" hits package. "Strawberries Mean Love" is the most generous offering of the three. It features twenty-one cuts, three more than "Anthology" and containing every song on said, save for the lovely "Blues For A Young Girl Gone" and the introspective "Black Butter-Past" and "Black Butter-Future." It includes, as well, every piece but two--the "Good Morning Starshine" cover and the rousing "Starting Out The Day"--from the ten track "Incense & Peppermints" collection. Even owning all three of the aforementioned compilations, one is still deprived of the coquettish "Miss Attraction" and the pensive "Angry Young Man" from "The Best Of," the twelve song, vinyl release alluded to earlier. Four of the band's songs, recorded as A and B sides to singles, are also absent from any of the above ("Me and the Township," "Changes," "California Day" and "Girl from the City"). It seems as if no compilation is ever complete!All of the group's songs have grown on me over the years, however, "Sea Shell" and "Pretty Song From 'Psych-Out'" (both on the album reviewed) have proven to be the most captivating. I therefore invite you to romantically awaken to "Strawberries Mean Love"--the sweet, rubicund pith of the Strawberry Alarm Clock."
Strawberries Mean Raspberries
Brian J. Mcmahon | Alexandria, VA United States | 07/23/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"'Incense and Peppermints', featuring a lead vocal from a non-band member, had everything to do with their recognition but less to do with the bulk of the rest of their material, largely presented on this CD. Still, 'Rainy Day Mushroom Pillow', 'Pretty Song from Psych-Out' and 'The World's on Fire' are worth a listen, especially if you've seen the late 60's movie Psych-Out(with Jack Nicholson and featuring the Alarm Clock). Great harmony, keys, percussion. Guitar player Ed King(later of Lynard Skynard) contributes some interesting work, and must have had a hand in the very listenable "Three", which sounds like early 70's Southern Rock. "Tommorrow" is excellent and showcases all that was good about this group. Other tracks suffer from flimsy lyrics, indulgent experimentation, bad or uninteresting lead vocals, and clumsy attempts to emulate other groups of the time(listen to 'Black Butter Present' and think Doors). When they stay within their 'sound', they are sensational. If you're a hippy or into some historical perspective, buy it. If you want something special, buy Love's "Forever Changes" album instead."