Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Pop, Rock
No chart hits, but some Association fans rank this record as their best; the group had gained creative control, and together with producer John Boylan (who would later produce Linda Rondstadt and Pure Prairie League among ... more »
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No chart hits, but some Association fans rank this record as their best; the group had gained creative control, and together with producer John Boylan (who would later produce Linda Rondstadt and Pure Prairie League among other top acts), they explored a more country-rock sound as well as offering a dose of their usual eclecticism. Includes Look at Me, Look at You; Yes, I Will; Love Affair; The Nest; What Were the Words; Are You Ready; Dubuque Blues; Under Branches; I Am Up for Europe; Broccoli, and Goodbye Forever. The complete 1969 release!
This album just might surprise you...
Matt Williamson | Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA | 01/19/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Association's self-titled 1969 album represents the group at a curious turning point in their career where they were able to progress in a musical direction beyond the familiar pop-hits such as "Cherish" and "Never My Love" but still not be taken seriously by the counterculture. If their "AM radio" reputation preceded them among the "too hip for the square" crowd, the absence of a bonafide hit single from this album ensured that their pop following would have a hard time finding them in a sea of new acts and trends in the rock arena. Despite the new musical biases working against the Association, this album charted at a respectable #32 on Billboard's Album chart but today is relatively unknown, having been released in the year following their million-selling Greatest Hits package.Comprised of nearly all original material and co-produced by the group and John Boylan, the Association seemed eager to wipe clean the slick, canned sound of the previous two albums produced by Bones Howe. This resulted in what is considered by many as their best album vocally, with painstaking care being given to vocal arrangements and harmonies, always an Association trademark. Vocals on "Love Affair" and "Under Branches" are soaring and clean with the band singing at its most confidant. Jim Yester's smooth lead vocals and Jules Alexander lyrics are backed by sparse instrumentation giving the spotlight to the layers of backing vocals. Unfortunately, choosing "Under Branches" for single release in May, proved to be perhaps an over-confidant move as its complex time changes and over-mellowness caused the song to reach a dismal #117 on the Billboard Bubbling Under chart. The group is clearly having fun with Terry Kirkman's inspiring "Look At Me, Look At You" and Russ Giguere's comical "Broccoli." The CSN-like "Dubuque Blues" and "What Were The Words" may be the best evidence that the Association could be taken as a serious late-sixties band but they falter with hard-rock ("I Am Up For Europe") and topical themes ("Boy On The Mountain") as these excursions would have been best replaced in favor of outside material."Yes I Will" was the next single released but it surprisingly bombed (#120 Billboard Bubbling Under chart) despite being a catchy tune with everything you could ask for in a two minute and thirty second pop song. The excellent Jules Alexander composition "Dubuque Blues" was the final single released in support of the album, but it offered very little support, even missing Billboard's Bubbling Under chart. Although "The Association" has been sadly overshadowed by the group's earlier hits, many diehard fans rate this as one of their best albums. Years later many of the songs still sound fresh and vibrant and is considered an essential part of their catalog."
Son of a band member
Chandler M. Cole | Portland, Or | 01/28/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was the best CD/album of the group for it's time. You have to listen to these tracks. true harmony and what the band ment to the world. They had to best music, before the bass player passed away in 1971. The ultimate CD/album from the group and nothing compares to the sound of this band."
An Association Appreciation
Alan Caylow | USA | 05/23/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Association are one of the most underacknowledged brilliant bands from the late 60's/early 70's. Oh sure, these guys had several big hit singles through 1968 ("Windy" being the best-known of the lot), but come 1969, the public's interest in The Association was waning, which is a total shame if you ask me. After all, these guys from Los Angeles have created some of the most beautiful pop/rock that has ever been done. (There's also a marvelous art-rock feel to some of their material---"Requiem For The Masses" is a perfect example.) Their tight musical chops & intelligent songwriting alone is worth the price of admission, but then, there's also their heavenly choir voices....aaaah. Pure vocal magic. The Association may be best known for their early ballads, but these domestic re-issues of their catalog prove beyond a doubt that there is so much more to this band than just their "Greatest Hits" collection.I can't believe the whole world totally missed the boat on the group's fabulous self-titled album from 1969. "The Association" marked the beginning of the downward arc for the band commercially: there were no hit singles, and record sales weren't too hot, either. But *creatively*, the band had never been better. I love all of their earlier albums, but "The Association" is the group's finest work. By this time, the band had branched out into creating songs that were a bit more sophisticated and arty. In fact, the group sound on this album like a cross between The Moody Blues & The Alan Parsons Project! Even the album cover, with it's striking "Stonehenge in outer space" painting, signaled that The Association were doing something very different indeed with this record. And it's magnificent.Gorgeous songs abound everywhere: "Love Affair," "The Nest," "Under Branches," and the brilliant album-closer, "Boy On The Mountain," which almost brings me to tears whenever I hear it. "Yes I Will" & "Are You Ready" are really catchy songs that *should* have been big hits. And then there's "Broccoli"---it is what it is, folks. If this wonderfully silly song doesn't put a smile to your face, then you must not have a sense of humor! The door may have been closing on The Association by the time 1969 rolled around, but the band were still at the top of their game musically. "The Association" is a fabulous album by this equally fabulous band, and is a true buried musical treasure. Yes, there IS more to The Association than just "Windy.""