The best studio album ever made.
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Since the Sony release is not available here, check out the new release from Britain on Creation Records. The new liner notes are superb.http://www.blackmail.co.uk/one/html/crev052.html"
The late 60s side project of the Association is perfect pop!
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Millenium is a pop/rock band that was around in the late 60s, hailing from California. Their songs are catchy a la Peter and Gordon (and beatles, monkees, etc) and production is smooth like "pet sounds" or many of Phil Spectors project. The leader of the band was a one time player in the more popluar band, the Association. The songs are tightly knit 3 minute at most burst of thought out fun and edearing thoughts. They add a touch of exotica/bossa nova percusion to songs such as 5 am. For any fan of good guitar based, smooth pop music or any 60s music, this will be a great addition to your musical world. Enjoy!"
Look what they did to my song, ma, its only bleeding
W. T. Hoffman | Pennsylvania, United States | 07/19/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"THE MILLENNIUM by Begin was a studio project headed by Boettcher, who helped the ASSOCIATION orchestrate "ALONG COMES MARY" back in 1966. He helped produce other mid 60s "heavy" pop songs like CHERISH, and was a big name in LA. As the "Summer of Love" was fast approaching, the LA scene was changing, with bands like LOVE, THE DOORS, ZAPPA's MOTHERS, BYRDS, and other acts of that ilk, were replacing the "Unhip" sounds like Beach Music, Mamas and Papas, or fake studio bands like early Monkees, etc. Anyway, since Boettcher was such an important producer, COLUMBIA records allowed Boettcher to assemble a "studio band", and use the FIRST 16 TRACK machine, (two 8 track recorders slaved together) to make a masterpiece of peices. PIECES, because you have 7 members of this studio group, formed from old bands breaking up, and some of their songs, along with various other musicians in the LA studio scene. Because you have too many cooks throwing stuff in the pot, there is no COHESION in style here. "BEGIN" doesnt sound like a single album at all. Some of the songs (the doowop lovey dovey ones) date back to 1965 or so. Then, you have the GOOD songs, most of which Boettcher wrote. Apparently, he was the guy who DOSED, and it shows. If anyone tells you this is some kind of psychedelic masterpiece, ignore them. The album has some INCREDIBLE production values, and with the songs that ARE trippy, there's a cool "everything and the kitchen sink" philosophy to the overdubs, that sounds pretty cool. (but dated, of course.)
The album starts out promising, with the "PRELUDE" song flowing seamlessly into "TO CLAUDIA ON THURSDAY." Then, you get these Doo-wop/ ASSOCIATION love songs. The vocal parts are dense, but with very predictable harmonies, and overstacked melody vocals. It just goes to show, how new and revolutionary the vocal harmonies were for bands like THE BYRDS, Buffalo Springfield, or even "SMILE" period Beach Boys, compaired with what came before . In order to make some of the Doo-wop love songs sound more hip, the producer layered on the most obvious "psychedelic" effects, on songs where it sounds mismatched. You have these wierd "sound effects" of the ocean, birds, etc, on songs which simply have nothing to do with psychedelia. The lyrics are about boys and girls in love, the chord changes predictable. When the songs DO work, and ARE psychedelic, the album works. That's the most maddening part of assessing this album. If you want to view BEGIN as acid music, you need to sequence an album out of the FIRST TWO SONGS, and the LAST FOUR. "THE KNOW IT ALL" is especially freaky, with lots of odd chords, bizarre lyrics, and mindbending production twists. "KARMIC DREAM SEQUENCE #1" is the freak out the title promises. (Its easy to spot the acid songs...Boettcher wrote them, for the most part.) This KARMIC song is the only song that passes the 5 minute mark on the album...or the 4 minute mark. Its sort of a dreamy, utopian type of psychedelia, with a ton of bizarre effects, and instruments, including a KOTO (japanese lute), lots of oriental percussion, and VSO (changing the speed of the tape, to create that "Take off" sound). On "KARMIC", Boettcher removed those dated DOO WOP vocal stacks, replacing them with wierd screams, and even tacked on the harpsicord part that opens up the album's first song. The album ends with a grab bag "band effort", where they sing about LISTENING TO THE TRUTH OF OUR SONGS. (The fact that this band would think their mishmash of lyrics and styles represents a single "MESSAGE" that can change the world, is unintentionally such a goof.) Then, you get a dose of super trippy sound effects disolving into DOO WOP singing, and a bit of backmasking, and its ALL OVER. And that is the Psychedelic masterpiece. The album is a bit difficult to digest as a whole. There was no more MILLENIUM albums, cos it never sold. (Plus the band ran up the biggest recording debt in Columbia's history.) After this album came a single, "JUST ABOUT THE SAME" b/w "BLIGHT", that is normally included with the CD editions of this album. It's a great single, and matches the psychedelic sound of the better songs from BEGIN.
Overall, I'd recommend this album to "60s psychedelia completists", also to producers who would like to hear how early 16 track recording was approached, or fans of the ASSOCIATION's vocal harmonies. I should give this album only 3 stars, since there is no band cohesion happening, nor stylistic center. But the production values are incredible on both the trippy songs, and the doo wop love songs. If you have the bread, man, you get about 18-20 minutes of pretty groovy psychedelia, but its dated, baby. All in all, some great songs to put in that perfect psychedelic mix tape you might be planning."