Probably the best of the Turtles' "early period".
David Goodwin | Westchester, NY United States | 12/23/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"With "You Baby," the Turtles made a shift away from folk rock into the more "good-time-y" style they would keep at the forefront for much of their future career. The thing is, they apparently had quite a bit of folk-rock-styled material still in the can, and Wooden Head (issued in 1970, around the time the Turtles stopped functioning as a band) is an interesting combination of those tracks, some others, and some later-period recordings. Many of the tracks are originals, but the covers are some of the band's best: "I Get Out of Breath" (one of P. F. Sloan's best tracks) and "Tie Me Down" (by David Gates, of all people) are very nice, and this "heavier" recording of We'll Meet Again bests the earlier version in my opinion. Additionally, it must be noted that the early-Beatles imitative superwide stereo of the first two albums--all instruments on one side and all vocals on the other--is thankfully not imitated here, with more natural stereo mixes carrying the load.Around track 11, however, things get a bit weird..."Wanderin' Kind" is the "Lady Jane" of this compilation, as it appears on the first album and really has no business being here (it's a decent song, but wholly derivative of Mr. Tambourine Man). And while "Ain't Gonna Party No More" is an excellent little tune, this is an odd place to stick it chronologically.The last track brings up another unfortunate aspect of this particular disc. Sundazed--usually noted for its excellent with regard to sound quality, packaging, and liner notes--really didn't pull out all stops with its Turtles releases. The liner notes here are decent, although short on facts and insight and long on speculation. But was anybody paying attention when it came time to assign songwriting credits? Howard Kaylan is listed as the writer of "Who Would Ever Think that I Would Marry Margaret," a song he notoriously despised. As Repertoire's release of the album makes the same mistake, it's clear that Sundazed and Repertoire were working from the same info, and neither bothered to check sources.The verdict? Wooden Head is a strangely strong album, and probably works better than either of the first two LPs officially released by the group; the half-finished tracks work in the band's favor, nixing the occasionally-shmaltzy horn/string overdubs that marked their early work.BUT!Sundazed's reissue is really nothing special. And while in many cases the Sundazed disc would have something that Repertoire's CD of the album would not (a stereo mix of "Sound Asleep" etc.), Repertoire's disc has everything the Sundazed disc has...and more. An extra five tracks, to be precise, many of which are hard to find otherwise, and are well worth having. Avoid the Sundazed disc, and get the Repertoire Records release of this album instead...you'll be happy you did."
This is a great pop album!
mightyrobster | NORFOLK, VA United States | 07/21/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first got this album in the early 70's, my aunt bought it for my bday. I listened to it non stop, the songs were very catchy and full of melody. I ended up selling the original album in the 80's, during my teen years, for beer money! I've always had a fondness for the songs, even after 15+ years. Imagine my shock when I finally found it on cd...I could not wait to purchase! All of the songs are great examples of power pop. Well structured lyrics, strong melodies, and expert musicianship. All the songs are fresh and hold up very well. If you're a fan of the Byrds/Badfinger/Beatles (yea the Beatles) then go out a grab this cd..it's awesome!"
depillar | CA | 12/11/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First of all, I believe the cover art for this album is awesome. Very unique. And the music lives up to it as well. However, I do believe this is a hit-or-miss, because I have heard of many people not caring for it. As for myself, I thought it was exceptional despite the "lack of hits." This release consists of demos and unreleased material that makes one wonder why it was neglected.It starts off with "I Can't Stop," which is probably one of the few tracks on this album that you can truly get into on first listen.Next comes "She'll Come Back," which is probably my least favorite, with the exception of "Tie Me Down." Its a bit slow and mopey."Get Away" sounds very modern. It seems as if it hasn't aged one bit."Wrong From the Start" is a little bit mediocre. Still a decent listen nonetheless."I Get Out of Breath" consist of a pretty cool chorus, and if you really listen to the lyrics you'll appreciate what it has to say."We'll Meet Again" is very jumpy and happy. Quite dance-able too."On a Summer's Day" is pretty slow-paced. Serious and mellow."Come Back" has alright lyrics, but isn't too interesting."Say Girl" is one of the better tracks on this album. It sounds like a simplified version of "She's My Girl," one of The Turtle's hits.I simply cannot find anything good about "Tie Me Down." Its basically a repeated phrase of "She tried to tie me down!" The only track on this album I completely dislike.Here's where the album starts to come to a close, and of the beginning of a reward for waiting. "Wanderin' Kind" proves this."Aint Gonna Party No More" is THE BEST track on this album hands down, if not THE BEST Turtles track ever recorded."Who Would Ever Think That I Would Marry Margaret" was a song The Turtles were forced to record by their jackass record label. However, it isn't bad at all. It actually turned out very good.So, in conclusion, I reccomend this album to those that are fond of The Turtles and aren't knew to their style of music. If you are just getting into The Turtles, I reccomend you start out with "20 Greatest Hits." It contains everything worth listening to of The Turtles, and, as far as I'm concerned, doesn't contain a single bad track. Don't start with "Solid Zinc: The Turtles Anthology." While it has several great songs, it also has quite a few that those just starting out wouldn't appreciate. If you enjoy "20 Greatest Hits," then maybe go for "Wooden Head." I may just be an exception though, as I must mention the fact that it has not had good reviews by others, but for under twenty bucks, what the hell. I mean, if worse comes to worse, you can always just stare at the cover art for a little bit...."