27 August 2009

The Time Machine - Summer of Love

Time Machine - Summer of Love

Label: Bam Caruso
Year of Release: 1986

From the original press release:

"It's Summer Time again - and to mark the occasion Bam Caruso are releasing what is sure to become this summer's most played record...


A catchy tribute to summers gone, this tune is a medley of hits from the summer of '67.  Included are such gems as 'Paper Sun', 'Flowers in the Rain', 'San Francisco', 'Whiter Shade of Pale', 'California Dreaming' and 'All You Need Is Love'.

THE TIME MACHINE faithfully reproduce these hits with amazing accuracy and skill (you can't see the joins!)

A MUST for all beach parties this year!!.. and not a chicken in sight".

Now, Bam Caruso were a fantastic label in the eighties, unearthing and issuing tons of hidden sixties gems for the general public's enjoyment, and their crowning achievement was unquestionably the Rubble series of albums.  Seldom will I hear a bad word said against the organisation.

This single, however, baffles me.  Its purpose was surely to lampoon the Stars on 45 styled discs which cluttered up the charts at one point, but their time had come and gone when "Summer of Love" was issued, and Jive Bunny had some years to arrive.  More to the point, the comment about "seeing the joins" - whilst clearly ironic - also jangles on the nerves a little when you consider that the joins are so apparent on this single in places that it sounds like an ITV Chart Show rundown rather than a medley.  At least Starsound and Jive Bunny kept a consistent rhythmic flow going, for all their obvious faults.

It is a thoroughly bizarre part of their catalogue, and does have a curiosity value of sorts, but more worthy of your attention is the flipside "Another Scene (In Black and White)" which is eighties psych revival pop to a tee (or perhaps that should be 'to an English tea'), with squeaking Casio keyboards switched to a sixties setting, vocals delivered in a Robyn Hitchcock style, and mystical guitar lines.  The eighties psychedelic revival material somehow could never quite escape the decade of its origin, and - as is also apparent on the Syd Barrett tribute album "Beyond the Wildwood" - always had a smoothness and clarity to it the original material lacked.  

I doubt that many people will seriously regret missing this first time around, but it's a nice enough addition to your mp3 playlist, and may prove to be a party talking point should you ever feel like digging it out for that purpose.

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