?Love? is a compilation of late-60?s hippie-dippie love songs, soft rock, and orch pop compiled by Guillaume Sorge and presented exclusively for the US market. The collection mixes obscure tracks from well-known artists, typically heard attempting a style they were not particularly well known four, such as The Turtles? syrupy-sweet rendition of ?You Showed Me? (a tune composed by Roger McGuinn and Gene Clark back in 1964, but never recorded by The Byrds) that?s actually better suited to the dulcet harmonic tones of Flo & Eddie, a taste of The Hollies? psychedelic period with Graham Nash?s string-drenched title track from ?Butterfly,? Donovan?s jazzy, sax-driven ?Get Thy Bearings,? The Zombies? cool-as-a-cucumber interpretation of Gershwin?s ?Summertime? from their 1965 ?Begin Here? debut, and Harry Nilsson?s loungy, smoky cocktail jazz of ?Wearing Of The Willow? from his 1968 ?Aerial Ballet? album. Bookended by a couple of Harpers Bizarre covers, ?Witchi-Tai-To? (written by Free Spirit?s Jim Pepper ? put a link to my Free Spirit review here) and Paul Simon?s ?59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin? Groovy),? the album also features a couple of silly drop-ins by a pair of giggly schoolgirls talking about hunky guys and offering their relatively na?ve dissertations on the titular topic.
Conspicuous in their absence are the Curt Boettcher projects, Sagittarius and Millennium, although the undisputed kings and queens of orchestral pop, the brother and sister combo, Free Design are represented by their engaging, round-style (a la the old children?s rhyme, ?Row, Row, Row Your Boat?) rendition of Tim Hardin?s ?If I Were A Carpenter.? But it just may be the left field, one-off oddities that attract the enterprising listener: Bill Fay?s spot-on impersonation of Sonny Bono over a sizzling piano-and-drums jazzy backing on the spoken-word ?Some Good Advice,? the breathy, lighter-than-meringue vocals of Margo Guryan, doing double duty on two tracks from her 1968 ?Take A Picture? album, the weirdly psychedelic pop of ?Sun? and the funky, get down and get with it original version of ?Sunday Morning? that was a hit for both Spanky & Our Gang and Oliver (of ?Good Morning Starshine? fame), and for falling-on-the-floor laughing, it doesn?t get any jaw-droppingly weirder than Blossom Dearie?s ?Long Daddy Green.? Imagine Carol Channing on helium and you?ve only begun to enter the upper registers where Ms. Dearie scat-raps her way this track from her long out of print 1970 LP ?That?s Just The Way I Want To Be.? That howling and whining you hear may be the neighborhood dogs begging for mercy.
Even your parents will dig the fluffy, MOR pop of Jackie Cain and Roy Kral?s finger-poppin? take on John Sebastian?s ?Didn?t Want To Have To Do It? that manages to make even the Captain and Tennille and Steve Lawrence and Edie Gorme sound hip. Ars Nova may seem like a strange choice on an album chock full of unusual artist selections, but the fact that ?Walk On The Sand? (from their 1969 ?Sunshine & Shadows? album on Atlantic) has such a catchy, bossa nova (no pun intended!) cha cha backing track that sounds like Simon & Garfunkle?s ?Mrs. Robinson? almost make up for the howlingly awful, sub-Anthony Newley vocals. Although Jimmy Owens? trumpet break does have an undeniable, guilty-pleasure charm and before song?s end I must confess I did head off to the fridge to mix up another batch of frosty cocktails. Space age bachelor pad compilation curators take note! So while there may be as much jazz as pop here, when all is said and done, I can?t think of a lovelier way to spend a lazy summer?s afternoon. 8/10 -- Jeff Penczak (31 July, 2006)