Here at HOG, we’ve got a bit of a thing for albums made after a hit bands supposed peak. What we’ve come to term the ‘fuckit’ albums. The point where a band is still stretching out and growing, often artistically surpassing their earlier work, but has little hope of an audience of a size they once enjoyed. There is often a sense of freedom and experimentation with these records that would have been difficult to achieve as a chart act.
The most obvious examples of this for me would be the four early seventies Beach Boys albums- which despite some incredible moments, barely charted into the ‘hundreds’ in the US.
Beyond these- which have since entered the canon of classic albums- are records by The Tokens, Association and Turtles, which despite being incredible records by household names, don’t seem to attract anywhere near the same sort of attention. This has lead to many awkward silences for me personally, where enthusing about records by these bands to fellow sixties heads has lead to bemused looks followed by ‘what- the Wimoweh guys?’, and disbelief.
So- here are some great moments, from chart topping bands who deserve to be known for more than Happy Together, The Lion Sleeps Tonight, and Windy.
The Turtles- Love in the city
This was released worldwide as a single in 1969, but didn’t really achieve the success it deserved, despite, to me sounding like a more poppy and commercial version of Forever Changes era Love.
The Tokens- Waiting for something
This is from The Tokens unreleased 1968 lp ‘Intercourse’. A limited release was apparently made in 1972, but I’ve never seen a copy of that pressing for sale, nor heard of anyone that owns it. It remained widely unheard until the current Revola release.
The Tokens/Cross Country- Just A Thought
After The Tokens split, 3/4 of them reconvened as Cross Country. Their low key cover of midnight hour was a hit, but the whole record is great. A perfect blend of sunshine pop vocals and flanged folky country rock.
Here is a Spotify playlist of some further tracks which are unavailable on Youtube. Check it out! The Association sounding like vocal era Eno! (Goodbye Forever) The Turtles singing cutting anti war songs in their Laurel Canyon period (we ain’t gonna party no more)
In addition to this, if you’ve enjoyed The Tokens tracks, I’d encourage you to check out the unheard Mitch Margo demos at www.becoolrecords.com/records
These are very much floating my boat at the moment- fitting into the Don Agrati/Dennis Wilson/Robb Kunkel/Emitt Rhodes/Curt Boettcher/Ned Doheny seventies LA solo artist canon, whilst also having a surprising synthy, Ariel Pink vibe (Love Today, Dirty Dog) in places. Great stuff.