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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Cherry People - s/t

Artist: Cherry People
Album: s/t
Year: 1968
Style: Psychedelic Pop
Similar Bands: Byrds, Hullaballoo, Turtles, Archies, Association, Cowsills, Bee Gees, Monkees
One Word Review: Harmonized Style Array
Based Out Of: Washington, DC
Labels: MGM, Heritage
 
 Cherry People - Cover & Back, Record
 Cherry People - Center Fold-out, Record
Cherry People - Info
Cherry People (1968)
  1. And Suddenly 2:06
  2. Girl on the Subway 2:52
  3. On To Something New 2:22
  4. Imagination 1:54
  5. My Hyde 2:39 /
  6. Do Something to Me 2:13
  7. Ask the Children 2:08
  8. I'm the one Who Loves You 2:06
  9. Don't Hang Me Up Girl 2:53
  10. Light of Love 2:40
Album Rating (1-10): 7.0

Members & Other Bands:
Punky Meadows - Guitar (Bux, Angel, The English Settlers)
Chris Grimes - Guitars Vox (The English Settlers, Jimi Hendrix)
Rocky Isaac - Drums (Fallen Angels, Bux, Jimi Hendrix)
Dougy Grimes - Vox (The English Settlers)
Jan Zukowski - Bass (Nobody's Children, Nighthawks, Fabulous Hubcaps)
Ron Haffkine - Producer
Barry Oslander - Producer
Jerry Ross Productions
Jimmy Wisner - Arrangement
Joe Renzetti - Arrangement
Val Valentin - Director of Engineering
Neil Ceppos - Engineer
Bob Golden - Cover Photo
Stephan Paley - Liner and Inside Photo
Dick Smith - Art Direction

Unknown-ness: I've never heard of this band, but I like the weight, coloring, and psychedelic look of this boy band. Short songs, most likely bouncy, upbeat and catchy seem to be what they're going for, I'm guessing. No year on it, but I assume it is somewhere in the late 60's. Excited to see what this sounds like.

Album Review: The biggest thing that any of Cherry People did was be part of the backing band with Jimi Hendrix when he recorded five songs. This was the result of trying to get a meeting with Jerry Ross to be released from their contract in NYC after a west coast tour, and ending up blowing off steam at an open mic/jam night where Hendrix also showed up.

“And Suddenly” was their one and only hit single, which reached #44. It begins with a little Bee Gee’s sense, and perhaps a little R&B. Then after the family harmonies, it finds its groove with a light sing-song, cheerful melody. It feels a little Monkee’s-ish, too.
“Girl on the Subway” is instantly psychedelic pop. It is very thematic, with a complicated barrage of harmonized parts and layers. It is happy and polite and very non-threatening. The trumpet takes center stage when the song reaches the instrumental break.As the song winds down, the trumpet takes over, and steals all the attention, in a somewhat jarring way.
“On To Something New” was the b-side to “Light of Love.” It harkens back to a male vocal group of the 50’s or early 60’s, with swirling harps and strings and a lofty soaring harmony. This song was made to appeal to the parents of the teens they were trying to sell the record to.
“Imagination” was the B-Side to “And Suddenly.” It too is a quiet, delicate vocal band throwback to a style that was nearly extinct. It is still theatric with flutes and sound stage flourishes and swirls.
“Mr. Hyde” was the b-side to a single. It is a more updated sound for the era, a slightly psych harmony, with a very Cowsills collaboration as the chorus kicks in. It has a bit of a marching pace, spurred on by the drumbeat.

“Do Something to Me” starts off side two with an upbeat, dancey song. It has a little bluesy vocal style, with a simple clap-along-tempo. It feels a little like a Belle & Sebastian song, with a different vocal style. There is an urgency and hunger to the vocals that feels like real emotion. This is the real star on this album, and sounds like a completely different singer/band.
“Ask the Children” is a bouncy, fun child’s-dream-like song. Lots of bubble gum pop harmonies, and it builds well into the chorus, which is just a psychedelic-vocal breakdown, not really delivering on the build.
“I'm the one Who Loves You” was a single. It has a smooth sexy glide, a little bond-theme-like. The backing vocals actually sound a little disco, well before disco was a thing.
“Don't Hang Me Up Girl” starts out seeming like a light, older style, but the pace picks up a snappy little groove, and hangs on some call and response harmonies. The song has its feet planted in the two different styles, and does a pretty good job of making it work.
“Light of Love” was a single, tapping into organ psychedelica of the time. The song is a pretty basic example of pop at the time that Herman’s Hermits or ? and the Mysterians (and the like) were making.

"Stand-Out" Track: Do Something To Me

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