Jan 16, 2009
HARPERS BIZARRE - THE SECRET LIFE OF..... (WARNER BROS 1968) Japan mastering cardboard sleeve + 2 bonus
Harpers Bizarre was formed out of The Tikis, a California band who enjoyed some local success with Beatle-like songs in the mid-1960s. In 1967, producer Lenny Waronker got a hold of the Simon & Garfunkel song "The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)," determined to make it into a single. The Tikis recorded it, with the arrangement featuring extended harmonies reminiscent of the work of Brian Wilson or even the Swingle Singers. The song was released under a new band name, "Harpers Bizarre" (a play on the magazine "Harper's Bazaar"), so as not to alienate The Tikis' fanbase.....
The Secret Life Of Harpers Bizarre" was originally released in 1968 as the third LP for the group.
This turned out to be the most ambitious recording for Harpers Bizarre-the songs all related to fantasies that everyday working stiffs dream about living out. So, you have tunes about soldiers, cowboys, travelers, entertainers, lovers, and drifters.
As usual, regardless of the song style, each song is gussied up in the Harpers Bizarre sound of Ted Templeman and Dick Scoppettone's voices singing soft and high; lush background harmonies weaving in and out of orchestration filled with strings, flutes, oboes, horns; and John Petersen drumming with brushes to tie it all together.
Following the usual pattern of song choices, the band included the works of straight pop composers(Bacharach/David's "Me, Japanese Boy"); tin pan alley standards ("Sentimental Journey" and "I'll Build a Stairway To Paradise"); show tunes ("Sit Down You're Rocking The Boat" from Guys and Dolls); country songs (Ian and Sylvia's "When I Was A Cowboy"), and their own originals ("Green Apple Tree", "Las Mananitas", and "Mad").
Bonus tracks include "Happy Together" composers Bonner and Gordan's subtle "Small Talk" and a nice, straightforward delivery of Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now"...[net]