Jan 8, 2009

LOVE EXCHANGE (TOWER 1968) Japan mastering cardboard sleeve + bonus

The Love Exchange were a typical support level Los Angeles band of the psychedelic era, right down to their name. Their chief claim to fame, such as it is, is their 1967 single "Swallow the Sun," a nice folk-rock-psychedelic tune that's emblematic of the time with its trippily optimistic lyrics, garage-like Mamas & the Papas female-male harmonies, and swirling organ. The record was anthologized on the Los Angeles portion of the Highs in the Mid Sixties series, and also on the folk-rock volume of the vinyl Nuggets series on Rhino in the 1980s. They also managed to put out an LP in 1968 that, in addition to featuring "Swallow the Sun," had an assortment of minor-league psych-folk-pop crossover efforts, few of them written by the band. "Swallow the Sun," incidentally, is a cover of song by the Peanut Butter Conspiracy, "Dark on You Now," with some different lyrics.
The Love Exchange grew out of some teenage surf and garage bands in the Los Angeles suburb of Westchester. It was teenage singer Bonnie Blunt who was the group's strongest asset, giving them the competent vocals in the soaring, folky Mamas & the Papas/early Jefferson Airplane style. (As an interesting trivial note, the first woman singer in the Love Exchange was Laura Hale, daughter of actorAlan Hale, famous as the skipper on Gilligan's Island.) They weren't good writers, though, and on their sole album, much of the material was penned by producer Larry Goldberg. These were pretty shallow garage-psych-folk-rock efforts with their utopian rose-colored lyrics and organ-modal-guitar combinations, like a minor league Peanut Butter Conspiracy...[net]


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