Mar 11, 2009
ASSOCIATION - INSIGHT OUT (WARNER BROS 1967) Jap mastering + 2 bonus
Association are best known for their popularity in the 1960s, when they had numerous hits at or near the top of the Billboard charts. They are also notable for being the lead-off band at 1967's Monterey Pop Festival, essentially the first multi-group rock festival. They are known for their tight vocal harmony.
The national break would come with the song "Along Comes Mary", written by Tandyn Almer. Alexander first heard the song when he was hired to play on a demo version and persuaded Almer to give The Association first crack at it. The recording went to #7 on the Billboard charts, and led to the group's first album, And Then... Along Comes the Association, produced by Curt Boettcher. A song from the album, "Cherish", written by Kirkman, would become The Association's first #1 in September 1966.
The group followed with their second album, Renaissance, released in early 1967. Somewhat surprisingly, the band changed producers, dumping Boettcher in favor of Jerry Yester (brother of Jim and formerly of The Modern Folk Quartet). The album did not spawn any major hits (the highest charting single, "Pandora's Golden Heebie Jeebies" stalled at #35) and the album only reached #34, compared with a #5 showing for its predecessor.
In late 1966 Warner Bros. Records, which had been distributing Valiant, bought the smaller label (and with it, The Association's contract.) In 1967 when Jules Alexander left the band to study meditation in India, he was replaced by Larry Ramos (born April 19th, 1942, Waimea, Kauai, Hawaii), who had played with The New Christy Minstrels and recorded a solo single for Columbia Records.
With the lineup settled, the group returned to the studio, this time with Bones Howe in the producer's chair. The first fruits of this pairing would be the single "Windy" written by Ruthann Friedman. It reached #1 on the charts in May of 1967, and was followed closely by the album Insight Out which made it to #8 in June. On June 16, 1967, The Association had the unique honor of being the first act to perform at the Monterey Pop Festival. (The Criterion Collection DVD of the festival includes their spirited reading of "Along Comes Mary" on disc 3.)
The group's winning streak continued with their next single, "Never My Love", written by Don and Dick Addrisi; it went to #2 in Billboard and #1 in Cash Box in autumn 1967. It became the group's only double-sided charted record as its B-side, "Requiem For The Masses", made a brief showing on the Billboard chart.
"Never My Love" has been accredited by BMI as the song with the second most US airplay in the 20th century...[net]