Mar 11, 2009
BUCKINGHAMS - IN ONE EAR & GONE TOMORROW (COLUMBIA 1968) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve + 12 bonus
The Buckinghams had freed themselves from Guercio and consequently moved in more adventurous directions, as their brand of clean collar pop-rock was becoming fast outdated. Yes, the band explored new territory, but it was only new territory for them. In One Ear has a pile of songs that sound like second-rate tunes from other bands, either Love's orchestrated and acoustic dreams (the hushed "Simplicity"), or Paul Revere and the Raiders pop ("Till the Sun", "Are You There", "The Time of My Life"). Some sound like a deliberate attempt to break with their earlier sound (the country-rock attempt at humor "Our Right to Be Wrong" with phony vocals and massive amounts of slide guitar). Psychedelia only gets a few passing nods (the hazy, contemplative "I Know I Think" written by Grebb and Poulous, and the lame opening to "Song of the Breeze"). Giamarese did get to solo, but he does not show any of the exuberance displayed on their debut (the distorted guitars on "I Can't Find the Words" are a frustratingly missed opportunity). Still, In One Ear has plenty of "regular" Buckinghams materials, even though they had run out of Holvay/Bieber songs. Guercio's last work is here (Grebb's bluesy "What Is Love"), but even with Guercio gone, Grebb and arranger Sam Andrews know how to put major 7th chords, and horn and string arrangements together to copy the Buckingham's finer moments (the intro to "Back in Love Again" sounds eerily like Chicago). Their pre-Guercio style shows up only intermittently, such as on the fun soul flashback "Can I Get a Witness?"...[net]
The Buckinghams' 1968 swan song is easily their most adventurous album. Mostly, though, the music here is jazzy, horn-driven pop, precisely the sort of thing that would dominate the charts in another couple of years courtesy Blood, Sweat and Tears, and Chicago.
There are also a couple of oddball tracks that shouldn't be missed. "This is How Much I Love You" is prime pop psychedelia, with a baroque trumpet line lifted from the Beatles "Penny Lane," and a swirling fuzz guitar raga rock solo. "Our Right to Be Wrong" is a demented country breakdown which sounds for all the world like an early attempt at a deliberate low-fi esthetic. Best of all is "The Time of My Life," a metallic guitar workout (sans horns), that could be the Monkees crossed with the Who--it's far and away the hardest-rocking thing these guys ever did...[net]