May 27, 2009
WILLIAM TRUCKAWAY - BREAKAWAY (REPRISE 1971) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve
After leaving the "SOPWITH CAMEL" singer/songwriter William Truckaway recorded one of the great lost singles of the early '70s, "Bluegreens." It is an insanely catchy ditty built around a chunky synthesizer and simple hippy-dippy sentiments with a multi-tracked Truckaway and the Stovall Sisters providing some truly blissed-out vocals. It was enough of a hit that Taco Bell used it for an ad campaign and it got Truckaway an album deal with Reprise. Breakaway, which contains "Bluegreens," was released in 1971 and it is a wonderfully sweet and mellow album from a guy who sings like he could charm the leaves off the trees in the summertime. The album has a relaxed and easygoing sound with plenty of gentle strumming and tender vocalizing but also inventive arrangements (synths, sitars, congas, flutes, strings, backing vocals) that give his thoughts about getting out of the city ("Hard," "Cold City Life"), going slow ("I Go Slow"), finding Jesus ("Leave It There") and love lost ("Where's My Baby") and found ("Way to My Heart," "Be the One") -- an extra punch that many of his contemporaries lacked. You could compare Truckaway without much of a stretch to John Sebastian, since the Sopwith Camel and the Lovin' Spoonful shared a sound and a producer (Erik Jacobsen, who also fulfills those duties with Truckaway here). Breakaway isn't a lost classic by any means but it is a satisfying and interesting listen that deserves to be reissued outside of Japan. ~ Tim Sendra, All Music Guide
By William "Truckaway" Sievers:
... "Bluegreens was not about algae from Oregon, but rather based on various events and Zen philosophies found in Winnie the Pooh. The record was a tour de force of vocal overdubbing, unusual sounds, and a unique utilization of the synthesizer, which was a hot new item at that time. Reviewed as a sure hit in Billboard, this record actually received airplay in France and certain parts of New Mexico. It also became a Big Hit with the advertising agency handling the Taco Bell account, which proceeded to use parts of it in a Taco Bell commercial. I later wrote and recorded an entire album for Reprise entitled "Breakaway" with Camel drummer, Norman Mayell and brilliant bassist Doug Kilmer plus some outstanding guest artists such as Charles Lloyd, Richard Green and Buddy Emmons. The Truckaway album had some good tunes on it too, even though it didn't make the charts or ring the Taco Bell again" ...