marți, 24 februarie 2009

The Tokens - Intercourse (1971)

This Brooklyn doo wop group was originally known as the Linc-Tones when they formed in 1955 at Lincoln High School. Hank Medress, Neil Sedaka, Eddie Rabkin, and Cynthia Zolitin didn't have much impact in their early days recording for Melba. They later disbanded, but Medress re-formed the group in 1960 as the Tokens. Brothers Phil and Mitch Margo and Jay Siegel were now the members. They recorded for Warwick in 1960, then had their one glorious hit in 1962, "The Lion Sleeps Tonight." It was based on the South African Zulu song "Wimoweh," and reached number seven on the R&B chart while topping the pop surveys. The Tokens formed their own label in 1964, B.T. Puppy, but weren't able to keep the hits coming very long, although "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" remains a standard.
The Tokens are generally thought of as the vocal group who brought their "Lion Sleeps Tonight" hit to yet another generation through the success of The Lion King. But what we have here is the great lost Tokens album, recorded in 1968 and promptly turned down by Warner Bros. To fill a contractual obligation, a few hundred copies were pressed up -- in a slightly altered form -- and the album pretty much remained an interesting catalog sighting before its CD-era reissue. What we also have here is a White doo wop group delivering an album that falls somewhere between Pet Sounds and Sgt. Pepper's. No wonder Warner didn't know what to make of it; previous attempts by other doo woppers at updating their sound produced some of the most laughable examples that the genre has to offer. But everything on here works in a very organic manner: all of the songs follow a neat continuum and could easily be termed as a humanistic song cycle, each one surrounded by late-'60s Beatlesque production values, right down to the massively compressed drum sounds and omnipresent tape saturation. Trippy, loopy, and totally of its time, classic doo wop this is not; great, however, it is. (AMG).

Tracklist :
1. It's Amazing to Be Alive
2. Droplet of Water
3. Bathroom Wall
4. Animal
5. Greenfields
6. Wonderful Things
7. Commercial
8. Gray Is Gray
9. Waiting For Something
10. I Could Be
11. Girl on 6
12. I Want to Make Love to You
13. In and Out
14. Stereo
15. You Loser You Fool
16. It's Amazing to Be Alive - Reprise
17. Some People Sleep

4 comentarii:

  1. I'm on a Psych-buzz lately - right up mt retro street...

  2. Hi, moving to greet and also to invite you to pass and see my blog to see if you find something you like and if you like to exchange links, a sort dendrites of the light or anything I would say, je.
    Cheers and until next time.

  3. Thanks, you're linked too, in BLOGS AMIGOS (ENLACES).

    Saludos desde Argentina!!.

  4. Great pop-psych that's new to me. From Wimoweh to Pop-psych in a few years. The 60s took a few people on some strange journeys... Thanks!