Monday, 8 August 2011

The Summer Sounds - Up Down (1969)

People come and some of them go, this is what the album pictured above is all about, the coming to a harsh understanding that a person you've loved has gone, a person who you loved deeply has lost the very same love you had towards them and all is now over, this album is an album about the inner warfare of love, be it with a lover, friend or even a foe.

It's a confusing mass of feelings, the only real way to deal with a broken heart is to sacrifice something. Music is at times a means of dealing and in turn justifying this initial sacrifice.... for myself music is a medium in which I can relay to a listener the inner world of me and hope that someone else out there gets where I am coming from and hopefully they too can take something from my music. The Summer Sounds album is precisely this and for me is a piece of emotional therapy. 

In my own personal life's case my sacrifice has come at a cost, I have had to cease ties with someone I will always hold in the highest esteem, however the sacrifice is required in order for the both of us to progress in life without the turmoil of a broken heart or the slandering which has manifested since the decline.

Music is for me, the very soul and life force which is in essence the internal emotions of a human being, music can at times portray a very brief but powerful moment in time which is like a snapshot, a moment in time, a feeling or even a person.

The 'Summer Sounds' album is an album I have been listening non-stop since making a sacrifice to leave a person I held dear in order to fix myself... The Summer Sounds' lone recording 'Up Down' is for the band all of  what I have written about above, to them this LP must be a moment in time, youth and possibly for the songwriters concerned the very same memories and trauma that I've recently felt and undergone in my own life, has appeared to them and they wrote songs about it, which thankfully stand the test of time.
The Summer Sounds were a New England group whose origin is a mystery, the one interesting fact is this album was released in 1969 and yet still has a 1965-66 garage sounds, the album is moody to its core and possibly is one of the finest moody garage albums to ever exist, It is fascinating to me that these kids were still playing a very melancholy and beautiful type of music in 69' when by this time bands were either going down the heavy psychedelic rock route or going the polar opposite and being utterly wussed out folk styled singer-songwriters with no real backbone of emotions.

The Summer Sounds kept it real and in doing so kept their music was raw and alive, their sole album aptly named 'Up Down' is a complete unknown garage classic and anyone who loves this type of music (in particular the moody and subdued side of the genre) MUST own this album (Thankfully Radioactive Records have reissued the album on CD - originals will cost an arm and a leg these days)

'Up Down' has ten amazingly wonderful Vox Continental organ led pop songs, eight of the tracks are delightful originals penned by band members themselves and also featured are two exquisite cover versions of The Spencer Davis Groups' - Gimme Some Lovin' and The Zombies' classic 'I Love You'.

The Summer Sounds sleeve is as illusive as the band themselves and so I will honour the group by naming the band members according to the album sleeve (If you know the band members' sirnames please contact me so I can edit below and at least give proper credit to the band)

Paul - Bass and Vocals
Joe - Organ, Songwriter, Backing Vocals
Dave - Guitar
Ralph - Sax (no Sax on LP - meaning Ralph was likely involved in the live line-up of the group)
Roy - Drums 

I wish to include four tracks from the album for your listening pleasure (please support the band by purchasing the album yourself - Do Not Download - You may as well own this cool album)... These Four are my favourites.

Small World - A wonderful opening track to any album, 'Small World' just tells it like it is.... the teen trauma in the chorus is something to behold "Why Did We Break-Up? I really Don't Know...I sit here thinking of things long ago"..... This kid is hurting and the listener knows it, Anyone can relate to these types of emotions.... surely??

Lonely Beach - This track is my favourite on the album, I don't know why really? However I feel it is because it kind of relates to my own strange situation, I live fairly close to the beach and I guess I wander around a certain place at times and that very beach is my own 'Lonely Beach'.... I love the haunting organ chords, the deep bass line and  the mournful lyrics full of abandon and despair.... I TOTALLY 'get' this song, as it is a mirror reflection of my current circumstance.... an amazing track!!!

The Leaves Are Turning Brown - Another moody classic, this one has been comped on a couple of 'garage comps' over the years.... The vibe of the song again is full of reflection, rejection and yearning and again the lyrics hit you in the guts with powerful lyricism such as that which is in the chorus "I was a fool to waste my time with you".... total awe inspiring realism.... the song's writing craft is something to uphold, the chord changes are simply beautiful and it is just a great magical track, The Summer Sounds were amazing song writers.

Summer Girl - Just a beautiful song, I can't write anything except a small personal message .... If you are (you know who you are) reading this, this one is for you... take it easy and I hope you're keeping well, maybe time will make us see each other again one day?"

SO folks that is the Summer Sounds, they released possibly the greatest break-up LP ever released and faded into obscurity, thankfully they released this amazing album for people like me to enjoy and listen to.... I suggest if you dig the songs above, to buy the album.... it's all very great throughout!


Paul Messis

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