6:00 AM GMT 22/06/2011
(PROJECT 3, 1967)
Harmonious soft-pop made with love. Ideal for picnics.
As well as its super-mellow yet zingy title tune, the debut LP by family singers The Free Design featured songs about umbrellas in the rain and their younger brother Woody playing football and climbing trees (later they'd cover the theme to Sesame Street). But if this sounds to you like a wilfully naïve soundtrack for pre-schoolers to do interpretative mime to, hold on. Coming out of Delevan, NY, the harmonising Dedrick brothers Chris and Bruce and their sister Sandy's beatific first LP is an impeccably wrought piece of summer of love vocal pop to soothe and beguile. They're not hippies (see Make The Madness Stop's advice to the freaks to "blow your mind but not completely", before adding sarkily, "Honesty and purity, beauty and sincerity... doesn't that sound corny?"), but they still condemn the greedhead omni-consumer with the scathing The Proper Ornaments. Elsewhere there are love songs, a baroque cover of Michelle and a slow saunter through Feelin' Groovy, all with near-perfect voices and arrangements that hover somewhere between jazz, folk and psych-lite. Six LPs and no hits later, they split in 1972, but would reunite for 2001's Cosmic Peekaboo when the proselytising efforts of Cornelius, Stereolab and others made them realise that some people were listening closely. And remember group leader and songwriter Chris Dedrick, who sadly died on August 6.
Posted by Ross_Bennett at 3:00 PM GMT 15/09/2010
The Free Design - You Could Be Born Again (Project 3, 1968)
Carpenters – Close To You (A&M, 1970)