Gentle Soul

Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1966-68)

- Pamela Polland -- vocals

- Rick Stanley -- vocals 


  supporting musicians:

- Tony Cohan -- tabla

- Ry Cooder -- guitar, mandolin

- Mike Deasy -- guitar

- Van Dyke Parks -- harpsichord

- Paul Horn -- flute

- Sandy Konikoff -- drums

- Larry Knechtel -- organ

- Gayle Levant -- harp

- Ted Michel -- cello

- Bill Plummer -- bass

- Riley Wildflower -- guitar




Pamela Polland (solo efforts)




Genre: psych

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Gentle Soul

Company: Epic

Catalog: BN-26374

Year: 1968

Country/State: California

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: minor edge wear

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID: SOLD 4977

Price: SOLD $150.00

Cost: $66.00


As most folks have probably figured out from the album cover, Gentle Soul were a duo, composed of singers/songwriters Pamela Polland and Rick Stanley.   


Prior to forming Gentle Soul, Polland had attracted attention as a songwriter, placing material with the likes of The Rising Sons and The Byrds (both whom recorded her 'Tulsa County').  In 1966 she became friends with Stanley. The two discovered they had a mutual interest in meditation, metaphysics and spirituality and began writing material together. 


Signed by Columbia, the pair made their debut with the Terry Melcher  produced 1967 single 'Tell Me Love' b/w 'You Move Me' (Columbia catalog number 4-43952).  An attractive slice of California sunshine pop, the single did little commercially, but Columbia had sufficient interest in the duo to finance an album.  


Also produced by Melcher, 1968's "Gentle Soul" found Polland and Stanley recording with an impressive all-star cast of studio players, including guitarist Ry Cooder, keyboardist Larry Knechtel, Jack Nitzsche and Van Dyke Parks.  Musically the set's quite good.  Interestingly, while neither Polland nor Stanley had great voices (Polland was the better of the two), when the two harmonized the results were quite attractive.  They also displayed a knack for writing catchy California-styled sunshine pop - tracks such as 'Marcus', 'Song For Eolia' and "Renaissance" offering up a nice blend of folk, Baroque-styled pop and occasional lite-psych influences. Full of pretty melodies cloaked in rather elaborate arrangements (flute, harpsichord, etc.) and sporting sensitive and heartbroken lyrics, it's not exactly the year's most original release, but recalling the heyday of sunshine pop, tracks such as ''Young Man Blue' and 'See My Love (Song For Greg)' are mesmerizing.   In spite of strong reviews the LP didn't do much commercially.  One follow-on non-LP single (1968's 'Our National Anthem' b/w 'Song for Three' (Columbia catalog number 4-44152)) and their collaboration was over.  


Polland subsequently recorded and toured with Joe Cocker on his infamous Mad Dogs and Englishmen trek.  She recorded a pair of instantly obscure solo LPs for Columbia and eventually relocated to Hawaii where she now teaches music and hula dancing.  Stanley turned his attention to woodworking and now owns a fairly successful business that manufactures Celtic harps.


"Gentle Soul" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Overture (instrumental)   (Pamela Polland - Rick Stanley) - 4:33

2.) Marcus   ( Pamela Polland - Rick Stanley) - 2:51

3.) Song For Eolia   ( Pamela Polland - Rick Stanley)- 2:12

4.) Young Man Blue   ( Pamela Polland - Rick Stanley)- 2:30

5.) Renaissance   ( Pamela Polland - Rick Stanley)- 3:11

6.) See My Love (Song For Greg)   ( Pamela Polland)- 3:55


(side 2)

1.) Love Is Always Real  ( Pamela Polland - Rick Stanley) - 2:54

2.) Empty Wine  ( Pamela Polland - Rick Stanley) - 2:35

3.) Through A Dream   ( Pamela Polland - Rick Stanley) - 3:50

4.) Reelin'   ( Pamela Polland - Rick Stanley) - 3:16

5.) Dance  ( Pamela Polland - Rick Stanley) - 3:23