Lovin' Spoonful

Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1965-67)

- Steve Boone -- bass

- Joe Butler -- drums, percussion, vocals

- John Sebastian -- vocals, guitar

- Zal Yanovski (RIP 2002) -- lead guitar


  line up 1 (1967-68)

- Steve Boone -- bass

- Joe Butler -- drums, percussion, vocals

- John Sebastian -- vocals, guitar

NEW - Jerry Yester -- lead guitar (replaced Zal Yanovski)


  line up 1 (1968-69)

- Steve Boone -- bass

- Joe Butler -- drums, percussion, vocals

- Jerry Yester -- lead guitar




- Joe Butler (solo efforts)

- The Even Dozen Jug Band

- Judy Henske and Jerry Yester

- The Modern Folk Quartet (Jerry Yester)

- The Mugwumps (John Sebastian)

- John Sebastian (solo efforts)

- The Velvet Underground (Jerry Yester)

- Jerry Yester (solo efforts)

- Zal Yanovski (solo efforts)




Genre: pop

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Revelation: Revolution '69

Company: Kama Sutra

Catalog: KLPS 8073

Country/State: New York

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 6021

Price: $15.00


By the time 1968's Bob Finiz produced "Revelation: Revolution '69" hit the streetsThe Lovin' Spoonful was essentially functioning on life support.  With longstanding front man John Sebastian having hit the road as a solo act, drummer Joe Butler effectively took over what was left of the nameplate, handling vocals, providing the goofy liner notes, and co-writing a couple of tracks with producer Finiz  (note the album was billed as 'The Lovin' Spoonful Featuring Joe Butler').  While Butler had a decent voice, he wasn't anywhere near the talent Sebastian was. Sebastian's departure also stripped the band of it's primary creative source, leaving Butler, Steve Boone and Jerry Yester to rely on outside source of material, including three tracks from Dino Sembello and three Garry Bonner and Alan Gordon compositions.  On the other hand Sebastian's departure allowed the band to push beyond their patented top-40 moves, turning in what was probably their most activist release.  Doubt that comment then check out the title track, 'War Games', and 'Jug of War'.


- 'Amazing Air' got the album off to an odd start.  Penned by Garry Bonner and Alan Gordon, this one didn't immediately click with me, but after a couple of spins it drilled its way into my head and wouldn't let go.   Easily the album's most commercial song.  I doubt anyone cares, but I always liked Steve Boone's hyperactive bass pattern.   rating: **** stars

- Given a folk-rock twang, their cover of John Stewart's 'Never Going Back' was quite different from the rest of the album. Spotlighting some pretty acoustic guitar and tasteful pedal steel, this was one of the album highlights.  I also liked Butler's Roy Orbison-styled vocal.  Very nice.   rating: **** stars

- Co-written by Butler and producer Finiz, 'The Prophet' sounded like a bad Tony Joe White song.  Complete with horrible da-da-da's and some female backing singers that threatened to drown out Butler, the results were thoroughly forgettable.   rating: ** stars  

- One of three Dino Sembello compositions, the harpsichord propelled 'Only Yesterday' was simply a bit too middle-of-the-road for its own good.  Another nice bass pattern, though the out of tune whistling didn't add much to the song ...   rating: ** stars  

- Written by Butler, ' War Games' was a totally bizarre aural collage.  Obviously meant as a big social statement, the track started out with the sounds of birth and then spent seven minutes wandering through someone's life which seemed to consist of school and then a short and terminal stint in the military.  The war sound effects sounded like they'd been borrowed from a television program while the constant heartbeat became increasing irritating as the track went along.  On the other hand, you had to acknowledge Butler as one of the few musicians out there who had actually done his time in the service (Air Force).  He at least had some basis for comparison.   rating: * star

- ' (Till I) Run with You' started side two with the one song that recalled Sebastian-era Lovin' Spoonful.  Complete with memorable melody and some tasty harmony vocals, this was a great slice of power pop.  Easy to see why it was tapped as the second single from the LP.    rating: **** stars

- Geez, 'Jug of War' was another harpsichord-powered ballad ...  Sensitive and insightful.  Yech.   rating: ** stars

- Ah the title track - The Spoonful never sounded as rocking, or activist as on this one.  True, it hasn't aged all that well, but it still stands as one of Butler's creative highlights.     rating: **** stars

- The third Bonner-Gordon composition, the stark ballad 'Me About You' was another highlight.  Kicked along by Butler's martial drums and one of his best vocals, this one was a bit too odd to make it on the radio, though that didn't stop Kama Sutra from tapping it as the album's third single.   rating; **** stars

- 'Words' found the band trying to sound hip and happenin' ...  Unfortunately the heavy orchestration and Butler's strained vocals didn't really pull it off.   rating; ** stars  


Elsewhere the album was tapped for a series of three of singles:

- 1968's 'Never Going Back' b/w 'Forever' (Kama Sutra catalog number KA-250) 

- 1968's '(Till I) Run with You' b/w 'Revelation Revolution '69r' (Kama Sutra catalog number KA-251)

- 1969's 'Me About You' b/w 'Amazing Air' (Kama Sutra catalog number KA-266)


Far from perfect, given the limited expectations for this one, the results actually weren't half bad.  Call it an interesting late-inning release and go look for one of the numerous greatest hits packages.  (Anyone ever notice that the LP label actually has the title 'Till I Run with You' ?)  And in case you were wondering; the attractive woman on the cover appeared to be wearing a skin-toned body suit, or had been airbrushed to hide her private attributes.


"Revelation: Revolution '69" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Amazing Air (Garry Bonner - Alan Gordon) - 2:50

2.) Never Going Back   (John Stewart) - 2:48

3.) The Prophet   (Bob Finiz - Joe Butler) - 2:45

4.) Only Yesterday   (Dino Sembello) - 2:43

5.) War Games (instrumental)   (Joe Butler) - 7:02


(side 2)
1.) (Till I) Run with You   (Garry Bonner - Alan Gordo) - 2:42

2l.) Jug of War   (Dino Sembello) - 2:31

3.) Revelation Revolution '69   (Bob Finiz - Joe Butler) - 2:29

4.) Me About You   (Garry Bonner - Alan Gordon) - 3:48

5.) Words   (Dino Sembello) - 2:18