Orange Groove

Band members               Related acts

- unknown



- none known





Genre: psych

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Crystal Blue Persuasion and Other Sounds of Today

Company: Somerset

Catalog: SF-34000

Year: 1969

Country/State: US

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG+

Comments: 4" seam split top edge

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 6088

Price: $75.00

Cost: $28.50


Anyone looking through my catalog will see that I'm a fan of the weird exploito psych LPs such as The Animated Egg, California Poppy Pickers, John Bunyan's Progressive Pilgrims, The Firebirds, and T. Swift & the Electric Bag.  Add to that list this 1969 outing by The Orange Groove.


Released by the L.A. based Somerset label which was apparently part of Alshire Records, 1969's "Crystal Blue Persuasion and Other Sounds of Today" was actually a little different from other exploito albums in that nine of the ten tracks were uncredited originals.  Like other exploito offerings, the set was anonymous - generic packaging with no performance or writing credits.  The album was clearly conceived as a throwaway product aimed at wringing disposable income out of unknowing consumers.  That said, the title track was a rote cover of the Tommy James hit, while the nine originals all exhibited a goofy, low-tech charm.  Exemplified by material like 'Down Home Baby', 'Sockerina' and 'Poppy's To Be Picked' about half of the tracks were throwaway, keyboard propelled instrumentals. Far more interesting were psych-ish numbers like 'Can't You See I'm Right', the fuzz guitar propelled 'Troubled People' and 'Street King' (the latter sounding like The Chipmunks on a bad acid trip).  Elswhere, I would love to know what 'Land of Fusan' was about ... swamp-rock meets Korea?  GIven the diverse performance, this one actually sounded like a bunch of demos and studio cast-offs that had been bundled together ...


- I've always liked the psychedelic Tommy James and the Shondells so this rote cover isn't bad.  The cover is so close to the original I'd be hard pressed to distinguish the two ...  rating: *** stars

- 'A Bad Trip Back To '69' was clearly a throwaway number - imagine a subpar Booker T. and the MGs track erroneously speeded up and then slathered with post-production sound effects to give it a psychedelic tinge.  rating: ** stars

- I have no idea who handled lead vocals on the ballad 'Can't You See I'm Right'.  Whoever it was had the driest, raspiest voice I've heard in a long time.  The song itself was forgettable.   rating: ** stars

- Opening up with some roller rink organ, the instrumental 'Down Home Baby' sounded like it might have been written for a television candy commercial ...  hysterical track; particularly when the keyboardist starts to get into the performance.   rating: ** stars

- Wow, as mentioned above, 'Street King' sounded like The Chipmunks on a bad acid trip.  For the sake of the singers, you can only hope that these vocals were sped up, or heavily treated ....   rating: *** stars

- Mixing up more roller rink organ with a bit of fuzz guitar, 'Sockerina' was another throwaway instrumental.  Funky enough, but quickly forgotten.     rating: ** stars

- The oddest song on the album, sporting a nice folk-rock feel, 'Land of Fusan' also had the LP's strangest lyric ...  I'm guessing it was written by someone who'd done a tour of duty in Korea and had fond memories of his time in-country.  rating: **** stars

- The instrumental 'Poppy's To Be Picked' was one of the collection's most pop-oriented tune.  In a more polished state, it would have had some commercial potential.  rating: ** stars

- With a great melody, a fantastic fuzz guitar solo and the album's best vocal performance, 'Troubled People' was easily the standout performance.  By the way, I have absolutely no idea why the song had it's given title ...  'Love Will Make the World Right' would have been a more appropriate title.   rating: **** stars

- With female lead vocals, the ballad 'More Than Now' was pretty in an MOR way, but had a very old-fashioned, almost '50s-styled feel.   rating: ** stars


"Crystal Blue Persuasion and Other Sounds of Today" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Crystal Blue Persuasion

2.) A Bad Trip Back To '69 (instrumental) - 

3.) Can't You See I'm Right

4.) Down Home Baby (instrumental) - 

5.) Street King


(side 2)
1.) Sockerina (instrumental) - 

2.) Land of Fusan

3.) Poppy's To Be Picked (instrumental) - 

4.) Troubled People

5.) More Than Now