Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1969)  

- Walt Flannery -- vocals, keyboards

- Floyd Fletcher - bass

- Kent Henry (aka Kent Henry Plischke) (RIP 2009) -- guitar

- Jeff Oxman -- vocals

- James Peters -- ???



- The Avengers (Walt Flannery)

- The Blues Image (Kent Henry)

- The Crusaders (Walt Flannery)

- Five More (Walt Flannery)

- Genesis (US) (Kent Henry)

- Lord Sutch (Kent Henry)

- The Love Exchange (Walt Flannery)

- The Roosters (Walt Flannery)

- Steppenwolf (Kent Henry)





Genre: rock

Rating: 2 stars **

Title:  Now

Company: Uni

Catalog:  73061

Country/State: Los Angeles, California

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: unipack sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: --

Price: $



By the late-'60s musical popular tastes were rapidly changing.  Lightweight pop ensembles were quickly losing their audiences and record labels were shedding those acts like there was no tomorrow  Among the groups taking note of the changing winds was The Love Exchange.   


Following an appearance at 1969's Newport Pop Festival, The Love Exchange morphed into Charity.  By the time the band signed with Uni and began recording their debut album the only Love Exchange member still in the group was singer/keyboardist Walt Flannery.  Rounding out the group were John Cortinas, guitarist Ken Henry, James Peters, and singer Jeff Oxman.


Produced by Barry Kaye, "Now" came off as a smash-up of blue-eyed soul, Blood, Sweat and Tears-styled horn rock, and West Coast blues-rock.  Exemplified by the jazzy ballad 'Summer' the track listing was rounded up by a couple tracks that sounded like The Love Exchange leftovers.  Notice I said "smash-up."  There wasn't a lot of subtlety embedded across these nine tracks.  Largely penned by Jeff Oxman, most of the songs sounded like they'd been tossed out in a hurry.  Neither Flattery, nor Oxman were much in the way of singers.  Kent's lead guitar was fussy and his playing style could have lead you to believe he was being paid by the note.  Adding to their problems, Kaye's production work was heavy handed, giving the album a sharp, sludgy sound.  "Now" wasn't a complete wash-out.  In spite of the intrusive horns, the single 'Never Change Your Mind' was a decent rocker and 'Scorpio' had a nice funky melody.  Co-written by producer Kaye, 'Freedom's Coming!' closed the album with something that recalled H.P. Lovecraft.


For hardcore fans (both of you), the inner sleeve photo actually showed The Love Exchange at a June, 1969 performance at the Newport Pop Festival.  


So, one album and one single and the band was history.    


"Now" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) All My Life    (Jeff Oxman) - 3:50 

2.) Summer   (traditional) 3:20   rating; *** stars

Featuring group vocals, extended flute accompaniment, Flannery's stabbing organ, and  heavy orchestration, the ballad 'Summer' sounded like something from The Love Exchange catalog.  Very mid-'60s vibe.

3.) I Still Love You    (Jeff Oxman) - 2:53   rating; * star

Kent's acoustic slide guitar was promising, but 'I Still Love You ' quickly morphed into a horrible, sappy pop ballad ...   The Blossoms' chirping background vocals didn't help.  Yech.

4.) Hanging On To You   (Jeff Oxman) - 3:55 

5.) Scorpio    (Jeff Oxman - traditional) - 3:05   rating; *** stars

Blue-eyed soul has a head-on collision with fuzz-powered rock ...  Built on a melodic Floyd Fletcher bass line, the song had potential but unfortunately Henry sounded as if he were being paid by the note while Oxman's vocals sounded like sludge.  


(side 2)

1.) Never Change Your Mind   (Jeff Oxman) - 2:55   rating: **** stars
Kicked along by Kent Henry's fuzz guitar and Oxman's screechy, blue-eyed soul vocals, 'Never Change Your Mind' was easily the album's most rock oriented performance.  The song wasn't half bad and would have been even better without the BS&T-styled horns and the abrupt fade out.  Uni tapped it as a single:





- 1969's 'Never Change Your Mind' b/w 'I Still Love You' (Uni catalog number 55159)







2.) Please Stay   (Jeff Oxman) - 3:25   rating: * stars

'Please Stay' was a bland, horn-propelled power-ballad.  Even The Blossoms (on backing vocals) sounded bored by this one.

3.) Roll With It  (Steve Miller) - 3:24   rating: ** stars

Wonder who was to blame for picking one of Steve Miller's dullest songs to cover?   Henry got lots of time in the spotlight, but their cover of Miller's 'Roll with It' made it clear that electric blues-rock was not their niche.  

4.) Freedom's Coming!    (Buddy Kaye - Walt Flannery) - 6:28   rating: **** stars

Opening up with Flannery's churchy organ washes and Fletcher's churning bass lines, the molten 'Freedom's Coming!' offered up the album's most lysergic performance.   For some reason this one's always reminded me of something out of the H.P. Lovecraft catalog.   It was also another track that would have been stronger without The Blossoms bleating backing vocals.