The following reviews were published in Cashbox Magazine the week of 8/16/69. The original wording has been left intact.
The Sweet Inspirations
Gospel vocal styles subtly wind themselves around rhythm rock songs on this LP and the result is pure soul. The four Sweet Inspirations make themselves heard and felt on “But You Know I Love You,” “It’s Not Easy,” their recent single “Sweets For My Sweet” and a host of other tunes. Set should appeal to many soul fans.
The trend that started with the success of Janis Joplin is here ably continued by Martha Velez on a very heavy album. Filled with energy and power, Martha’s voice tears into such shakers as “Drive Me Daddy,” “I’m Gonna Shake You,” and her current single entry “Tell Mama.” Attractive package (and attractive Martha) could spark initial sales response and with FM action could move to charts.
Crosby, McGuinn, Hillman, Clark, and Clarke
All the original members of the Byrds are here in eleven beautiful tracks cut in 1964 before the group was signed to Columbia Records. The album is pleasant nostalgia, but it is also a peek at the beginnings of some very current sounds. Most of the material is by Gene Clark, now of Dillard and Clark, and songs like “The Reason Why,” “She Has A Way,” “Boston” have all the joy and beauty of the Byrds we know. Real standout is the original never-before-released cut of their first hit record, “Mr. Tambourine Man.”
Wilmer and The Dukes
A mixture of rock, rhythm and blues, and jazz seems to be the keynote here, as Wilmer and his very capable band lay down some fine bouncy tracks. LP is marked by gutsy vocals and powerful instrumentation, and overall effect is pure excitement. Standout selections are “St. John’s Infirmary,” the Rolling Stones oldie, “I’m Free,” the lush and pretty “Count On Me,” and the powerful message-laden “Living In The U.S.A.” Inclusion of the group’s successful disc, “Get Out Of My Life, Woman,” should spark sales.
Electra’s find here is a team of three-west-coast country-folk-rockers together called Bread. Current interest in country styles should spark interest in this deck and pleasant sound of the group should mean plenty of FM and some Top Forty radio play. All of the members write and the material is excellent. In addition the boys really know how to handle their instruments and their voices. Airplay and general quality of the album could lead to chart action.
The Liverpool Scene
A fascinating album. “The Amazing Adventures Of The Liverpool Scene” is a collection of songs and poetry readings by this extremely talented group. The songs are treated either in a straightforward folk fashion or in a heavier rock-jazz manner, both styles highly effective for the material. Many of the poems, the brilliant “Tramcar To Frankenstein,” for instance, are read to musical accompaniment. FM and underground airplay should generate interest and resultant sales.