The Trade Winds
Listen – The Trade Winds – Mind Excursion – MP3
I hope the end of the week finds you well.
This has been a weird week, running the gamut from chilly, fogbound mornings to blazingly hot afternoons, i.e. a typical New Jersey spring, during which almost any kind of conditions can be expected. I wouldn’t be all that shocked to look out the window and see fluffy snowflakes drifting toward the ground.
The tune I bring you today is a light, breezy, sunshiney bit of pop with just the finest bit of psychedelic filigree pasted around the edges.
I only heard ‘Mind Excursion’ by the Tradewinds in the last year, but loved it from the very first. It took a little while before I realized that this was the same group that recorded ‘New York’s a Lonely Town’, the New Yorkiest Brian Wilson cop of all time, recorded for Leiber and Stoller’s Red Bird label.
‘Mind Excursion’ grazed the outside of the Top 40 in the fall of 1966. A pure pop confection, the song is only tangentially psychedelic (most via the lyrics) sounding like a cross between the Lovin’ Spoonful and the Cowsills. The arrangement by Jimmy Wisner (who worked on so many great Philly records) manages to use harp and glockenspiel as the perfect complement to the sweet melody without ever going over the top. The song is ‘light’, but in a perfectly balanced way. The lyrics, namechecking ‘Keds’ and ‘injuns’ (?!?) are naïve but not stupid, paving the way for a lot of what would later be known as ‘sunshine pop’.
Oddly enough ‘Mind Excursion’ – like Gary Lewis and the Playboys equally innocuous ‘Green Grass’ – was banned by overly cautious programmers in some markets. In retrospect this seems insane, but the airwave were a much more sensitive place in 1966.
I hope you dig the tune as much as I do, and I’ll be back on Monday.