Listen – Peggy Lipton – Lady of the Lake – MP3
I hope all is well on your end.
The Funky16Corners 2010 Pledge Drive week has come to an end and we will persist for another year.
I hope you all had a chance to check out last week’s mix.
In the write-up for that mix I made passing mention of having picked up a Peggy Lipton album to get my hands on a particular pop-psyche gem that I was planning on blogging.
To borrow a phrase from a great man, Wanna hear it, here it is!
I first heard the song I bring you today when, out of curiosity I downloaded the aforementioned album from a blog that focused on oddball recordings by celebrities. Lipton was of course best known for her role as Julie Barnes on ‘The Mod Squad’ which ran on ABC from 1968 to 1973. These days she’s better known as the mother of Rashida Jones (of ‘The Office’ and ‘Parks and Recreation’). I don’t think I expected much, and almost didn’t make it all the way through the album since the rip was rife with skips and otherwise incomplete songs.
However, right there, a few songs from the end of the record I heard a tune that blew me away.
I mean it – el smacko – right between the ears.
I gave the song in question several listens to make sure that I wasn’t appreciating it as the result of diminished expectations, and, after much consideration, during which time the song grew on me, I decided that it was not.
The tune in question, ‘The Lady of the Lake’, written by Carole King and Toni Stern (who co-wrote many songs with King including the huge hit ‘It’s Too Late’) was originally written for, and recorded by the Strawberry Alarm Clock in 1967.
The version by the SAC is cool enough, but doesn’t come within a mile of the recording by Peggy Lipton.
It helps to mention that despite any assumptions you (or I) might have about actors butting into the recording industry, Lipton – who wrote some of her own material – had a pretty nice voice. That, and the fact that the arrangement of ‘Lady of the Lake’ is brilliant make it a certifiable lost classic of late-period LA psyche-pop.
Like so much that was coming out of the area in 1968/69, ‘Lady of the Lake’ is infused with the very spirit of the time, mixing hippie wonder, lysergic excursions and quality pop music into something wonderful and in this case, unexpected.
It’s the kind of record you can listen to repeatedly without tiring of it.
Lipton recorded at least one more album on Ode, and though I haven’t heard it I’ll be looking for it.
I hope you dig it and I’ll be back later in the week.