Listen/Download – The Cowsills – We Can Fly
I hope that everything’s all hunky dory in your corner of the world.
The tune I bring you today is one of those twenty-five cent, flea market/record show ‘I don’t know it but I’ll grab it ‘cuz I dig the group’ things, and is also one of those ‘turned out to be groovy’ records as well.
The very first time I heard the Cowsills was probably some time around my eleventh birthday, for which I received a beautiful portable, multi-band radio that I clutched tight to my breast for years, day and night, until it’s antenna got snapped off in some tragic mishap or another.
The day that radio came into my life marked the beginning of my love affair with music that had come out before I was old enough to dig it, via a radio station in New York City called WCBS-FM.
During the heyday of progressive FM rock, WCBS-FM was an ‘oldies’ station, which is an odd name since in 1973 most of the music they played was between three and fifteen years old (imagine a station today that played only music from between 1995 and 2007 calling itself an ‘oldies’ station). They had lots of TV commercials, a nice big transmitter which provided a nice clear signal, great DJs (many of whom were giants of New York 1960s AM radio) and a fantastic playlist that stretched from doowop to psychedelia (or at least what passed for psychedelia in the Top 40).
I used to put my cassette deck up against the radio speaker and record 30 minute chunks of airtime, hoping to either catch a favorite song or discover new ones (oh how I wish I still had some of those tapes).
It was during one such taping session that I first heard (and had my mind blown by) ‘The Rain, The Park and Other Things’ by the Cowsills.
As you may have surmised by the prevalence of pop – pure, Sunshine, and otherwise – on this blog, I have a ‘sweet ear’ i.e. I love bits of pure harmony and great hooks, which the Cowsills produced in abundance.
It would be years before I read about their connection to the ‘Partridge Family’ (a big TV show of my childhood) and even longer before I heard about the unpleasantness in the Cowsill kids lives, but even with that knowledge, all I could ever really register about the group was their sound.
Much like the best of Curt Boettcher’s catalog, the finest Cowsills records pack a real sonic punch.
Today’s selection ‘We Can Fly’, written by the group and Artie Kornfeld and Steve Duboff (who had written ‘The Rain, the Park and Other Things’ and lot of the group’s other material) is a brilliant (literally and figuratively) bit of sunshine pop, with a chorus that’ll blow the top of your head off.
The Cowsills, who had their fair share of big pop hits, are one of those groups that deserve to have their albums – which are filled with cool stuff – explored as well.
I hope you dig it as much as I do.