I hope you can sleep tonight…
Listen/Download – The Three Ring Circus – Groovin’ On the Sunshine
Here’s a weird one for you.
A long time ago – at least 15 years – I was out searching for records at one of the less likely, far afield digging spots on my list, and I pulled one of the strangest, oddly unsettling picture sleeves I had ever seen (which you are now, also seeing..BOOYAH!).
Anyway, my stack was already large, so I slid it back into the pile, where it no doubt scared someone else later on.
That picture sleeve was lodged in the catacombs of my brain ever since.
Flash forward to earlier this year, a buddy of mine has a copy of the same, creepy-looking record in his sale list, with a sound clip.
My sunshine pop senses being much more highly developed these days, I gave the clip a spin and dug what I heard, so I put in my bid, and before long the record was mine.
The group, The Three Ring Circus (thus the scary clown…), which all available evidence suggests was a product of “the Man” trying to coopt the psychedelic vibe, was the brainchild of songwriter Bob Allen, who had written some big hits for Johnny Mathis.
When I was researching the 45, I found this article in Billboard in which the broader, completely insane scheme behind the Three Ring Circus was revealed:
Musically, the record is actually very cool indeed, sounding like the intersection between the Free Design, the Neon Philharmonic and the Banana Splits.
There was actually an entire album recorded by the Three Ring Circus, on which one side was vocal and the other instrumental.
Bob Allen went on to write and produce an album for Bob McGrath from Sesame Street, which also included a cover of this very tune.
I, for one will be on the lookout for a copy of the ‘Three Ring Circus’ LP.
I hope you dig the tune, and I’ll see you all next week.