ByRichie Unterberger

Withthe two smashes "AlongComes Mary" and also "Cherish," the Association became one that the hottestnew bands of 1966, the singles charting in ~ #7 and also #1 respectively. Itwas no surprised that your debut album, featuring both of those songs,was also a big success, climbing to #5 and remaining theirhighest-charting LP ever, with the exemption of their best Hits compilation. Therecord additionally gave the combination the chance to showcase theirversatility on product penned by both team members and outsidesongwriters, their complex multi-part vocal harmonies gift thegreatest unifying factor.

and also Then...Along come the Associationwas actually preceded by a couple of singles together the team struggled toestablish themselves as a commercial force. Consist of of "Babe I"m GonnaLeave You" and Bob Dylan"s "One Too many Mornings," both in 1965, werevery lot in the folk-rock format that had end up being a craze with theemergence the the Byrds and their chart-topping covering of Dylan"s "Mr.Tambourine Man" in the middle of that year. Through "Along comes Mary,"the group moved toward a an ext pop-rock sound, aided by a gunpowder tunefrom non-member Tandyn Almer, and a new producer, Curt Boettcher. Boettcher was self making a shift from thefolk scene, in i beg your pardon he"d perform as part of the Goldebriars (whoreleased a couple of albums top top Epic), come pop-rock. He was alreadyfamiliar through the Association once he played on a demo of "Along ComesMary" v the group"s command guitarist, Jules Alexander, whoenthusiastically pitched the song to the remainder of the band. "When wefirst started, Jules was no officially designated, yet he was more orless the musical director," remembers rate guitarist and keyboardistJim Yester. ""Cause the had been in a couple rock bands before, he had alot better handle top top harmonic structure, and also was clearly the bestguitar player. He, a the majority of times, would line the end vocal parts. He"d sitdown and also figure it out on the guitar and also say, "Okay, you sing this, yousing that." and then we"d adapt it, and somebody"d say, "Well, listen.How around this note instead?" yet basically things began with Jules." once Alexander lugged a ice of the demo the "AlongComes Mary" home, Jim continues, "He says, "Listen to this song, wegotta shot this." and also he said, "Jim, why don"t you sing it?" It to be verycasual. "We require a high voice." "Cause on the demo, Curt sang it, andCurt"s a actual high tenor together well. I think the just thing that wasroughly the very same was the vamp heat -- the was Tandyn"s entirety trip.That and the chord changes. However it was just one solitary voice." v its dynamic interplay in between Yester"s lead andthe rest of the band"s vocal harmonies, as well as an attractive lyricthat jammed about as many syllables as were possible to right intoindividual currently of a pop song in 1966, the tune took a couple of months tocatch top top nationally. By the moment it did break right into the top Ten in thesummer, and also Then...Along comes theAssociation was prepared to capitalize on it. In fact, however,work top top the monitor that finished up on the LP had begun some time before,when Boettcher created five cuts through the team in Gary Paxton"sHomewood Studios. As well as "Along comes Mary," this sessions yieldedits B-side, "Your own Love," and also two other tracks that ended up ~ above thealbum, "Remember" and "I"ll Be your Man" (the fifth, "Better Times,"remained unissued till 2002). The Association"s "One Too numerous Mornings" single hadbeen created by Barry DeVorzon, the chairman of your label, ValiantRecords. However as Yester explains, "After the thing with Barry producingdidn"t work-related out, we begged him to let our girlfriend Curt develop us. Andhe ultimately condescended, but with the stipulation that we use somestudio musicians. So we did a combination of studio musicians and us.But they did the basic tracks, and then we did a many the sweeteningand the lead guitar stuff, things choose that." together the Association"s harmonies were along the linesof the advanced vocal arrangements used by Boettcher"s formergroup the Goldebriars, and his future ensemble the Millennium, "it wasa an excellent match in the respect," concurs Jim. "We were very harmonicallyinvolved, and Curt was too. Also, that was an extremely aware the the MFQ , which was my brother"s group. We wereall right into the MFQ; a many of teams went to school on the MFQ in L.A.Everybody else made it, and also they didn"t. It"s an extremely bizarre." (Both1960s albums by the modern-day Folk Quartet, who also used sophisticatedharmonies blending facets of pop, folk, and jazz, have also beenreissued on CD through Collectors" selection Music.)

The decision tomake "AlongComes Mary" the solitary was, in a sense, ordained. "There was 3 orfour of us that were affiliated with Subud in ~ thattime," states Yester. "Roger McGuinn was likewise in it, Cyrus Faryarfrom the MFQ. We encouraged the record company that us were gonna takethe 5 songs us recorded, and the elders that Subud walk this thingcalled testing, where you would certainly tell lock the name of a song, and thenthey would type of meditate and tell you yay or nay. We did that, andthe 2 strongest reactions we gained were native "Along come Mary" and"Your own Love." Actually, "Your very own Love" got the the strongest reactionfrom them. That tune I composed after I was in Subud for a while, that"skind of where it to be coming from, so for me, that"s why the reactionwas . Yet that"s why those 2 songs were the firstrelease. Then we went ago to the record agency and said, "Okay, theseare the two." and they said, "Okay."" to fill out the album, the group would document morematerial in a various studio, which choose the very first was operation by notedproducer, engineer, performer, songwriter, and also general musicaljack-of-all-trades Gary Paxton. "The very first one ,where us did the basics, the studio to be an old garage, and the boothwas in an old Greyhound bus," laughs Yester. "His 2nd studio, the studio to be the downstairs, like the living room anddining room of a house, and also the studio remained in a toilet upstairs. Verybizarre. But it had great sound." In addition, vocals were recorded ata more traditional Hollywood facility, Columbia record Studios. Among the top sessions musicians in the support castwere guitarist Mike Deasy (who"d go on to play on various other Associationalbums, and also writing a tune on their understanding Out LP), bassist JerryScheff, and percussionists Jim Troxel and Toxey French, v Boettchercontributing ton generator/oscillator. "Curt was an extremely into a lot ofoutside instruments, and also we were very up because that experimentation, so weused a many of various things," remarks Yester. "In fact, we were oneof the an initial to sync two four-tracks together to do aneight-track, making use of a VSO, variable rate oscillator, to match thespeeds that the 2 tape machines. However by the time we went to end up thefirst album, Scully came out with the eight-track. When we to be workingat Columbia Studio A, that"s what us were using." as for the product selected because that the album, asYester notes, "most that those song we"d to be doing in concert for abouta year or so anyway." The association LPs would feature aremarkably also spread that songwriting credits among the members, andall six save Brian Cole composed or co-wrote material on and also Then...Along comes the Association.At this allude Jules Alexander (then still performing under the nameGary Alexander, together he would till 1968) andsinger-multi-instrumentalist terrycloth Kirkman "were most likely a tiny moreprolific," to add Jim. "But many of the moment everybody had at least oneor two songs top top the album. Us tried to have everybody included. We hada publishing deal wherein everybody mutual in anyone else"spublishing. That was an extremely clever. We actually had actually publishing dealbefore we had a document deal. Due to the fact that we auditioned for Capitol, andthey didn"t authorize us, however they wouldn"t let us out of the structure untilwe gave them a meeting v head of their publishing. "Cause theycouldn"t believe a group with 6 guys, and also everybody wrote. And also theywere pretty kind songs." The group did covering a couple of song from outsidesources on the album. "Don"t Blame that on Me" was composed by brothersDon and also Dick Addrisi, that penned the substantial 1967 combination hit"Never my Love." "Blistered" (later a hit for Johnny Cash) come fromBilly Ed Wheeler, also known for creating the folk-rock classic "HighFlying Bird," co-writing the Kingston Trio"s fight "The Reverend Mr.Black," and co-writing "Jackson" (hit duets for the teams of JohnnyCash & June Carter and Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood), together wellas scoring a large country fight on his very own with "Ode to the tiny BrownShack out Back." The second large hit off the LP, however, would certainly be aTerry Kirkman original, despite it wasn"t even planned together the follow-upto "Along comes Mary." as Yester tells it, "We to be going to relax "Enterthe Young." The variation that ns remember was a DJ indigenous Ohio startedplaying "Cherish" off of the album, and also it went ideal up the charts inhis area. Either the record agency said, "wait a minute, let"s rethinkthis," or the various other version is, Colecchioconvinced the record firm to relax "Cherish" instead." It was awise decision; on September 24, 1966, the solitary began a three-week runas the #1 tune in the nation. By the time, surprisingly, the team had partedways v Boettcher. "Towards the end of finishing increase the album, hestarted prefer trying to placed his stamp on us," recalls Yester.

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And then... along comes the association

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"The mainreason we left and went with my brother because that the second albumwas the we wanted to be who we were, and also not that Curt wanted to be."The result was their 2nd LP, Renaissance,and a story continued on the liner note to that album, also reissuedon CD by Collectors" choice Music. -- Richie Unterberger