Feelin' Groovy [Compilation]

Feelin' Groovy [Compilation]

by Harpers Bizarre
     
 

Harpers Bizarre, the sunshine pop quintet led by future superstar producer Ted Templeman, has always been dismissed by the uninformed. Based on the fact that Harpers Bizarre's only really big hit was a choral version of Paul Simon's "The 59th Street Bridge Song," which producer/mastermind Lenny Waronker buffed to a lollipop shine, generations of critics have either… See more details below

Overview

Harpers Bizarre, the sunshine pop quintet led by future superstar producer Ted Templeman, has always been dismissed by the uninformed. Based on the fact that Harpers Bizarre's only really big hit was a choral version of Paul Simon's "The 59th Street Bridge Song," which producer/mastermind Lenny Waronker buffed to a lollipop shine, generations of critics have either mocked or (much more often) ignored the group. This is a shame, because Harpers Bizarre was clearly one of the most dryly witty and subtly subversive groups of the late '60s. Cynicism and sarcasm drip from all of Harpers Bizarre's records. Templeman and singing partner Dick Scoppettone were hip enough to undercut their choirboy harmonies with a brattiness that they termed -- three full decades before this became a teen buzzword -- "whatever." This is particularly evident on the several songs penned by Waronker's childhood pal Randy Newman; these are the definitive versions of "Happyland," "Simon Smith and the Amazing Dancing Bear," "The Debutantes Ball," and especially the virginity-loss fantasy "The Biggest Night of Her Life," due to the keen double meanings implicit in the drop-dead vocal readings. Sweetly innocent and knife-edge sharp at the same time, Templeman and Scoppettone were terribly underrated vocalists. Of course, the orchestral sunshine pop arrangements by Newman, Nick DeCaro, Perry Botkin, Leon Russell, and Van Dyke Parks (whose "Come to the Sunshine" and "High Coin" are particular highlights) are equal to Templeman and Scoppettone's complex vocal arrangements, making the group's four '60s albums pinnacles of orchestral pop. That said, this is a flawed collection that focuses two much on Harpers Bizarre's first two albums and ignores album number three, the brilliant and overlooked psychedelic patchwork The Secret Life of Harpers Bizarre, entirely. This collection is wonderful to listen to, and Gene Sculatti's liner notes suggest that he gets the inside joke implicit in the group's very existence, but this could have been so much more.

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Product Details

Release Date:
02/25/1997
Label:
Warner Bros / Wea
UPC:
0093624626121
catalogNumber:
46261

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Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Harpers Bizarre   Primary Artist
Dick Scoppettone   Bass,Guitar,Vocals
Ted Templeman   Guitar,Drums,Vocals
Dick Yount   Bass,Vocals
John Petersen   Percussion,Drums,Vocals
Eddie James   Guitar

Technical Credits

Randy Newman   Arranger
Van Dyke Parks   Arranger
Leon Russell   Arranger
Perry Botkin   Arranger
Nick DeCaro   Arranger,String Arrangements
Lee Herschberg   Mastering
Dick Scoppettone   Arranger,Vocal Arrangements
Ted Templeman   Arranger,Vocal Arrangements
Bob Thompson   Arranger

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