The Legendary Spar Recordings

The Legendary Spar Recordings

by The Now Generation


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The Legendary Spar Recordings

In the late 1960s and early '70s, the studio-only ensemble the Now Generation were principally known for issuing albums full of soundalike covers of contemporary hits, although they did put out some original material. Top Nashville session men like Henry Strzelecki, David Briggs, Norbert Putnam, Wayne Moss, Bill Purcell, Kenny Buttrey, "Pig" Robbins, and Charlie McCoy were among the musicians who played on Now Generation releases. Fortunately, this 20-track compilation concentrates on the original material, as much of the CD is taken from their self-titled 1967 debut LP, their only album not to fall into the "soundalike" bag. (Unfortunately, this otherwise well-annotated anthology fails to note the source of the specific tracks, making it impossible to determine its chronological range or whether anything is taken from non-LP singles or the like.) The highlights -- unavoidably so, when you're dealing with a group that was usually an identikit cover band -- are the eight songs penned by founder Bobby Russell, best known as the songwriter behind hits by Gary Lewis & the Playboys ("Sure Gonna Miss Her"), O.C. Smith ("Little Green Apples"), Bobby Goldsboro ("Honey"), and Vicki Lawrence ("The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia"). "Highlights" is, of course, a relative term when you're dealing with tracks taken from somewhat exploitative releases, and the Russell tunes on this CD sound a little like demos or knockoffs of '60s formulas. Assuming these songs were released no earlier than 1967, the formulas tapped are a little out of date as well, including the Newbeats (on "Come on On" and "This Town"), surf music ("Daytona Darlin'," "The Whole Summer Through"), Gene Pitney and Roy Orbison ("Wise Like Solomon," one of the best tracks, and "Big Windy City"), and the Four Seasons ("Uptown Downtown"). Sometimes the derivations turn into a most curious stew; "You're Slipping Away from Me" sounds like an unholy mixture of the Righteous Brothers, Dionne Warwick, and Bobby Vee. Fellow Now Generation member Bergen White chips in with another highlight, "Crawl Along the Sand," an eerie combination of psychedelia and girl group pop. And if you want the Now Generation's own versions of White's "Rainy Night in Georgia" (a big hit for Brook Benton) and "Sure Gonna Miss Her," they're here too, though they'll in no way displace the supremacy of the more famous hit renditions. Padding out the CD are pretty useless soundalike cover versions of "Wooly Bully," "You Showed Me," and "Indian Giver," as well as some dispensable instrumentals in both the easy listening and organ-and-sax-dominated rock vein. It's a strange compilation on the whole, combining secondary efforts by successful pop songwriters and incidental filler, almost all of which seemed to be intended as budget throwaways rather than serious artistic endeavors. Note that although one-time member Jimmy Buffett is credited with vocal and acoustic guitar, none of his compositional efforts are included on this CD.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/06/2007
Label: Yellow
UPC: 0693723497525
catalogNumber: 49752

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Now Generation   Primary Artist
Jimmy Buffett   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
Mac Gayden   Bass,Guitar,Bass Guitar
Bobby Russell   Guitar,Vocals
Jerry Smith   Piano
Buzz Cason   Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals
Will Ackerman   Drums
Kenny Buttrey   Drums
Jack Eubanks   Guitar
Bob Moore   Bass Guitar
Wayne Moss   Bass,Guitar,Bass Guitar
Ernie Newton   Bass,Bass Guitar
Ricky Page   Vocals
Norbert Putnam   Bass,Bass Guitar
Hargus "Pig" Robbins   Piano
Billy Sanford   Guitar
Henry Strzelecki   Bass,Bass Guitar
Jerry Tuttle   Saxophone
Bergen White   Keyboards,Vocals
Jimmy Wilkerson   Guitar
Clifford Curry   Vocals
Charlie McCoy   Organ,Harmonica,Trumpet,Bass Guitar
Jerry Lee Smith   Piano
Bob Moore & His Orchestra   Bass
Bill Purcell   Piano
Steve Bess   Drums
David Briggs   Keyboards
Jimmy Wilkerson   Guitar
Connie Flanders   Vocals
Willie Ackerman   Drums

Technical Credits

Bobby Russell   Composer
Fred James   Liner Notes
Travis Turk   Engineer
Bergen White   Arranger
William Beasley   Producer,Audio Production
Tom Walls   Producer,Audio Production

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