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Strawberry Alarm Clock is a psychedelic rock band from Los Angeles, known for their 1967 hit "Incense and Peppermints". They are often thought of as a "one-hit wonder", although they charted two Top 40 songs, and five Top 100 songs.
STRAWBERRIES MEAN LOVE, unless you're allergic, in which case they mean hives. That pretty much sums up the two likely responses to the Strawberry Alarm Clock, Santa Barbara's first and best exponent of flower power-era psychedelic pop. Either ... Full Descriptionyou'll find their catchy pop tunes, laced with pseudo-profound lyrics and cool trippy production effects, to be potent reminders of a certain place and time, or you'll find it all extremely calculated and commercial.
Actually, the Strawberry Alarm Clock were both at once, and as a result, songs like "Incense and Peppermints" and "Rainy Day Mushroom Pillow" are both somehow more honest evocations of the real spirit of '67 as most people actually experienced it and, frankly, much better pop songs than, say, "Somebody To Love." This anthology, a remastered and expanded version of a previous collection on the excellent UK reissue label Ace/Big Beat.
The Strawberry Alarm Clock are in most quarters considered one-hit wonders having scaled the charts with the catchy bit of 1967 psychedelia "Incense and Peppermints." The hit became a kind of yoke around the neck of the band, pigeonholing them as psychedelic bubblegummers. "Strawberries Mean Love" goes a long way in disproving this argument. Big Beat Records has culled 21 tracks, 64 minutes, from the four lps the band released. Besides "Incense" and the top-25 hit "Tomorrow" this anthology contains several other tunes well known to fans of West Coast music of the late 1960s, namely "Sit With The Guru" and "Rainy Day Mushroom Pillow." The real treats of the set, however, are the 8:26 rendition of "The World's On Fire" which contains heady lead guitar work by future Lynyrd Skynyrd member Ed King, "Love Me Again" and the title track both once again fueled by King's guitar work, tastefully trippy keyboards, and lovely vocal harmonies. This collection does a wonderful job of encapsulating the career of one of the more underrated and overlooked West Coast psychedic bands of the 1960s. While they may not have been the most technically talented lot, they certainly could hold their own against other bands of the time, and their combination of tastefully swirling guitars and vocal harmonies makes them a pleasure to give a listen to some 30-odd years down the road.
1. Incense and Peppermints
2. Rainy Day Mushroom Pillow
3. Sit With the Guru
5. Black Butter-Present
6. Love Me Again
7. Pretty Song From Psych-Out
8. World's on Fire, The
9. Birds in My Tree
10. Birdman of Alkatrash, The
11. Small Package
12. They Saw the Fat One Coming
13. Strawberries Mean Love
15. Barefoot in Baltimore - (bonus track)
16. Paxton's Back Street Carnival - (bonus track)
17. Hummin' Happy - (bonus track)
18. Sea Shell - (bonus track)
19. Stand by, (You Put Me On) - (bonus track)
20. I Climbed the Mountain - (bonus track)
Lee Freeman on vocals, guitar, and harmonica,
Ed King on guitar
Gary Lovetro on bass
Gene Gunnels on drums
Mike Luciano on tambourine
Steve Rabe on lead guitar.