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Various Artists

Sad About The Times

May 17, 2019 Anthology Recordings
ARC064

You are alone in a hot tub on a warm summer night back in the ’70s. Scarcely a week earlier she was right there with you, laughing, gazing at the stars, the FM radio playing the top pop hits as you frolicked in the gurgling water. Now she’s gone. Really gone.

Then a song you never heard before comes on the radio. You feel like it reaches into some place that has already been prepared in your mind. It is as if the song is reading you. The song really knows she’s gone, and more. What a great hook, you think.

Then you never hear it again. You remember it really captured the way you felt, it sounded sad but somehow had a healing quality. Down but not out. It seemed familiar the first time you heard it, as if it had cut to the front of the line while the other meaningful songs in your life were taking years to get there. What was that song?

I have good news for you. It’s on this album even if it’s not on this album.

What we are talking about here is a time when there was only so much room at the top and limited alternatives to mainstream radio for a song to get heard. I made up the guy in the hot tub but not the nature of the song. It doesn’t matter exactly what the song is.

 

 

Every song on this album is that song. They all could have been hits. Each with a different flavor, all subtly conveying universal emotions that are hard to describe but easy to feel. Little room at the top back then (another reason to be sad about the times…) but we have plenty of room in 2018.

These songs come in the wake of the psychedelic sixties after the high-flying idealism had run its course and singer songwriters were ascendant. After the party, reality kicks in. You have to deal with yourself about how you deal with your friends and lovers.

You can’t always work it out but you can sprinkle a little sugar on your sadness with songs like these to keep you company. You can hear echoes of folk rock, soft rock, even detect some psychedelic flashbacks but the atmosphere is dominated by that human being whose voice you are hearing. He’s not up on stage, he’s in your mirror.

Have you ever felt sad about the times you are living in? Anyone who hasn’t seems to me at first lucky, but perhaps simultaneously cursed. This music reaches because it resonates with experiences in your own life that made you feel sad and alone. The artists here are dealing with difficult emotions.

There’s a reason smiley faces don’t have ears. Sadness can be life affirming; these songs can open that door. If they couldn’t they wouldn’t be so enjoyable. “Heaven is boring, hell is where the action is” someone said but if you mix the two together you might come up with some songs like these.

Compiled by Mikey Young (Total Control / Eddy Suppression Ring) and Keith Abrahamsson (Founder / Head of A&R at Anthology Recordings), Sad About the Times is a set of North American 70s jammers. With a hint of (at times) West Coast jangle, these tracks traverse the border between the power pop of the times and a late-night coke jam.

2xLP $27.00
CD $13.00
MP3 $9.00
1 West - Sad About The Times  
2 Hollins Ferry - Lonely City  
3 Randy & The Goats - N.Y. Survivor  
4 Willow - Loaves And Fishes  
5 Art Lown - Deep Blue Sea  
6 Jode - Tomorrow Is Gone  
7 Norma Tanega - Illusion PLAY  
8 Perth County - If You Can Want  
9 David Chalmers - Hotel Room  
10 Jim Spencer - Another Lonely Day  
11 Hoover - Absolute Zero  
12 Space Opera - Holy River  
13 Roger Rodier - Am I Supposed To Let It By Again (Above The Covers)  
14 Emmett Finley - Paula's Song  
15 Sky - Sing For Me  
16 The Smubbs - The Running Water  
17 Oliver Klaus - Here Comes The Sun  
18 Antonia Lamb - Wolf  
19 Kevin Vicalvi - Lover Now Alone  
20 Boz Metzdorf - Sails Across The Sea  
21 Dennis Stoner - Maybe Someday / Maybe Never