The Turtles

Happy Together [Video]

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Conscious followers of the Beatles, both creatively and in business decisions, the Turtles took the marketing idea behind A Hard Day's Night one step further, producing concept videos to promote individual songs. The result is a preserved visual legacy that many '60s artists can only wish they had. Simply collecting this landmark part of video history might have been sufficient for many groups, but the Turtles always had an intelligent self-awareness lurking behind their cheerful pop successes, and age has only made the group's lead vocalists and primary creative forces Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman better at recalling what was good, and what was not good at all, about pop culture's most critically formative period. While the Turtles could count the Beatles among their fans, they never quite got the knack of music video production down quite as well, though the idea that the group was aggressively turning out concept promotional videos in the mid-'60s, more than 15 years ahead of the debut of MTV, is remarkable in itself. The concept videos included range -- from adequate "Happy Together," to terrible "Lady-O" (great song, though). Much better are the television clips: "Let Me Be," "Outside Chance," and particularly "Eleanor," are valuable in giving some feel for what the Turtles were like as on-stage performers. In addition to the musical selections, Kaylan and Volman's legendary and sadly hilarious "Lawsuits" routine is preserved. Overall, this is an excellent package of historical footage with newly created commentary -- insightful, entertaining, and one of the very few video compilations worthy of being called a documentary.

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