Friend & Lover

Reach Out of the Darkness

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Friend & Lover's "Reach Out of the Darkness," with its infectious opening rally cry of "I think it's so groovy now that people are finally gettin' together" provided the flower power movement -- and a late-'80s television commercial for the Freedom Rock box set -- with an unofficial anthem for the swinging '60s. The husband-and-wife team of Jim Post (Friend) and Cathy Conn (Lover) never managed to score another hit, but their little gift to the protest movement has -- for better or for worse -- shown an impressive amount of staying power. A colorful mix of early Jefferson Airplane-style idealism, soul, and psychedelic pop, their 1968 debut harbored more than just the signature tune that graced its cover. "The Way We Were in the Beginning" is pure Odessa-era Bee Gees, "Boston Is a Lovely Town" sounds like the sequel to Petula Clark's "Downtown," and "Weddin' March (I Feel Groovy)" could have given Sonny & Cher a run for their money. While nothing on Reach Out of the Darkness radiates any sort of social gravity or depth, it's also not in the least bit pretentious. In fact, listeners with the cognitive abilities to bypass lyrics like "I wonder why people do not like the lovely dandelion," from the Donovan-esque "Ode to a Dandelion," may find themselves dancing and laughing along at the sheer innocence of it all.

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