A Top Five hit in the summer of 1969 and the biggest bubblegum soul/sunshine pop hit this side of the Fifth Dimension, the Friends of Distinction's vocal version of Hugh Masekela's "Grazing in the Grass" (itself a huge hit less than a year before) is one of the defining singles of its era. The arrangement, by Ray Cork Jr., speeds up Masekela's original considerably, and loses the earthy South African groove in favor of Las Vegas glitz, heavy on the gloppy orchestral swells and faux climaxes. That doesn't matter, however, since the song's focal point has been shifted over to the remarkable interplay of the four singers, Harry Elston, Floyd Butler, Jessica Cleaves, and Barbara Jean Love. Memory does not accurately render just how gosh-darn fast these four are really singing, especially during the truly astonishing "I can dig it, she can dig it" bridge. After decades of familiarity, groups like the Ramones no longer sound like the fastest rock & roll ever made; perhaps it's because they're largely relegated to the shadows of history, except for occasional oldies radio play, but the Friends of Distinction sound every bit as remarkable today as they did in 1969.