The Tradewinds


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The Tradewinds' "New York's a Lonely Town," a 1965 Top 40 single, was the best Beach Boys imitation bar none. It's perhaps inevitable that their sole LP, though it does of course feature "New York's a Lonely Town," is a letdown in comparison, as groups whose signature tune is a soundalike rarely match it with anything else in their repertoire. While nothing else on the record is as blatantly derivative of the mid-'60s Beach Boys, there is a light Beach Boys influence on much of the LP in the presence of high, airy harmonies. The other tracks, however, aren't as firmly in Beach Boys territory, instead sounding a little like an East Coast variation of sunshine pop, or perhaps sunshine pop-Beach Boys-lite with a little Lovin' Spoonful influence. Their sole other (and minor) hit single, "Mind Excursion," is here too, and while there's a slight psychedelic lilt to the lyrics, it's more akin to Lovin' Spoonful efforts like "She Is Still a Mystery to Me" (which it resembles quite a bit) than all-out psychedelia. None of the other songs are too memorable, though the harmonies and careful arrangements will be appreciated by hardcore fans of '60s harmony pop/rock. The 2008 Japanese CD reissue adds a couple bonus tracks, "That's When Your Heartache Begins" and "Hard Life."

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