The Grass Roots

Greatest Hits [Remember]

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With an ever-shifting lineup, and tightly controlled (at least initially) by the crack writing and production team of P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri, the Grass Roots never really had a strong public identity during their peak years in the mid-'60s through the early '70s, but managed to turn out several memorable (if hardly innovative) singles none the less. Starting with the gentle folk-rock of "Where Were You When I Needed You" in 1965, followed by the sitar-laced "Let's Live for Today," the Grass Roots seemed like a somewhat watered-down version of the Byrds, but with 1968's "Midnight Confessions," they took a turn in the Motown direction, and following the sleek, sexy "Temptation Eyes" in 1971, they ended up sounding more like the prototype for Hall & Oates. In the end, their best singles survive on the oldies radio stations because they are solidly produced, and at a time when social relevance seemed to be the flavor, the Grass Roots sang about sex and lust in a veiled and singalong style, making them a tremendous guilty pleasure. The bare essentials are all here on this collection, although Rhino's two-disc Anthology remains the last word.

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