Saturday's Sons: The Complete Recordings 1964-1966

The Sons of Adam

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Saturday's Sons: The Complete Recordings 1964-1966 Review

by Fred Thomas

During their brief run in the mid-'60s, Los Angeles band the Sons of Adam quickly transitioned from their roots as a surf combo into a psychedelic-leaning rock outfit. They imploded in a matter of just a few years, leaving behind only a handful of tracks in the form of three singles. Saturday's Sons: The Complete Recordings 1964-1966 unearths demos and unreleased recordings from both studio sessions and live dates, tracking the band's rapid evolution and interesting blend of surf guitar technique and trends of the psychedelic era. Broken up into four sides, Saturday's Sons begins with a string of live tracks, with the band burning through covers like "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love" (a Solomon Burke tune the Sons most likely learned of through the Rolling Stones' version) or the Yardbirds' "Evil Hearted You." The band's original "Saturday's Son" appears as a raved-up live rendition as well as a studio version, calling on both Byrds-y vocal harmonies and aggressive fuzz guitar leads. Studio tracks include more Yardbirds covers ("You're a Better Man Than I"), the moody acoustic guitar number "I Told You Once Before," and a gentle take on the Zombies' "You Make Me Feel Good." The final fourth of the collection focuses on material from when the group was using the name the Fender IV and making rambunctious surf rock. These tunes serve as an interesting counterpoint to where the band went just a few years later, but show how they were already prone to high-energy sounds before they turned up the distortion and started experimenting with acid-burned lyrics and production. "You Better Tell Me Now," one of the few vocal songs from this iteration of the band, is just as tense and tormented as later material would be, only with more surf guitar tricks worked into the arrangement. The Sons of Adam broke up when their drummer left to join Love (they recorded an Arthur Lee-penned song, "Feathered Fish," shortly afterward) and co-founder Randy Holden quit. Holden felt limited being in a band more focused on covering other people's songs than trying to break ground with their own, and would later aim for more far out heights as a member of Blue Cheer. Despite their brief existence, quick stylistic change-ups, and the creative differences that ultimately ended them, the Sons of Adam were one of countless acts making exciting music in the shadows of bigger bands associated with '60s freak rock and the Summer of Love. Saturday's Sons sheds light on just how strong a sound they had going as they hurtled through those years, and presents the full picture of a band that previously existed as an easy-to-overlook footnote.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 The Sons of Adam 06:08 Amazon
2 The Sons of Adam 02:35 Amazon
3 The Sons of Adam 02:52 Amazon
4 The Sons of Adam 02:28 Amazon
5 The Sons of Adam 02:57 Amazon
6 The Sons of Adam 02:08 Amazon
7 The Sons of Adam 03:08 Amazon
8 The Sons of Adam 08:06 Amazon
9 The Sons of Adam 02:22 Amazon
10 The Sons of Adam 02:17 Amazon
11 The Sons of Adam 02:07 Amazon
12 The Sons of Adam 01:59 Amazon
13 The Sons of Adam 02:40 Amazon
14 The Sons of Adam 02:57 Amazon
15 The Sons of Adam 02:12 Amazon
16 The Sons of Adam 02:31 Amazon
17 The Sons of Adam 02:52 Amazon
18 The Sons of Adam feat: Fender IV 02:28 Amazon
19 The Sons of Adam feat: Fender IV 02:10 Amazon
20 The Sons of Adam feat: Fender IV 02:27 Amazon
21 The Sons of Adam feat: Fender IV 01:55 Amazon
22 The Sons of Adam feat: Fender IV 02:41 Amazon
23 The Sons of Adam feat: Fender IV 02:27 Amazon
24 The Sons of Adam feat: Fender IV 02:24 Amazon
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