Various Artists

Super Hits 1967: The Summer of Love

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The summer of 1967 was a watershed year for pop music (it was the summer of the Beatles' Sgt. Peppers, after all) that saw old-style love songs like Gary Lewis & the Playboys' "Save Your Heart for Me" bump up against mysterious fare like Procol Harum's "A Whiter Shade of Pale" and hard-hitting Southern soul blasts like Sam & Dave's "Hold On, I'm Coming" on the pop charts. The music on AM radio was never more diverse. This sampler from King Records is certainly diverse, but its brevity (it is a little over 25 minutes long) works against it, as does the fact that none of the songs compiled here is presented in its original version, having been re-recorded in new stereo versions. The mono single version of "Hold On, I'm Coming," for instance, was designed to explode out of the small car radio speakers of the day like a detonated soul bomb, and the effect is muted and lost in the stereo rendition included here. The song simply doesn't hit as hard. This is essentially revisionist marketing by King, and this disc is really more of a facsimile of the music of the summer of 1967 than an actual example of it.

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