Material on this, The Best of the Cowsills, came before they hit with "Hair" in 1969, that song missing from this otherwise decent compilation. There are 12 tracks taken from their first three MGM albums -- The Cowsills, We Can Fly, and Captain Sad and His Ship of Fools -- plus the excellent Top 50 single from 1968 with its unmistakable Beach Boys influence, "Poor Baby." "The Rain, the Park and Other Things," of course, is the starting point, and it is a wonderful and enduring pop single, all two minutes and 57 seconds of it. In between there are "In Need of a Friend," "Mister Flynn," "Captain Sad and His Ship of Fools," and the hit from the beginning of 1968, "We Can Fly." "Meet Me at the Wishing Well" is listed on the back cover of the LP, but a Tony Romeo song is actually on the vinyl, "The Path of Love." Romeo has three titles on this best-of, but perhaps the most remarkable thing is that eight of the dozen tracks are either written or co-written by Bob and Bill Cowsill. Where Wes Farrell produced "Indian Lake" and "Poor Baby," and Artie Kornfeld did the exquisite production honors on "The Rain, the Park and Other Things," the brothers Cowsill produced "We Can Fly," "In Need of a Friend," and most of this album, nine of the 12 tracks to be exact. Where the Beach Boys' harmonies devour "Poor Baby," the Mamas & the Papas' vocal style envelopes the Beatlesque "In Need of a Friend." Thirty-three years after its release, Universal issued The Best of the Cowsills: The Millennium Collection. That all-too-short CD has five tracks from this collection and five other titles. What it all shows is that the band was more creative and productive than they were given credit for and it really is too bad they didn't get to be The Partridge Family on television. This early best-of is evidence that they deserved it.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Joe Viglione