The Lemon Pipers

The Best of the Lemon Pipers [Camden]

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The Lemon Pipers were somewhat of an anomaly in the 1960s bubblegum community because the group actually had creative aspirations. Unfortunately, their high-water mark came with their first single, the infectious "Green Tambourine" (written by the team of Paul Leka and Shelley Pinz), which hit the number one spot on the pop charts in 1968. The follow-up singles (also written by Leka and Pinz) "Rice Is Nice" and "Jelly Jungle" added in interesting orchestrated Baroque pop elements, but ultimately failed to attract much attention. This compilation from Camden Records includes the Lemon Pipers' only two albums, Green Tambourine and Jungle Marmalade, and is the most complete single-disc collection of the group available (the Lemon Pipers recorded 26 tracks in their short history, and 20 of them are here). Nothing by the group hits the level of the first single, but "Shoeshine Boy," although essentially a rewrite of the Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby," has some intriguing orchestral touches and "Ask Me if I Care" is a wonderful slice of snotty folk-rock. In the end, the Lemon Pipers' attempt to reach past the strictures of bubblegum into the lighter side of psychedelic garage rock makes them an intriguing timepiece.

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