The Youngbloods

Two Trips

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This rather peculiar if worthwhile release, co-billed to Jesse Colin Young and the Youngbloods, slipped out in 1970, though the material had been recorded four or five years earlier. It was peculiar because side one contained five previously unreleased Youngbloods tracks from the mid-'60s, recorded prior to their deal with RCA, while side two was devoted entirely to solo Jesse Colin Young recordings, all of which had appeared on his second LP, 1965's Young Blood (originally issued on Mercury). Most likely Mercury was trying to exploit their Youngbloods-related vault holdings in the wake of the group's huge success with the "Get Together" single. As it happens, however, it wasn't a purely exploitative exercise, since the five tracks on side one are fine original songs (all but one by Young) that show the band's sound fully formed. In fact, they're on par with their early RCA albums -- "Sometimes," "Hey Babe," and "Another Strange Town" are especially good -- and what's more, none of them were re-recorded for those RCA releases. The six solo Young tracks on side two are also very good, and though they're folkier and less fully arranged than the Youngbloods material, they're pretty advanced for 1965 in their early if tentative folk-rock fusion. The Young cuts, admittedly, are better heard in the context of the full Young Blood album, which has a few songs not included on this LP. And in fact, the best way to mop up these pre-RCA Youngbloods/Young rarities is to get the 1997 Edsel CD reissue of Young Blood, which adds four of the five Youngbloods songs from Two Trips as bonus tracks, though that CD is now itself hard to find. Yet the Youngbloods' electric rock version of "Rider" from Two Trips -- which is an entirely different recording than the acoustic folk version of the song Young put on Young Blood -- is not on that CD, so the Two Trips LP remains desirable to completists for that one track.