It took a long time for sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar to master the intricate 2,000-year-old
raga art form of India.
It took a long time for San Francisco to develop from a
bustling frontier town - "an
American dream; includes Indians too" * - to the place the hippies call home.
It took a long time for popular music to grow into the
present mind-expanding, driving,
And it took a long time for artists such as Jefferson
Airplane, the Beatles and Bobbie
Gentry to develop the exceptional styles that swung them into the spotlight.
It didn't take long for the Living Guitars to get hold of
what's happening and adapt
today's rhythms and harmonies to their own styling with refinements and special
techniques. From listening to their super sound, it would seem the Living Guitars have
been playing together since raga began. They succeed in fusing electronics with
melody. No matter how psychedelic - "minds move; walls do too"* - the song, the
common denominator here is always melody.
It didn't take long for the ten songs included in this
album to become big hits across the
nation. Title song San Franciscan Nights could well be the anthem of flower
children, and a great showcase it is for the nineteen-string sitar. Originally recorded
by Eric Burden and the Animals this tune moved quickly from the underground to
overwhelm pop listeners.
Bobbie Gentry's haunting Ode to Billie Joe zoomed
to first place on the charts in only
Jefferson Airplane: yesterday the West Coast; today the
world. Somebody to
Love is big league.
Beards, beads, capes, tattoos - yes, of course. Put on
granny glasses. Turn on, turn
on. It's Haight-Ashbury - "jeans of blue, Harley-Davidsons too."* Perhaps
props in Haight, but you don't need them to enjoy this album. Everyone loves good
arrangements, superb musicianship, great rock songs. It's universal!
* from the title tune San Franciscan Nights
Copyright 1968, RCA