Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Left Banke Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina 1967

There was a lot going on in 1967. The sixties music scene was exploding new pop music sounds every day. The Left Banke invented baroque-pop, and managed three near-perfect singles that sounded unique in their melding of harpsichord, Birds-like harmonies, and string quartet backing. Add to that the band's strong original material and and the plaintive voice of Steve Martin, and you've got a winner.

The singles are wonders. Walk Away Renee, Pretty Ballerina, and She May Call You Up Tonight are perfect slices of sixties radio, and sound like little else, from any era. There's a few average spots, but most of the other songs are good, especially considering that the band wrote their own material.

There was a second record, Left Banke Too in 1968, made without their original piano and harpsichord player and primary songwriter, and while it has a few moments, this debut is their legacy, and is probably all you need. Sundazed has released it on both CD and LP, for your listening pleasure.

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