Long before Michael Bay created his abomination on the big screen, before Vanilla Ice danced into ninja rap history and before a generation became entranced by some odd looking green pizza-eating-crime fighters, “The Turtles” had a much different meaning.
Although the band from Westchester, California would only really have a short stint atop the mainstream, their legacy thrives nearly five decades later. In the mid-sixties, stuffed uncomfortably between teeny-pop and psychedelic rock Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman created something from Cali that wasn’t The Beach Boys. They made The Turtles.
I, like many, grew up hearing the Turtles’ timeless “Happy Together” played over and over again on record, radio, tape and CD, even live. I have always been drawn to their non-conformist way of producing great music. Now, in the wonderful world of technology, where you can find anything you need, get anything you want and hear anything your ears desire, The Turtles are releasing eight 7-inch singles on vinyl only.
Not only is this idea something I literally stood and cheered (while scaring the hell out of my dog), the resulting sixteen songs, in hand, is something every Turtles fan, every vinyl fan, every music fan needs to experience. Selecting tracks that span from their debut It Ain’t Me Babe, through 1968’s You Baby, of course stopping off at Happy Together, and dabbling in the innovative The Turtles Present the Battle of the Bands the collection almost encompasses the entire lifespan of one of America’s greatest musical treasures. To name a few, the obligatory “Happy Together” shares sleeve with deep cut psychedelic “Grim Reaper of Love,” “Elenore” with the Zevon penned “Outside Chance,” and “It Ain’t Me Babe” snuggles up with Ray Davies produced “You Don’t Have to Walk in the Rain.” What struck me as upstanding is that this isn’t some “#1 – look at us!” on Rhino decision decades later. These sixteen songs mean something and span from the top all the way out off the charts.
FloEdCo and Manifesto Records hand deliver a spectacular addition to any vinyl lover’s collection in the best way they can possibly be enjoyed. Via sixteen tracks spanning pop to psychedelic rock to can-only-be-The-Turtles, this is like someone reached into the past and handed you a gold nugget that is nearly priceless (but not so priceless you can’t get them here). Whether you experienced these when all they had was vinyl or you just inherited a strange circular black thing that has an arm with a needle on it, I simply cannot stress the immense amount of pleasure I found in these eight 7-inch singles and how much you need to get these. Even Michael Bay couldn’t destroy these Turtles.
Greg is a regular contributor and co-founder at Nanobot. If you’re in the Boise area head toward the incredibly loud Turtles music and you’ll undoubtedly find him dancing his heart out.