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The Association: Never My Love & Wantin’ Ain’t Gettin’

From Insight Out (WB, 1967)

I grew up listening to the “oldies” because my dad always had the car radio tuned into one of L.A.’s big oldies stations. The great thing about classic oldies rock n’ roll is that if you listen for about a year, you pretty much will hear the playlist that every similar station around the country plays. Over that time, there were some songs I always looked forward to hearing and I knew if I just listened long enough, it was bound to roll through again.

“Never My Love,” by the Association ranks high on that list. Their best known hit was “Windy,” (which also appears on this LP) but I just gravitated to how goddamn soulful this song is (especially for a bunch of blue-eyed singers). It’s also a quintessentially late ’60s pop song (my girlfriend said, “you can tell it’s from the ’60s because of the organ) and you can easily hear the vocal influences of the Beach Boys all over the song. It also boasts one of the greatest opening bassline riffs I know. Beautiful tune.

“Wantin’ Ain’t Gettin'” did not, however, appear on those oldies stations, maybe because it’s not nearly as mellow as “Never My Love,” maybe because funky sitar tracks weren’t really in top rotation on a station like K-Earth 101. If the last song was all about the Beach Boys’ touch, this is clearly a post-Beatles move with its Eastern influences, plus the vocal approach. Love how psyche-light and funk-driven this manages to be.

Big up to Adam Mansbach for putting me up on the LP.

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