Never My Love by The Association

April 21, 2012

The Association was a fairly creative band at times but they will always be remembered for their gentle ballads such as “Cherish” and “Windy,” which both reached number one.

“Never My Move” was another ballad by the band that just missed becoming their third number one hit. Released during the summer of 1967, it spent two weeks in the number two position on the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Singles Chart.

While the big hits would run out by the end of the 1960s, The Association is still on the road today.

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Goodbye Columbus 45 by The Association

October 9, 2011

The Association had a number of huge light rock/pop hits during the second half of the mid-1960s, including two number ones, “Cherish” and “Windy.” There commercial success had begun to wind down as the decade came to a close so they began experienmenting with a different sound

They returned to their their old light sound for the title track of the movie GOODBYE COLUMBUS. The song also appeared on the song’s soundtrack album.

This song represented The Association at their best. Released March 15, 1969, it entered the charts twice, peaking at number 88 the first time and number 80 the second.

The Association contine to tour down to the present but there would be no more top 50 hits.


Greatest Hits by The Association

September 22, 2011

My feet are up, I’m on the coast listening to the Pacific Ocean splash against the rocks, the grandchildren are in bed, the sounds of The Association are softly wafting out of my stereo system, and life is good.

The Association was the innocent side of the mid-to-late 1960s, a side that only existed in the mind and on vinyl, as the decade progressed and the Vietnam War heated up. They created some of the more memorable soft rock songs of the era, including “Cherish,” which continues to receive consistent radio airplay down to the present day. Their albums actually contained quite a bit of material that veered from this formula, but their hits and best known songs hemmed them in. Their ability to evolve musically was limited, which in the ever changing music world of the late 1960s and early 1970s would eventually signal an end to their commercial success and popularity.

Jules Alexander and Terry Kirkman met in Hawaii during 1962. By 1966 Russ Giguere, Brian Cole, Jim Yester, and Ted Bluechel Jr. had joined the band, completing the original line-up. After a couple of unsuccessful singles, they grabbed the brass ring during 1966 when “Along Comes Mary” and “Cherish” propelled them to stardom. Alexander left for a couple of years and was replaced by Larry Ramos. When Alexander returned, they became a seven man band. Ramos became an important ingredient to their sound and provided some of the lead vocals for such hits as “Windy” and “Never My Love.” Giguere, Yester, and Ramos, with additional musicians, continue to tour as The Association as of 2011.

Their Greatest Hits, released during 1968, was their highest charting (#4) and most successful (2,000,000 copies sold) album. Two of their studio albums, And Then ….Along Comes The Association and Insight Out also reached the American top ten.

No matter what success their albums may have achieved, they will always be remembered for their string of singles. Greatest Hits gathers these singles, plus a few other tracks in support, to form a soft rock and pop album that has withstood the test of time surprisingly well.

Their memorable ballads, “Cherish,” “No Fair At All,” and “Never My Love” plus their mid tempo pop masterpieces “Windy,” “Time For Livin,’”and “Everything That Touches You” are all present. Every so often The Association proved they could rock out a bit. “Six Man Band” has some excellent guitar work, while “Along Comes Mary” and especially the brilliant “Enter The Young” are melodic up-tempo rock. Also included was the experimental piece, “Requiem For The Masses.” They should have found a way to add “Pandora’s Golden Heebie Jeebies” and their soundtrack song, “Goodbye Columbus,” which would have made the album more representative of their overall sound.

The Association produced some of the more memorable pop of the late 1960s. A number of their songs have been instantly recognizable to several generations now. When taken together they form a pleasant listening experience.

And so the waves keep on rolling in and The Association CDhas come to an end. Now where’s that Gary Puckett & The Union Gap CD?

Article first published as Music Review: The Association – Greatest Hits on Blogcritics.


Six Man Band by The Association

September 18, 2011

Although The Association continues to tour down to the present day, their days of big hits and commercial success was coming to an end as the 1960s ran their course.

They built their sound and success on slow ballads and mid-tempo pop material such as “Cherish,” “Never My Love,” “Everything That Touches You,” and “Windy.” The only exception was their first hit, the rocking “Along Comes Mary,” which remains one of their strongest songs.

“Six Man Band” was a rock song pure and simple and even included some psychedelic guitar sounds. It was a welcome change of pace at the time as music was changing during the late sixties. It was a direction they should have explored more as their sound was quickly becoming obsolete.

“Six Man Band” became a minor hit for the band reaching number 47 on the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Singles Chart. Still, it remains one of their more interesting releases.


Darling Be Home Soon 45 by The Association

September 12, 2011

The Association’s commercial success was coming to an end during the early 1970s, although the band continues to tour down to the present day.

Their time with the WB labed ended in 1971. They signed a contract with Columbia and issued the album WATERBEDS IN TRINIDAD. They picked the old Lovin’ Spoonful song, “Darling Be Home Soon” as a single.

It was not an inspired choice. Their version was not as good as The Spoonful’s plus it was basically recorded in the same way. It Bubbled Under on the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Singles Chart at #104 but reached number 90 on the CASHBOX Chart.

Their time with Columbia was short and it was on to another label.


Babe I’m Gonna Leave You 45 by The Association

September 11, 2011

During 1966 the Association had two big hits, “Along Comes Mary” and the number one “Cherish.” Everyone has to start somewhere and so it was for The Association.

Their first release came drting 1965 when they released one single for the Jubilee label. “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” received no chart action and little commmercial success. They were immediately dropped by the label, which worked out just fine for The Association.

The band hadn’t quite found the right formula but they would very shortly.


Everything That Touches You 45 by The Association

September 4, 2011

The Association produced five top 10 hits during the early part of their career, 1966-1968. “Everything That Touches You” was the last of the five. Released Feb. 3, 1968, it reached number 10 on the Billboard Magazine Pop Singles Chart.

It was in the tradition of most of their material, in that it was a gentle pop piece. Sometime I think they should have released more songs like the rocking “Along Comes Mary,” but that’s a story for another day.

They would only have one more top forty hit. The Association continues to tour down to the present day.