Sunday, 21 January 2007

The Cowsills

I've been listening to the Cowsills this weekend. They're the incredibly bubblegum, all-American family harmony group formed in 1965, and said to be the inspiration for The Partridge Family. The real-life siblings and 'mom' made sunshine pop records drenched in harp and harmonies but with a real psychedelic edge.

I can't get enough of bubblegum pop at the moment, and this is sweet enough to satisfy even my sugar cravings. You might find it all a bit twee and sickly, but you know what? I call the shots round here.

Here's the promotional film for their hit single, The Rain, The Park and Other Things. It hit number 2 in the US charts in 1967.

And here's their genius version of Hair, from the musical, Hair. It also got to number 2 in the American charts, in 1969.

Five top Cowsills facts

1 In 1978 Paul, John and Barry Cowsill made a more 'adult' album, Cocaine Drain. It has never been released.
2 The band broke up in 1971, but reformed to critical acclaim in 1990.
3 The band were approached to play the children on The Partridge Family, but turned down the show when they discovered actress Shirley Jones would play their mother, rather than their real-life mum.
4 Barbara, Bud, Barry, and Bill Cowsill are all now dead. Barry died in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina struck.
5 Wondering where you've heard The Rain, The Park and Other Things before? It was featured on the soundtrack to Dumber and Dumber. Own up to watching that if you want. Actually, the Farrelly brothers' Kingpin is a work of genius, but more of that another time.

I recommend buying this Cowsills album.

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