07 March 2008

Pride - 1970 - Pride

Quality: 3.5 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 3.5 out of 5

This album is not really a band at all, but rather a front for legendary producer David Axelrod. Apparently his manager got an urge to fabricate and promote a non-existent group, and Axelrod got stuck with throwing the music together with the help of his lyric-writing son.

Right off the bat, this is not prime Axelrod, but it does have a few things going for it and a few sonic curveballs. At this point in time, Axelrod decided to temporarily head in a direction influenced by Spanish music, and instead of screaming fuzz guitars, we hear plucked classical guitar runs (along with some great electric 12-string too). Unusually for 60's Axelrod, there is no orchestra adding exclamation points, and instead the crack session players sketch out the Axelrod signature orchestra hits. And yes, the bass and drums remain damn funky and have probably already been sampled 683 times.

Then there are the aforementioned curveballs. This is a much poppier album than is usual for Axelrod with the vocals front and center and the whole thing reeking of a late 60's folk-rock vibe. For better or for worse, the album only manages to do this on an average level. Of course the arrangements are interesting, but the melodies jsut don't make much of an imprint here. Maybe Pride didn't need Michael Axelrod to write lyrics. The vocals, done by a fellow record producer, are pretty anonymous and I could just as easily take this one as an instrumental.

Pride is really a curio for those who are already David Axelrod fans. I can recommend it in that it warps some signature sounds and production tricks of Axelrod's, and casts them in a very different light. Viewed simply as an album, though, there's nothing here that's going to rock your world.

Buy Me:
The Warner/Reprise Sessions: The Electric Prunes & Pride


Anonymous said...


Austin said...

I disagree...

As a huge Axe fan, this stands out to me as one of his best, and most personal, pieces of work.

In addition, "A Hope" has one of the definitive Axelrod breakbeats in it.


Anonymous said...

...from an even bigger Axe fan, this album is a milestone

Just beatiful. "A hope" is an outstanding track in every way...

Collin said...

Absolutely true. This is one of the great Axelrod albums and I think it absolutely essential even for axelrod newbies.

Anonymous said...

Awesome album, beautiful music, wonderful players. The only poor aspect is it's brevity.