17 July 2012

Sunforest - 1969 - Sound of Sunforest

Quality: 3.25 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 3.75 out of 5

Ever see "The Wicker Man?"  Not the newer one with the bees, and the bear suit, and crazy Nick Cage, but the 70's one with Christopher Lee.  Some of this music makes me think of that movie's creepy-groove folk.  I'd like to think that there's a naked woman banging on walls and singing some of the tunes here - but not all of them (like the ones with a dude singing).  Be forewarned, however, that this is a wildly inconsistent album. Although some of the tunes dabble in pristine sunshine pop, psych folk, and a few other points in between, there are an equal number of tracks that dabble in awful.  Let's see if we can parse those out.

Now let's get positive here.  There is an album lurking among these tracks that would give the Free Design more than a run for its money.  Go ahead and program these ones if you want to follow the doctor's prescription:  "Overture to the Sun," "Where Are You," "Be Like Me," "And I Was Blue," "Magician In the Mountain," "Give Me All Your Loving," and "All In Good Time."  Congratulations, you can now add an extra point, and maybe a touch more, to the quality rating.  These demonstrate what Sunforest does really well - ghostly sunshine folk at dusk that Stereolab must've spun a few times in their heyday.  "And I Was Blue" is the absolute "Nugget" here where everything comes together in the grooviest of witches' brew concoctions.  If you want to pad the time, feel free to throw in "Bonny River," "Lovely Day," and "Garden Rug."  They've got a slight touch of cheese but are still very enjoyable in the end.  Great Moondog!  Now we've got a prime 27.5 minute album, which would have been perfectly acceptable for 1969.

Then we've got "Mr. Bumble," "Lighthouse Keeper," "Old Cluck," and "Peppermint Store."  These songs sound much like you'd expect songs with these titles to sound.  It's not a pretty situation.  I've never made it through a few of these, unless I was playing Tetris Battle while listening - that shizzle's timed so you can't just break away.

Man, I tell you there is a classic here.  Just take advantage of the mp3 age and make yourself a groovy playlist.  Sunforest may have been missing a proper editor, but that can now be you.  No, you don't screw around with the track listings of "Sgt. Pepper's" or "Who's Next," but I think it's perfectly legitimate to screw around with the running order of "Sound of Sunflower."


Anonymous said...


Mr. Primate said...

This is one of my favourite albums. Yes, it's all over the shop, but I love Sunforest all the more for that.

It was 'Lighthouse Keeper' that made me pick it up originally as the song is on the Clockwork Orange OST and I couldn't get it out of my head.

Maybe because I was raised on classic Queen and Bonzo's records that I love scatterbrained albums like this, not afraid to throw a few pastiche tunes in there!

Anonymous said...

the mediafire link has a virus attached to it

Anonymous said...

There's no virus there...Anonymous, I think you may have some other issue if you're getting some warning message. Works fine for me.

the saucer people said...

What could be better in the music blog universe, a record that looks fascinating and a Mediafire link.

No waiting, fast download and having had an account for years, no viruses at all, ever, period, like forever.

Many thanks for this, have had a quick listen and I can see this will be on "heavy rotation" as they used to say, somehow the phrase doesn't really translate to the digital realm - "on heavy repeat/loop" doesn't have the same ring to it ;)

Anonymous said...

Hi. The link seems to be offline now. Any chance you could post it one more time? After reading your summary, I'm super curious about this album now!!

Anonymous said...

I could use the link

Anonymous said...

The album is on youtube.
There IS greatness here. Albums back then were often all over the place. I kind of enjoy it for that. Maybe some of these songs would grow on me? Mr Bumble had a goofiness that I immediately fell for. If I ever learn how to separate the tracks, I may put it on my ipod, as one of those 'surprise' songs.
Would I have liked it (or this album) in 69? Maybe.

Anonymous said...

Lovely Day is a incredibly beautiful song. I had a original copy for years, purchased in the early eighties from a mail order list circulated by one Greg Breth. He had advertised in Goldmine, and was I'm sure, responsible for enlightening the musical soul of many a 'ead with Psychedelic, Progressive, Folk , Krautrock, etc...LP Treasures. 'Day follows Love's "Listen to my song " on a well worn mix tape from those days. ...followed by Fairport Convention's. "I just don't know where I stand". .......now where's that box of Kleenex?