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Summer Breeze

Seals & Crofts

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Album Review

Summer Breeze offered an unusually ambitious array of music within a soft rock context — most artists tried to avoid weighty subjects in such surroundings (except, of course, CSN or Simon & Garfunkel, who could pretty much get away with anything). The title track is one of those relentlessly appealing 1970s harmony-rock anthems, in the same mode as the Doobie Brothers' "Listen to the Music" and appropriately ubiquitous on the radio and in the memory; the guitar (electric and acoustic) and vocal hooks are all well-nigh irresistible. The rest varies in sound and focus. "Hummingbird" quotes from the Baha'i scriptures and has a segmented structure with a chantlike opening and a sharp change in tempo, which didn't stop it from becoming a hit, and for all of its beauty, the soaring Marty Paich-arranged orchestral accompaniment, highlighted by lofty strings and a gorgeous horn part, never eclipses the core sound of the duo's singing and their acoustic guitar/mandolin combination. "Funny Little Man" mixes understated harmonies and acoustic instruments into an extended break that could almost pass for a classical piece. "Say" asks a lot of serious philosophical questions amid its rapid beat and playful tone. "East of Ginger Trees" is a hauntingly beautiful excursion into more Baha'i scripture, with delectable harmonies, a gorgeous mandolin part, and one of the most exquisitely restrained uses of orchestra of its era. "Fiddle in the Sky" shifts the album into purer country territory, while "The Boy Down the Road" moves listeners into a country-folk vein with a spookily melodramatic tale. "The Euphrates" picks up the tempo, providing an upbeat take on the meaning of life that loses none of its inherent sense of wonder. "Advance Guards" has that same sense of wonder, conveying it in a slower, more luxuriant setting, and the record ends on a rougher-hewn note with the more beat-driven, electric guitar-heavy "Yellow Dirt." Summer Breeze was the most highly regarded of all of Seals & Crofts' albums, a fact reflected by its reissue as part of the all too short-lived Warner Archives series in 1995, which also accounts for its far better than average sound.

Customer Reviews

Hummingbird

While the album review is very comprehensive there is some additional infomration regarding Hummingbird that I am aware of. I had always thought Hummingbird was about the founder of the Baha'i Faith, I found out differently after meeting and asking Dash Crofts about it in 2006. He said that the Hummingbird represents all of the different Manifistations of God (Prophets) and how Mankind rejected them while they were here in this world. There is a depth and beauty to this song that shines even more with the meaning behind it being known.

Summer Breeze

This is still one of my favorite groups, and favorite albums.

I met Jim Seals and Dash Crofts when I was in college in the late 70s. Although I was not the sort of person to normally do this, I sneaked backstage (my friend was mortified but followed) after seeing them in concert at Indiana University.

A big guy, with mutton chop sideburns, saw us and started talking to us. I told him that they were my favorite and that I would love to meet them. Turns out he was their road manager. He grabbed me by the wrist and said "Honey, anybody as perty as you are can do whatever they want," and he dragged me to their dressing room, where they were doing interviews with the press. After the interviews they turned to us to talk. Jim Seals asked me what my favorite song was. I thought about it and then said, "I think maybe Advance Guards." He looked at me very surprised (unknown song on the back of the album maybe?) and then he got a huge smile and said, "Me too!"

But the real highlight is that they were doing a second show and they invited us to watch from the wings of the stage, and autographed back stage passes for us. We sat right there, stage left, watching the whole show. It was amazing.

great sound, great voices

fantastic, Margaret Mary gave me this sound back in the 70's and love this album still, thanks!!

Biography

Formed: 1969 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

One of the most successful soft rock acts of the 1970s, the duo of Jim Seals and Dash Crofts met while playing with singer Dean Beard in 1958. That year, Beard was invited to join the Champs (of "Tequila" fame), and Seals and Crofts tagged along, remaining with the group until 1965. The two then bounced from the Mushrooms to the Dawnbreakers before deciding to strike out on their own as a duo in 1969. Seals played guitar, saxophone, and fiddle, while Crofts handled drums, mandolin, keyboards, and...
Full Bio

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