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The Rose Garden

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Album Review

The Rose Garden's only album is a fair but unmemorable pop-folk-rock record, able in its emulation of the Byrds' 12-string guitar sound with some competent stirring male-female vocal blends. Indeed this contains some of the most blatant mimicry of Roger McGuinn's style that you'll find, without nearly as much of McGuinn's imagination. Far more pop-oriented than the Byrds, the record was also handicapped by the absence of original material; the sole song bearing writing credits of group members, "Flower Town" (on which Kim Fowley also somehow manages to squeeze into the credit line), is in fact an adaptation of the traditional folk song "Portland Town." Big Byrds collectors, though, might want to keep an eye out for this not-too-easy-to-find LP as it contains two Gene Clark songs that never appeared anywhere else, "Till Today" and "Long Time." Neither of these songs are wonderful, but they're okay and better than the rest of the album (save the hit "Next Plane to London"), with "Till Today" bearing a countryish feel not unlike some of the songs on Clark's debut album. In other curious footnotes, three of the tunes were co-written by Pat Vegas, later to rise to fame as part of Redbone, while "Look What You've Done" was co-written by Bob Johnston, who at that time was producing superstars Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash.


Formed: Parkersburg, WV

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '60s

The Rose Garden's "Next Plane to London" was one of the more well-remembered one-shot hits of the flower power era, reaching number 17 at the end of 1967. Like many of the records coming out of Southern California during the era, it bore the heavy influence of Los Angeles folk-rockers the Mamas & the Papas and the Byrds, though it had a more of a sunshine pop feel than the Byrds did. Like the Mamas & the Papas, the group featured male-female harmonies, with the group's sole female member, Diana de...
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The Rose Garden, The Rose Garden
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