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It Ain't Me Babe

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Album Review

The Turtles' first album was recorded in a frantic hurry, in response to the hit status achieved by their debut single, "It Ain't Me Babe." At the time, the members were barely out of high school, a situation that might have caused a lot of other young musicians to fold up under the strain of the moment — there was no time to write (and barely time to find) the songs the members might have seemed worthy of so momentous an event (which it would have been) as a debut long-player. But the members were smart and they were also lucky — they reached out to more of Bob Dylan's songbag, and also back to their own high-school past in folk music as the Crosswind Singers. Thus, their debut album led with a chiming electric rendition of Howard Kaylan's 1963-vintage "Wanderin' Kind." That genial opening number led into their overwrought, almost folk-punk reinterpretation of "It Was a Very Good Year," which showed audiences to expect the unexpected from this quartet — and in case anyone missed that point, the almost garage-punk style of "Your Maw Said You Cried" (which trod onto Paul Revere & the Raiders territory) brought it home in high amplification (for the time and the genre). The rest of the record veered across the folk-rock spectrum in smoothly polished form, as the bandmembers successfully shaped an artistic statement out of the flotsam and jetsam of their past, anchored by some prime Dylan material and a surprisingly un-ironic rendition of P.F. Sloan's "Eve of Destruction" (which belatedly became a hit single five years later, as a posthumous release by the record label). Heard with the benefit of hindsight, this album may now seem a very tame and predictable body of music from this band, but it has a geniality and polish that make it an enduring classic of its genre and period, if not exactly representative of the Turtles' range or their very best work.

Customer Reviews

Ah, The Turtles

What a trip! I have loved this band for a long time. Back in the mid 1960's they used to be called The Crossfires. They used to play once in awhile at the Friday night dances at Westchester High School out in Westchester, CA ( West L.A.), my alma mater. I bought the 45 disc of It Ain't Me Babe when it hit the airwaves in LA. Anyway... what a kick to find them in the iTunes Music Store. A great album if you want to get a feel for the music from the days of the 1960's in Southern California. And you can even sing along...


I Love The Turtles Simple and good lyrics, It Is A Very Good Band

and the winner is

how many bob dylan songs can you cover on one album, so far the trophy goes to the turtles with 3 (It aint me babe, love minus zero, like a rolling stone.


Formed: 1963 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Though many remember only their 1967 hit, "Happy Together," the Turtles were one of the more enjoyable American pop groups of the '60s, moving from folk-rock inspired by the Byrds to a sparkling fusion of Zombies-inspired chamber pop and straight-ahead, good-time pop reminiscent of the Lovin' Spoonful, the whole infused with beautiful vocal harmonies courtesy of dual frontmen Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman. Though they hit number one in 1967 with the infectious "Happy Together," the Turtles scored...
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