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Genesis (Deluxe Edition)

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Album Review

Wendy & Bonnie's only album is a nice, if not truly necessary, relic of the late 1960s. It's the sort of unconventional yet accessible project that might have had trouble finding its way into release in any other era, but managed to at least get issued, even if it was largely undiscovered until cult listeners unearthed it decades later. The sisters' harmonies have the sweet-sour major minor blend typical of many San Francisco rock artists of the time, yet with a more homespun, intimate flavor than those of many a heavily produced band. Their songs have the sort of slightly askew lyrics that, again, were prevalent in their time and place, glowing with anticipation of an era of greater love and less social constraints, and also imbued with a certain innocent naïveté. ("The Paisley Window Pane" is a particularly priceless song title.) There are sometimes jazzier accents to their singing and chord progressions than there were in most psychedelic or harmony pop/rock groups; "The Paisley Window Pane" sounds like it might have absorbed lessons from José Feliciano's cover of "Light My Fire." Sundazed's 2001 CD reissue of this album added several bonus tracks, including a garage-psych acetate ("The Night Behind Us") from their earlier rock group Crystal Fountain, and four acoustic home demos of songs that were not on the LP. Sundazed's 2008 two-CD deluxe edition, however, goes even deeper into the vaults, including not only all five bonus cuts from the single-disc version, but a good 19 additional tracks. Those items not found on the previous edition include seven alternates and outtakes from the Genesis LP sessions; a half-dozen more acoustic home demos; three live tracks; a couple more songs from Crystal Fountain acetates; and even a recording of the sisters' father, Art Flowers, conducting the Gratton Middle School Band and Glee Club's not-very-good version of Wendy & Bonnie's "Children Laughing" (from a 1969 Christmas pageant). This wealth of bonus material isn't up to the level of the studio LP, of course, and might strike some less fanatical listeners as excessive. Listeners likely to discover Wendy & Bonnie in the first place, however, are more likely than the average consumer to be fanatical in their devotion. The acoustic demos offer chances to hear their relatively unadorned harmonies; the five studio outtakes displaying some notably different vocal arrangements; and the revised, updated liner notes offer some comments from Wendy & Bonnie on the tracks added especially for this deluxe edition.

Customer Reviews

A masterpiece of West Coast rock, Genesis will leave any sunshine pop lover positively beaming.

One of the most remarkable unheard albums of 1969, Genesis, the sole release by San Francisco-based sisters Wendy and Bonnie Flower, has emerged as an acclaimed pop-psych touchstone. Brimming with melodic confections and laced with radiant, sisterly harmonies, the set’s breezy Brazilian splashes and soft-rock strains convey a sophistication that belies the artists’ tender ages (Wendy, 17; Bonnie, 13).

Produced for reissue by WFMU’s Irwin Chusid (Raymond Scott, Esquivel, the Langley Schools Music Project) with Wendy & Bonnie’s full participation, Sundazed’s deluxe edition of this lost gem, on double CD and high-definition triple vinyl adds a wealth of early singles, newly discovered demos, and dramatically alternate vocal takes to the original release. A masterpiece of West Coast rock, Genesis will leave any sunshine pop lover positively beaming.

A Trip Back

Not the essence of the time, but pretty close to it. I don't remember the song, but it brings back the colors, smells ideas and feelings!


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

The sister duo of Wendy Flower and Bonnie Flower (their real names, not aliases), Wendy & Bonnie recorded one album in the late '60s. Genesis is pleasant, if naïve, harmonized light rock with psychedelic, jazz, and folk influences. It is impressive given their tender ages -- Wendy Flower was just 17, and Bonnie Flower only 13, when it was recorded in late 1968, and the pair wrote all of the material on the LP. The Flowers grew up in a musical family in the San Francisco Bay Area, and prior to recording...
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Genesis (Deluxe Edition), Wendy & Bonnie
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