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The Lost Sessions

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Album Review

The s in "Sessions" is important here. Contrary to certain claims, the Lost Sessions CD does not represent that Holy Grail of '60s aficionados and collectors: the elusive "lost album." What it is, though, should be plenty good enough for most fans of the era's music. The compilation pulls together recordings made during several trips to the recording studio by Eternity's Children between 1966 and 1972, and if the sum of the album doesn't necessarily trump its individual parts, The Lost Sessions is nevertheless a fascinating hodgepodge encompassing a couple different lineups of the group and at least twice as many interesting shifts in musical style. Roughly the first half of the album was recorded by the first, six-piece incarnation of the band, led by singer and keyboardist Bruce Blackman. It includes a few decent Blackman originals (the best being the surly, bad-mojo "Can't Put a Thing Over Me"), the hit single-quality, sunshine pop version of the '60s chestnut "A Taste of Honey," and several Summer of Love songs — including the captivating David Gates-penned ballad "Wait and See" — produced by the Music Machine member and Curt Boettcher associate Keith Olsen (who would also be responsible for the production of the group's minor 1968 pop-psych hit "Mrs. Bluebird"). Following the commercial failure of band's first LP, however, Blackman and two other members left. After picking up keyboardist Mike McClain, Eternity's Children continued as a quartet under the direction of longtime Boettcher pal, recording engineer Gary Paxton. In addition to a second album (Timeless) and a couple singles, this version of the group, now fronted almost exclusively by Linda Lawley, recorded extensively over the next three years, and its music represented the emerging polyglot milieu of the era: the cosmopolitan, elegant sophisti-pop of songwriter Jimmy Webb's "Girl's Song" and Lawley-McClain's own "Living Easy," a soaring approximation of the 5th Dimension's sleek pop-soul; a surprisingly proficient cover of Sly & the Family Stone's "Somebody's Watching You" that genuinely challenges the original; the go-go, blue-eyed gospel of Ike Clanton's "Down the Aisle"; the country-soul of Ronnie Self's "Railroad Trestle in California"; and a funky, testifying version of Laura Nyro's "Woman's Blues." As an album, The Lost Sessions is all over the place, but as a collection, Gear Fab has done '60s fans a historical service.


Genre: Pop

Years Active: '60s

Sunshine pop cult favorites Eternity's Children were formed in Cleveland, MS, in 1965 by singer/keyboardist Bruce Blackman and drummer Roy Whittaker, fellow students at Delta College. With the addition of lead guitarist Johnny Walker, rhythm guitarist Jerry Bounds, and bassist Charlie Ross, the group (originally dubbed the Phantoms) began developing the complex, overlapping vocal harmonies that remained the hallmark of their sound throughout their career. According to Dawn Eden's comprehensive liner...
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The Lost Sessions, Eternity's Children
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