Van Dyke Parks Song Cycle

Song Cycle
32 ratings
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CD Details

  • Released:
  • Label: Warner Bros / Ada

Entertainment Reviews:

Uncut - p.110
"Pursuing its own sense of pace and geography, SONG CYCLE is a musical travelogue billowing amid a Joycean stream-of-consciousness..."
The Wire - 3/99, pp.62-63
"...SONG CYCLE the foaming wake of PET SOUNDS and SGT. PEPPER. Strange times and a very strange album, highly rated by many cognoscenti....A dense and glorious jungle of color, the arrangements on its short songs push the studio to its limits..."
Highly Recommended


  • 1.Vine Street
  • 2.Palm Desert
  • 3.Widow's Walk
  • 4.Laurel Canyon Blvd.
  • 5.The All Golden
  • 6.Van Dyke Parks
  • 7.Public Domain
  • 8.Donovan's Colours
  • 9.The Attic
  • 10.Laurel Canyon Blvd.
  • 11.By the People
  • 12.Pot Pourri

Product Description:

Personnel includes: Van Dyke Parks (vocals); Ron Elliott (guitar); Nicolai Bolin, Vasil Crienica (balalaika); Misha Goodatieff (violin); Virginia Majewski (viola); Trefoni Rizz, Orville "Red" Rhodes (strings); Gayle Levant (harp); James Horn, Ted Nash (woodwinds); Carl Fortina (accordion); Richard Hyde, Thomas Shepard (brass); George Washington Brown (piano); James Gordon, Hal Blaine (percussion); Jack Glaser, El Supremo (sound effects); Gaile Parks, Durrie Parks (background vocals); Randy Newman, Tommy Tedesco, Ron Elliot, Tom Scott, Steve Young.
When this album was released in 1968 it stood apart from everything else--and still does today. This is not because SONG CYCLE was ahead of its time--rather, it belongs to another time and place, a parallel world that draws breath irrespective of calendar, clock, or map. Van Dyke Park's debut carries an apt and simple title. These dozen selections are of a piece, both because of their arrangement and their composition. Parks was already considered a talent to be reckoned with following his collaborative work with Brian Wilson, penning lyrics for The Beach Boys--evocative nuggets of seductive inscrutability. Here again the sounds and the lyrics dart in and around each other like poetic dancers. A song such as "The All Golden" has no clear antecedents. It's musical theater filtered through a hallucinogenic kaleidoscope. The whole work is rich with a sense of place. It feels quintessentially American, but of the sort that celebrates the strong individual voice. This is an album of singular vision and rare beauty.

Music Lovers' Ratings & Reviews:

Customer Rating:
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An Amazing Musical Acheivement That Will Blow You Away! Music Lover: from San Francisco, CA US -- December, 14, 2008

Living in the Haight Ashbury district of San Francisco from 1964-1969, and playing in an early psychedlic rock band and composing / recording my own music, when I discovered this album, it instantly became of one of my absolute personal favorites while either straight or stoned. Even though Van Dyke Parks didn't have the greatest voice, the arrangements, the compositions, use of instruments and musical styles really opened The Doors for me to the possibilities of contemporary musical creation. A lot of it swings pretty well too, though in its own bizarre little way. I don't know what effect it had on others world wide -- I got my copy from a remainder bin for $3.00 at a discount store on Market Street after it had come out. Listening to it now, it still sounds fresh and contemporary. A unique album that will blow you away, if you open yourself up to it and go with it.

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Product Info

  • Sales Rank: 98,640
  • UPC: 075992585620
  • Shipping Weight: 0.21/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

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