Do You Believe in Magic [Bonus Tracks]

by: The Lovin' Spoonful

By the time of its release, the Lovin' Spoonful's debut album was already a significant record because of the inclusion of its title track, John Sebastian's timeless anthem to love and music, which had been one of the major hits of the summer of 1965. The album elaborated upon Sebastian's gentle, winning songwriting style with the humorous "Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind?," which was released as a single in the spring of 1966 and became another Spoonful hit, and the wistful "Younger Girl," which became a chart hit for the Critters. The album also revealed the group's jug band roots in its arrangements of traditional songs like "Fishin' Blues" and "Wild About My Lovin'" and revealed that lead guitarist Zal Yanovsky and drummer Joe Butler, while not quite in Sebastian's league, were good singers as well. The Lovin' Spoonful would be remembered as a vehicle for Sebastian's songwriting, but Do You Believe in Magic was a well-rounded collection that demonstrated their effectiveness as a group. [The 2002 reissue includes a demo of "Younger Girl," an instrumental version of "Other Side of This Life," alternate vocal versions of "Blues in the Bottle" and "Wild About My Lovin'," and a cover of "Alley Oop."] ~ William Ruhlmann

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