Friday, January 30, 2009

Banana Splits - We're The Banana Splits - 1968

Remember the Banana Splits? I think if you have the cable Channel Boomerang you might be able to still catch episodes. We had Boomerang a few years ago and so my kids were exposed to the fun that was the Banana Splits.

A little piece of trivia for people is that Richard Donner (Superman, Goonies, Lethal Weapon) directed the running live action serial named Danger Island that ran on The Banana Splits. That thing always kind of weirded me out.

When I found this record the only song I knew off the top of my head was the Tra La La song, which was in the opening credits. I don't know if any of these other tracks were on the show or if they were done just for this record. I kind of don't really care, because I'm just so thrilled by the actual quality of the songs, so nostalgia doesn't play much into my appreciation of the record. The songs sound like there were done by a couple different bands or performers. About half the songs are bubble gum pop ala the Archies. But then the other half of the songs are 60's psychedelic and soul goodness. "I'm Gonna Find A Cave" really cooks. This may be a bold statement, but it reminds me of a little Sly and The Family Stone. "Doin' The Banana Split" also is pretty great. I don't know who the lead vocals is on these tracks, but this guy is simply great.

The funny thing is that coming off real jams like tracks 2 and 3 you get this silly "Toy Piano Melody" song, which just sounds like it belongs on a kid's show. It so doesn't jive with the other songs.

The on "Soul" we're back to the great soulful tracks. This song stands on it's own. I would never think of connecting this song with a kid's cartoon show. This may be the best song on the record.

"The Tra La La Song" probably comes in 2nd as far as best songs, but mostly becase of the huge nostalgia factor.

The last of the really good R&B/Soul numbers is track 9 "You're The Lovin' End". Great vocals, and a great band behind it all.

I've been focusing on the songs that have the Soul bent to them, but like I said there are song with totally different vibes. The other one I suggest checking out is track 11 "Two Ton Tessie" which reminds me of something Ray Davies and The Kinks might have been recording at this same time. Give it a listen and let me know what you think.

These handful of songs are really great treasures that I never expected to find on this record and I think you might feel the same way.


01 We're The Banana Splits.m4a
02 I'm Gonna FInd A Cave.m4a
03 This Spot.m4a
04 Doin' The Banana Split.m4a
05 Toy Piano Melody.m4a
06 Soul.m4a
07 The Tra La LA Song (One Banana, Two Banana).m4a
08 Wait Til Tomorrow.m4a
09 You're The Lovin' End.m4a
10 In New Orleans.m4a
11 Two-Ton Tessie.m4a
12 Don't Go Away - Go-Go Girl.m4a

Here's the whole thing Banana Splits - We're The Banana


Matracas said...

I still own this LP which was given to me as a gift way back when. And I'm proud to still have this collector's item after all these years.

I also still have (in pretty good shape) the "More of the Monkees" LP.

Do you have and Monkees records lying around?

Spencer said...

Yeah, I have that record too. I also have "Headquarters" and "The Monkees".