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It's A Beautiful Day - It's A Beautiful Day CD (album) cover


It's A Beautiful Day



3.87 | 151 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars San Francisco spawned some great bands in the late sixties', and although It's a Beautiful Day rarely gets as much recognition as Jefferson Airplane, Santana, or Blue Cheer, they are not one to forget about when discussing the city's musical landscape. Formed during the 1967 'summer of love', It's a Beautiful Day went on to release this self-titled debut in 1969 and, as it would turn out, this release would be remembered in history as the group's defining statement. Its charming mix of psychedelia, folk, jazz, and mildly progressive songwriting ideas makes for a unique listen, and although It's a Beautiful Day is not without some flaws, it is a strong and adventurous debut that still holds up over forty years after its release.

The tracks that you'll find here are actually quite varied - on one hand, there are light and flowery psychedelic tunes like "White Bird" (one of my favorites) and "Hot Summer Day", but on the other hand there are also songs like the experimental and menacing "Bulgaria" and the jam-oriented "Time Is". Somewhere in the middle you have the hauntingly beautiful "Girl With No Eyes", progressive instrumental "Bombay Calling", and the hard-rocking "Wasted Union Blues". If you listen to this one on vinyl (as I have been over the past few days), you'll probably notice that side two seems to be the more experimental and progressive half of the album. I don't care much for the extended jamming in "Time Is" and actually prefer the first side to the second one, although the quality is objectively high throughout the entire listen. In terms of musicianship, these guys (and gal) were certainly above what many of their psychedelic contemporaries were doing at the time - the vocal harmonies between David LaFlamme and his wife Linda are excellent, and David's virtuous violin playing in particular gives the album a very unique flavor. The ensemble is solid across the board, though, and when one also factors in the crisp production, it's clear that this is a very professional and well-made observation.

It's a Beautiful Day is the sort of album that every psychedelic connoisseur should take a listen to at some point or another; its unique style and charming arrangements are certainly different from anything you would've heard back in 1969, and although I personally don't care for "Time Is" (which takes up nearly one-fourth of the album's playing time), fans of free-form jams should enjoy it more than I do anyway. While some of the melodies feel a bit bland and song structures a tad clumsy, this is still a well-put together album that has aged surprisingly well. I've yet to hear any of the band's subsequent releases, but I'm definitely looking forward to seeing where It's a Beautiful Day went from here!

J-Man | 3/5 |


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