So, um... Who is "The Galaxy Generation"? Well, in at least four instances, it's Maurice Montez and his groovy organ. Specifically, four tracks from this LP:
The rest are by ?. The opening track, which is quite cool, features a small orchestra, whereas Good Morning Starshine and Hair feature a combo with an organ. Those two might have made good canned music for a hippie-hangout scene in Mannix or Mission: Impossible.
The Sign of the Zodiac, Sun Quadrant, and Gemini feature an accordion and are obviously repurposed--and, needless to say, would not have made the hippie-hangout-music cut (because accordion). Even Paramount Television wasn't that out of touch. ("Wait a minute--do college kids dig accordion sounds? No, let's go with the organ.")
As tossed-together hit-exploitation Pickwick albums go, this is a very pleasant, if not all that exciting, product. That is, no one got ripped off if he or she paid a buck. $1.99? Then we're getting into ethical territory.
I wish that the Aquarius musicians had stuck around long enough to give us the other two actual Hair titles--Good Morning Starshine and Hair--but I guess their contract called for one title only. Too bad, because Aquarius has such a wonderful period vibe, complete with genuinely decent stereo and musicians who sound like they rehearsed. It's good enough to have merited a legit release on, say, Columbia Special Products.
As for Maurice Montez's "groovy" organ, maybe it sounded groovy upon release in 1966 (when the bar was lower), but come 2023 it sounds more like, um, hip lounge jazz. Swinging numbers to dine by, but hardly trippy or hippy. But at least they make good listening.
And I love the cover photo, even if it says "Cheap" in loud font. And it's not all that bad--it's rather artistically done. Some genuine thought went into it. And it certainly conveys the musical's title, Hair, though the LP's main title is actually Aquarius, despite "HAIR" in huge font on the cover. You want consistency, then stay away from Pickwick.
Frankly, I'm impressed that an entire three tracks are from the show, leaving only seven dishonestly marketed numbers. By budget standards, that's "as advertised." And, you ask, how many clicks did I manually remove on MAGIX, even after a pass through VinylStudio's awesome Declicker? Gosh, at least thirty. But something pleases me about putting extra work into a junk artifact. It demonstrates my devotion to vernacular-culture ephemera. Yeah, that has to be it.
DOWNLOAD: Aquarius--Good Morning Starshine--Hair, Featuring the Galaxy Generation (Design SDLP-302; 1970)
Good Morning Starshine
The Sing of the Zodiac
Star Fall--Maurice Montez
No Love But Your Love--Maurice Montez
Lover's Dream--Maurice Montez
We Found Our Paradise--Maurice Montez