Spanky & our Gang – `67 Debut

hey all :

we are going backwards in time , here is the debut spanky LP , 1967.
now that i have listened to all three lately , i dunno which one i like best , they are all really good !
spanky can really sing her heart out , she really is on in brother can you spare a dime !
only one i could really do without is the leaving on a jet plane one, oh well.
this is a real solid debut !

  • transferred from the original wax @ 320 KBPS by da` shaman
  • includes high rez scans of front / back – 70MB


The group’s debut LP demonstrates what can go wrong, even with a group enjoying a trio of hit singles. Though those hits are here, the album is the least representative of what the group was about and a mixed bag for fans, presenting a trio of widely available hits, six or seven fine tracks currently unavailable elsewhere, and two musical lapses that between them account for nearly one-third of the running time. Spanky & Our Gang started out in Chicago with a sound somewhere midway between the original Jefferson Airplane and the original Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, a folk-rock ensemble with a few jazzy twists and some funny between-song sketches. For their first year at Mercury Records, however, and especially on this LP, producer Jerry Ross used the group as an instrument of his own, turning them into a virtual clone of the Mamas & the Papas on a big portion of this album. Vocally most of the album is outstanding, the harmony singing absolutely radiant on the familiar hits “Sunday Will Never Seem the Same” (which featured an opening vocal vamp devised by Malcolm Hale), “Lazy Day,” and “Making’ Every Minute Count,” and the popular B-sides “Commercial” and “It Ain’t Necessarily Bird Avenue”; “5 Definitions of Love” captured some of the group’s penchant for off-beat humor and some glorious harmony singing that has a strangely archaic feel, like a piece of medieval music (somehow anticipating elements of the sound that Gentle Giant, of all groups, would later create). The latter track, written by Bob Dorough, also pointed the way toward their future: Dorough and his songwriting/producer partner Stuart Scharf would be their producers the next time out. “Brother Can You Spare a Dime” is the most controversial song here, an unfinished track that was stuck onto the album by Jerry Ross in the process of rush-releasing the record and getting it above 30 minutes running time, with nothing but an awkward guide vocal, never intended to be heard by the public, from Elaine “Spanky” McFarlane; along with the four-minute rendition of “Ya Got Trouble” from Meredith Willson’s The Music Man, which might’ve worked well on stage (and was a more immediate satire in 1967, closer to the movie’s release and the run of the original show), it’s the nadir of the record. The successful album tracks include a pair of gems with soaring harmonies, “If You Could Only Be Me,” where they’re singing and playing with a lot of heart despite the presence of a string section; “Leaving on a Jet Plane,” the latter beautifully embellished with a punchy folk-rock sound, closer to the Byrds or the Beau Brummels than to Peter, Paul & Mary’s hit; and the closer, a rocking, bluesy rendition of Jo Mapes’s “Come and Open Your Eyes.” Mapes, a big-voiced folk singer who started out in the early ’50s, is all but forgotten today, but she made network television appearances during the ’50s and cut records for Kapp, and was a major influence on Mary Travers, among others —- AMG


  • 1. Lazy Day
  • 2. It Ain’t Necessarily Bird Avenue
  • 3. Ya Got Trouble (In River City)
  • 4. Sunday Will Never Be The Same
  • 5. Commercial
  • 6. If You Could Only Be Me
  • 7. Making Every Minute Count
  • 8. 5 Definitions Of Love
  • 9. Brother Can You Spare A Dime?
  • 10. Distance
  • 11. Leaving On A Jet Plane
  • 12. Come And Open Your Eyes (Take A Look)

download — here —


~ by akashaman on December 4, 2006.

14 Responses to “Spanky & our Gang – `67 Debut”

  1. Thanks for sharing your excellent music!I got the rest of Spanky & Our Gang, but this one was deleted … Can you repost?William (Costa Rica)

  2. File has been deleted. Any chance of a new upload. Would love to listen to this great music — keep up the GREAT WORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Hi from Cy
    Thanks for these 3 Spankys today. We saw her on one of the Mama and Papa retro tours. With her you know what you’ll get, singing the blues into and out of the sunshine. Oh, also in the show main Papa was Scott McKenzie, out he came looking like a ‘store-horse’ and he raised his arms, his silken white kaftan tent rose towards his shaven head and in a voice redolent of the 60’s he announced to Glasgow, “I am a Love Child!” Spanky and Scott sang like linnets.

  4. Nice series of posts — thanks for the music!

  5. Thank you for all your “Spanky” post!
    Great work!



  7. Hey really thank ya for that! ‘You got a smile like a pocketful of diamonds… yeh yeh yeh’ – that’s what I remember from my old hippie days. Although it’s not that LP, thanx anyway!

    Michael R

  8. Thanks for all these music discoveries!

  9. Very nice stuff! Thanks. Any chance of getting their “Greatest Hits” release?

  10. RE-UPLOADED 08/07enjoy . . . . . aka`

  11. thank you

  12. Finally picked up the Spanky solo lps, have had a collection forever. Nice to rediscover them. Thank you

  13. Thanks, man! I remember the 60’s, when I was happy…

    Antonio de La Maria
    Recife – Brazil

  14. I still have the album, used to sing the `Commercial`when I worked on a dustcart in the summer holidays. Great Daze

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