THE ASSOCIATION/AND THEN...ALONG COMES THE ASSOCIATION HA-T 8365 (-66) UK MONO
I first discovered the band in my later years and then their second and third albums - "Renaissance" and "Insight Out" (see earlier posts) - because of the positive blend of melodic sunshine pop and light psych topped with sweet vocal harmonies. This debute also has its fair share of those ingredients, but as coming out of a slightly earlier zeitgeist more right on pop music. There's clearly some British invasion influence, already shown on a rear cover pic of them standing by something that looks like a London cab, one holding a brolly. Still most of all it's good contemporary American pop, smooth and appealing with catchy melodies in the same vein as The Mamas & The Papas or Beach Boys. Not mimicking in any way, just in the same bag doing their thing. As my first encounter with them was the 1967 hit "Windy" I can't associate any teen delight or special memories to this particular LP and therefore my liking for now is more academic than emotional. But I hear it's worth lots more attention and will try for a deeper connection henceforth. Premiere US/Canadian on Valiant (VLM 5002/VLS 25002). 1999 Japan CD on WEA (WPCR 10074) came with five bonus tracks. First UK had ridged label as shown here and thin laminated cover.