Monday, August 15, 2011

Hip Aristocrats: The Mindbenders: "A Groovy Kind of Love"

There are certain songs, their writers will say, that more or less write themselves; get a good melody, a song title, and the rest will flow from there. This song was written in about twenty minutes by Toni Wine and Carol Sager (making this, importantly, the first song here written solely by women), who took liberally from Clementi's Sontatina in G major and the new slang word 'groovy' and went from there. So if there is something stately and Romantic to the music, that's why - and the lyrics follow suit, the world boiling down to two people and their utter togetherness, the joy of being close. The music too circles and enshrines their love, the Mindbenders make it sound rather martial (the drums in particular) but this adds to the old-fashioned origins of the song. It wasn't written for them in particular but was recommended to them - now Wayne Fontana-less - and amidst the frenzy of the bigger groups this was a genteel pause, like a cool clear glass of water on a hot day. Oddly enough this is a rather 'square' song to use the word groovy and thus the BBC and pirates both played it, rare neutral ground in a chart that's at this point still very much pirate-dominated. For now...

The Mindbenders, despite their best efforts, weren't so successful after this as they'd hoped, and went their separate ways in '68; Eric Stewart (who was the impish one in "The Game of Love" and who sings this) and Graham Gouldman even wrote a concept album before anyone else called With Woman in Mind, but it was perhaps too much too soon. I will get to their next group in the fullness of time, but also note that the world of pop was going into its baroque phase at this time, which will become evident soon (indeed some might call this song Baroque, come to think of it).

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