Album Review: “Elephant Mountain” By The Youngbloods
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A Solid Effort
Before the ’60s wrapped up, it saw brilliant and epic releases left and right. Thus, it’s no wonder why a plethora of LPs which were just as stellar as the more popular ones, were overlooked and largely ignored. Unfortunately for The Youngbloods, their third studio effort “Elephant Mountain” is one of the underrated records of 1969. Then again, the band never actually broke into mainstream. And so even though “Elephant Mountain” only peaked at #118 on the US Billboard 200, it was their highest charting album.
What started as a quartet became a trio on this LP. They started working on it following the departure of co-founder Jerry Corbitt. With the need for new material, Jesse Colin Young rose up to the challenge and penned 7 out of the 13 songs on “Elephant Mountain.” The Youngbloods were still a tight unit and this LP helped showcase their musicianship especially with the variety of tunes – from acoustic ballads to country to hard rock and even bluesy numbers.
It offers an enjoyable listening experience from start to finish. Sure, it’s not without fillers but even those are fun to listen to as well. At a time when most rock acts gravitated towards dark, political, and ominous themes, “Elephant Mountain” was a breath of fresh air.
The opener “Darkness, Darkness” is the clear highlight of the LP but that’s not to say the rest of the tracks aren’t just as good. Other standouts include “On Sir Francis Drake”, “Trillium”, “Sham”, and “Ride the Wind.”
“Elephant Mountain” is both consistent and solid. It may have a few weak moments but overall, it’s The Youngbloods’ greatest record.