It's a Beautiful Day (album)

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It's a Beautiful Day
Studio album by It's a Beautiful Day
Released June 1969
Recorded 1968-1969
Genre Psychedelic rock
Length 40:42
Label Columbia
San Francisco Sound Records
Producer Matthew Katz
It's a Beautiful Day chronology
It's a Beautiful Day
Marrying Maiden
Singles from It's a Beautiful Day
  1. "Bulgaria"
    Released: 1968
  2. "White Bird"
    Released: July 1, 1969
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone(negative) [2]

It's a Beautiful Day is the self-titled debut album by San Francisco Records psychedelic band It's a Beautiful Day. This album's song "White Bird" was the band's biggest hit. The album rose to number 47 on Billboard's Top LPs American albums chart.[3]

The cover[edit]

The cover, designed by George Hunter and painted by Kent Hollister, was based on the 1912 painting Woman on the Top of a Mountain by Charles Courtney Curran. The design used an old version of the Columbia Records logo that George Hunter felt fitted better with the feel of the rest of the cover.[4][5] The album cover is number 24 on Rolling Stone's list of 100 greatest album covers. The Girl can also be seen in the background on the cover of Happy Trails by Quicksilver Messenger Service.

A 1972 reissue of the album in the Netherlands on CBS used a modern painting of a beach scene as the front and back cover because the original cover art of the first two It's A Beautiful Day albums became the sole property of San Francisco Records. IABD was formed by Matthew Katz and the group had a record contract with San Francisco Sound Records. Katz settled with CBS where in it was agreed that "In No Event Will CBS Duplicate The Cover Art or Duplicate The Same songs as included in those two albums." The same is true of the first two Moby Grape albums which are all part or the same court settlement. The only legal source for those IABD and Moby Grape albums are from San Francisco Sound.[citation needed]

Album content[edit]

The group's signature song "White Bird" was inspired by the experiences David and Linda LaFlamme had while living in Seattle, Washington. For a few weeks in December 1967 the group members lived in the attic of an old house while playing and rehearsing at a Seattle venue originally known as The Encore Ballroom. The band's manager, Matthew Katz, had recently assumed control over the club and renamed it "San Francisco Sound". In an ironic twist on the band's name, the song was partly inspired by Seattle's rainy winter weather. In a later interview David LaFlamme said:

Where the 'white bird' thing came from ... We were like caged birds in that attic. We had no money, no transportation, the weather was miserable. We were just barely getting by on a very small food allowance provided to us. It was quite an experience, but it was very creative in a way.[6]

A substantial part of the theme and arrangement of the song "Bombay Calling" was used by Deep Purple as the basis for their song "Child in Time".[7]

Critical reception[edit]

Lindsay Planer at AllMusic, gave the album four stars out of five, stating:

It's a Beautiful Day were no less memorable for their unique progressive rock style that contrasted well with the Bay Area psychedelic scene...It's a Beautiful Day remains as a timepiece and evidence of how sophisticated rock & roll had become in the fertile environs of the San Francisco music scene.[1]

In popular culture[edit]

The song "White Bird" is used in three episodes of the 1980s television series Knight Rider. It is the theme song for the relationship between main character Michael Knight and his one true love, and appears in the episodes "White Bird" in season 1, "Let It Be Me" in season 2 and "The Scent of Roses" in season 4. The song was also featured in the 2015 movie Focus with Will Smith.

Track listing[edit]

Side one
1."White Bird"David LaFlamme, Linda LaFlamme6:06
2."Hot Summer Day"David and Linda LaFlamme5:46
3."Wasted Union Blues"David LaFlamme4:00
4."Girl with No Eyes"David and Linda LaFlamme3:49
Side two
5."Bombay Calling"Vince Wallace and David LaFlamme4:25
6."Bulgaria"David LaFlamme6:10
7."Time Is"David LaFlamme9:42


It's A Beautiful Day[edit]

Additional musician[edit]

  • Bruce Steinberg – harmonica (track 2)


Chart performance[edit]


Chart Year Peak
U.S. Billboard 200 1969 47[8] 70
UK Official Charts 1970 58[9] 1
RPM Charts (Canada) 1969 71[10] 1


  1. ^ a b Allmusic review
  2. ^ Bangs, Lester (26 July 1969). "Records". Rolling Stone. San Francisco: Straight Arrow Publishers, Inc. (38): 37.
  3. ^ "Artist Search for "its a beautiful day"". AllMusic. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  4. ^ Thorgerson, Storm; Powell, Aubrey (1999). 100 Best Album Covers. Dorling Kindersley. p. 84. ISBN 0-7513-0706-8.
  5. ^ "Fitness at Home". Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  6. ^ "It's A Beautiful Day". Retrieved 2009-09-07.
  7. ^ Deep Purple Appreciation Society. "Deep Purple. Ian Gillan interview, Mumbai 2002". Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  8. ^ "Billboard 200 - It's a Beautiful Day". Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  9. ^ "UK Official Charts - It's a Beautiful Day". Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  10. ^ "RPM Charts - It's a Beautiful Day". Retrieved January 1, 2018.

External links[edit]