Orange Skies

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"Orange Skies"
Orange Skies (Bryan MacLean song).jpg
US issue
Single by Love
from the album Da Capo
Recorded1966 at RCA Studios
GenrePsychedelic pop[1]
Songwriter(s)Bryan MacLean
Producer(s)Paul A. Rothchild

"Orange Skies" is a song written by Bryan MacLean and originally recorded in 1966 by the band Love for their second album Da Capo (1967). It was first released in December 1966 as the B-side to the band's single "She Comes in Colors". The original recording features band leader Arthur Lee on lead vocals instead of MacLean.

According to Bryan MacLean, "Orange Skies" was the first song he ever wrote. At the time 17 years old and working as a roadie for The Byrds, he based the song on a section from The Byrds' version of "The Bells of Rhymney", attributing that arrangement to Roger McGuinn.[2][3][4] Allmusic critic Matthew Greenwald also detects influences on the song from Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals, and notes a similarity with Stevie Wonder's later song "My Cherie Amour."[3] Greenwald calls it a highlight of Da Capo, describing it as "a soulful, light meditation on falling in love."[3] Writing in The New Rolling Stone Album Guide, Paul Evans called the song "strange and lovely."[5] As described by author Barney Hoskyns, the song uses "Latin rhythms and cool jazz shadings to fashion a kind of spaced-out MOR."[6] Dominic Priore calls it "a beautiful utopian pastiche unmatched in 1960s music."[7]

Two demo versions by MacLean (on acoustic guitar and vocals) were released in 1997 on the album Ifyoubelievein. A piano version by his half-sister Maria McKee was released on her album Live – Acoustic Tour 2006. Other artists that have covered this song on record include The Galaxies, Os Baobás (both from Brazil), and The Flower Power (from Gulfport, Mississippi [8]).


  1. ^ CD Review. 12. WGE Pub. 1995. p. 65.
  2. ^ Perfect Sound Forever: Bryan MacLean - The last interview Retrieved 6 September 2009
  3. ^ a b c Greenwald, M. "Orange Skies". Allmusic. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
  4. ^ Unterberger, R. (2003). Eight Miles High: Folk-Rock's Flight from Haight-Ashbury to Woodstock. Hal Leonard. p. 50. ISBN 9780879307431.
  5. ^ Evans, P. (2004). Brackett, N.; Hoard, C. (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon and Schuster. p. 496. ISBN 9780743201698.
  6. ^ Hoskyns, B. (2009). Waiting for the Sun: A Rock 'n' Roll History of Los Angeles. Hal Leonard. p. 123. ISBN 9780879309435.
  7. ^ Priore, D. (2007). Riot on Sunset Strip. Jawbone Press. p. 89. ISBN 9781906002046.
  8. ^ The Flower Power Discography at Discogs Retrieved on December 19, 2016

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