The Turtles Present the Battle of the Bands
|The Turtles Present the Battle of the Bands|
|Studio album by The Turtles|
|Released||November 1, 1968|
|The Turtles chronology|
The Turtles Present the Battle of the Bands is the fourth studio album released by the American rock band the Turtles. Produced by Chip Douglas (who returned to work with the Turtles after a brief stint shepherding The Monkees' transition into a live band), it was released in November 1968 by White Whale Records. It includes John Barbata's final recorded performances with the band; he left shortly after its release to join Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Barbata's eventual replacement, former Spanky and Our Gang drummer John Seiter, also contributed to the album. Some issues of the album were retitled Elenore.
This was a concept album, with the band pretending to be a series of different groups, playing in varying styles from psychedelic ("The Last Thing I Remember") to hard rock ("Buzzsaw") to surf music ("Surfer Dan") to bluegrass ("Chicken Little Was Right"), competing in a mock Battle of the Bands. The outer cover showed the Turtles in evening dress, playing hosts of the "show", while the inside gatefold showed them in different costumes for each song. The entire album was filled with puns and hidden jokes. (According to liner notes on various Turtles CDs, White Whale Records was in reality, a one-artist label and they were consistently pressuring The Turtles to come up with another "Happy Together," which resulted in "Elenore," a humorous reworking of the classic "happy pop" single.)
"Kamanawanalea" was a made-up Hawaiian idol ("the god of lust and perversion"), and a rude pun. The lyrics of "Food" included a recipe for brownies, with a special ingredient. "Surfer Dan" was billed as being by The Cross Fires; this was an in-joke, as the Turtles had previously been a surf-music band known as The Crossfires before it had signed with White Whale Records. "You Showed Me" was written by Roger McGuinn and Gene Clark of The Byrds, and became the last major Turtles hit. The final song, "Earth Anthem," was notably recorded at 3:00 A.M. by candlelight, to capture the exact mood the Turtles wanted.
"I'm Chief Kamanawanalea" has been sampled in many tracks, such as Say No Go by De La Soul, and Jimmy James by the Beastie Boys. It was also used in an episode of the TV show "Life on Mars" (US version) in a discotheque scene.
Charts and awards
The album peaked at #128 on the Billboard Pop Albums chart, but its singles were more successful. "Elenore" and "You Showed Me" both reached #6 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart, while "Sound Asleep" topped out at #57.
All tracks written by The Turtles, except as noted.
|1.||"The Battle of the Bands"||Harry Nilsson, Chip Douglas||The U.S. Teens featuring Raoul||2:14|
|2.||"The Last Thing I Remember"||The Atomic Enchilada||2:55|
|3.||"Elenore"||Howie, Mark, Johny, Jim & Al||2:31|
|4.||"Too Much Heartsick Feeling"||Quad City Ramblers||2:43|
|5.||"Oh, Daddy!"||The L.A. Bust '66||2:45|
|6.||"Buzzsaw"||The Fabulous Dawgs||1:59|
|7.||"Surfer Dan"||The Cross Fires||2:42|
|8.||"I'm Chief Kamanawanalea (We're the Royal Macadamia Nuts)"||Chief Kamanawanalea and his Royal Macadamia Nuts||1:34|
|9.||"You Showed Me"||James McGuinn, Gene Clark||Nature's Children||3:16|
|10.||"Food"||The Bigg Brothers||2:40|
|11.||"Chicken Little Was Right"||Fats Mallard and the Bluegrass Fireball||2:47|
|12.||"Earth Anthem"||Bill Martin||All||3:54|
|Sundazed Records CD re-issue bonus tracks|
|14.||"The Story of Rock and Roll"||Harry Nilsson||2:38|
|Repertoire Records CD re-issue bonus tracks|
|14.||"She's My Girl"||2:35|
|16.||"Umbassa And The Dragon"||3:00|
|17.||"The Story of Rock and Roll"||Harry Nilsson||2:39|
|18.||"Can You Hear The Cows"||2:16|
|19.||"Elenore" (mono single mix)||2:33|
|20.||"You Showed Me" (mono single mix)||3:13|
|Manifesto Records (Flo and Eddie, Inc., 2016) CD re-issue bonus tracks|
|13.||"She's My Girl"|
|14.||"Chicken Little Was Right" (stereo single version)|
|16.||"Umbassa The Dragon"|
|17.||"The Story of Rock and Roll"||Harry Nilsson|
|18.||"Can't You Hear the Cows"|
|19.||"The Last Thing I Remember (The First Thing I Knew)"|
|21.||"To See the Sun"|
|22.||"Earth Anthem" (previously unreleased alternate version)|
|23.||"Battle of the Bands Radio Spot"|
- Ofjord. "The Turtles Present the Battle of the Bands > Review" at AllMusic. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
- Miller, Jim (January 4, 1969). "The Battle of the Bands". Rolling Stone. San Francisco: Straight Arrow Publishers, Inc.