The Turtles Present the Battle of the Bands

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The Turtles Present the Battle of the Bands
Turtlesbattlebands.jpg
Studio album by The Turtles
Released November 1, 1968
Recorded 1968
Genre Progressive pop
Length 37:07
Label White Whale
Producer Chip Douglas
The Turtles chronology
Golden Hits
(1967)Golden Hits1967
The Turtles Present the Battle of the Bands
(1968)
Turtle Soup
(1969)Turtle Soup1969
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic4/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone(negative)[2]

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[edit]

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.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by The Turtles, except as noted.

No.TitleWriter(s)"Band"Length
1."The Battle of the Bands"Harry Nilsson, Chip DouglasThe U.S. Teens featuring Raoul2:14
2."The Last Thing I Remember" The Atomic Enchilada2:55
3."Elenore" Howie, Mark, Johny, Jim & Al2:31
4."Too Much Heartsick Feeling" Quad City Ramblers2:43
5."Oh, Daddy!" The L.A. Bust '662:45
6."Buzzsaw" The Fabulous Dawgs1:59
7."Surfer Dan" The Cross Fires2:42
8."I'm Chief Kamanawanalea (We're the Royal Macadamia Nuts)" Chief Kamanawanalea and his Royal Macadamia Nuts1:34
9."You Showed Me"James McGuinn, Gene ClarkNature's Children3:16
10."Food" The Bigg Brothers2:40
11."Chicken Little Was Right" Fats Mallard and the Bluegrass Fireball2:47
12."Earth Anthem"Bill MartinAll3:54


References[edit]

  1. ^ Ofjord. "The Turtles Present the Battle of the Bands > Review" at AllMusic. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
  2. ^ Miller, Jim (January 4, 1969). "The Battle of the Bands". Rolling Stone. San Francisco: Straight Arrow Publishers, Inc.