The Turtles Present the Battle of the Bands

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The Turtles Present the Battle of the Bands
Studio album by The Turtles
Released November 1, 1968
Recorded 1968
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
Turtle Soup
(1969)Turtle Soup1969
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 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, 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"). 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.

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. Title Writer(s) "Band" Length
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


  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.