I bought this on vinyl back in 1968 and thought then it was one of their best albums. Now out on cd, it's great to have it again. Although most of the tracks are available on compilation sets elsewhere, this is the original album, in mono yet! All tunes are great, particularly the upbeat Time For Livin' and Come On In, and one of my favourites, the wistful Rose petals, Incense and A Kitten, and the uplifting Everything That Touches You. A must have for any fan of the Association, and if you're not, but maybe like the Beach Boys, say, then give this one a try.
This is simply superb 60's harmony pop by one of the all time great vocal groups. I was lucky to see the Association live at the Tottenham Royal in the spring of 1968,they opened with the opening track on this album "Come On In" which knocks you through the wall with the stunning harmonies and driving bass line,after which you just take your choice on the selection of wonderful songs,all performed with their trademark vocals de luxe.Each member of the band takes a lead vocal without a weak moment to be found.For me personally,the haunting "Time It Is Today",Barefoot Gentleman" and the absolutely exquisite closing number "Birthday Morning" are the stand out tracks,throw in the two singles "Time for Living" and the fabulous "Everything That Touches You" and you have a collection that stands not only the test of time(43 years at time of writing),but also it's place as one of the best albums of it's genre and generation.
This mono CD has exactly the same tracks of the stereo CDs already in the market. So why should you buy it?
This album, according to a pool made in the web by the Association Admiration Agregation fan club, the voters elected this album as the best from the Association.The reasons are:
First because of the 16 pages full colour booklet, full of interesting stories, such as they missed to release MacArthur Park (Richard Harris), Joy to the Word (Three Dog Night), He Ain't Heavy (He's my Brother) (The Hollies), Get Together (The Youngbloods) which later they recorded live. And they almost lost Windy.
The second is for those who like to listen the stereo version in the headphones. Bones Howe, who is the producer used a "innovator" stereo mixing where voices are on right channel, guitars on left and so on causing an annoying effect to listen to it unless your player has an option of L+R button. In mono you will listen in both channels.
It is not a must but the booklet worth the investiment for the die hard fans.
I bought several Association albums at the same time, I only really knew Insight Out but Birthday has become the album I play the most, I make an effort to find excuses to play this album because I love every song on it.
Having owned the original on vinyl since its original release, I was always very disapponted by the weird stereo mix - unlike anything that I had previously heard. This issue puts the emphasis back on to the songs and proves what a grossly underrated album this was, in it's day.
I bought this cd for my husband for his birthday and he was extremely pleased with it. It came promptly and in great condition. I have listened to it as well and would recommend it to anyone interested in this type of music'