Various Artists – Sad About The Times (Anthology Recordings)

ARC064_Various-Artists_Sad-About-The-Times_WEB-STANDARDListening to Anthology Recordings’ collection of obscure 70s FM wannabe superstars Sad About The Times is a bit like tuning into a classic rock station beamed in from an alternate universe. Instead of Uncle Lou taking us for a “Walk On The Wild Side,” Randy and The Goats introduce us to the “N.Y. Survivor” or instead of the harmonies of CSNY, imagine Kevin Vicalvi’s “Lover Now Alone,” in steady rotation for the last 40 years. These are just two examples of the aural delights, and cognitive dissonance that await the listener on this double LP.

As implied by the compilations’ title there definitely is a sense of melancholy that hangs over much of the music collected here. Most likely the result of a hangover from the idealism from the 1960’s that came crashing down or maybe it was just too much wood paneling. It’s hard to say for sure.  Most of what’s collected here runs that gamut from power pop to gorgeous loner folk, though there are some psychedelic rock elements that linger on tracks such as on Oliver Klaus’ “Here Comes The Sun,” and Space Opera’s “Holy River.” It’s hard to deny the acoustic beauty of Sky’s “Sing For Me,” which channels the same sort of shimmering downer acoustic vibe that dominated side 2 of Big Star’s #1 Record or Antonia Lamb’s tale of an outlaw on “Wolf.”  Hoover’s “Absolute Zero,” with its minor key bleakness gives Neil Young’s ditch trilogy a run for its money.

Unfortunately, at the time there was only so much room on radio programmers’ playlists, and only so many slots at the top.  The music presented on here sank mostly without a trace, and doomed the artists to obscurity.  Now in our modern age, we’ve got plenty more ways to hear.  So it seems fate has given these songs a second chance at being heard, which they certainly do.  A lost history awaits the listener.  What a bunch of beautiful losers.

Buy the album via Anthology Recordings.

3 thoughts on “Various Artists – Sad About The Times (Anthology Recordings)

  1. Hi. This is Judith Beeman from back of a car magazine. I’m on the big star fan club page on Facebook I know you posted there recently can’t remember exactly what it was but it was a good read and I subscribe to the 13th track. LOL thanks for the tip about this new album it looks awesome. It doesn’t seem to be on Spotify but the label has a playlist which probably has a lot of the songs I’ll have to compare for the playlist have something like thirty number so win win? I really love this kind of anthology. By the way on the playlist they have on Spotify it’s a different song by sky! Bummer. Also, have you seen the TV show what we do in the shadows, based on the movie of the same name. The first season just ended and it’s just brilliantly funny. The theme song is titled I believe stay dead by Norma Tanega it rules! I know it’s on YouTube. Apparently she would now be in her early 80s I hope she’s doing well and has a chance to relish in this newfound success.

      1. Hi, thanks for that link interesting though it only has about four songs I wonder if it was some sort of promo thing? Have you seen on Spotify this playlist that has a bunch more songs? I posted about this album with your review on that Big Star Facebook page. Hey, do you know anything more about Sky? That was a heck of a song!? I’d love to know if they had a full album.

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