Flower Power: The Music of the Love Generation
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Audio CD, Box set, February 15, 2011
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Time Life presents 'Flower Power: Music Of The Love Generation.' Our 10-CD, 175-track set is full
of the artists and songs who defined the Baby Boomer generation - it's a box full of memories that will bring
listeners back in time to an unforgettable era.
This late--60s and early-'70s pop culture phenomena had many facets, from free love and psychedelia to
anti-war and hippies. This vivid youth movement was reflected in the music… the world listened and has
never been the same again.
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I actually kept looking for a good deal here on Amazon and found one for a price to good to pass. Overall the sound is pretty good considering when this music was done in the analog days. There are some songs that the volume is a bit lower than most but it's only a few. You really don't hear many of these great songs anymore and you would be hard pressed to find so many in one collection like this.
1) The "Hippy" issue. No one from the period would consider the music here the exclusive domain of "hippies", however one might define them. Now, the set is called "Flower Power", and Time-Life's TV advertising does push the counterculture picture, but pretty much everyone under the age of 25 or 30 was listening to these songs. Note that the songs range all over the board in musical style.
2) The "Song Selection" Issue. Let's give Time-Life some credit. They had to pick and choose, and they picked the most popular songs that were being played on the RADIO. This means that some music that we've grown to love, in retrospect, but that wasn't immediately hugely popular in the late sixties or early seventies, isn't in the set. You might think all seven Moody Blues albums were great, but only a handful of the songs were radio hits which entered general consciousness. Also, there are licensing issues; EMD, for example, is extremely tight-fisted about licensing Beatles songs.
3) The "Original Version" issue. As best I can tell, these songs are ALL the original versions by the original artists--with a couple of understandable exceptions. (Amazon doesn't help matters here by screwing up again: in the listening sampler, Tommy James is listed as the artist for all the songs, and the SONGWRITERS are listed by the titles). The exceptions strike me as justifiable: for example, Joan Baez's cover of "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" was actually a bigger chart hit than the Band's original version, and Aretha's "Bridge Over Troubled Water", while perhaps not preferable to the Simon & Garfunkel original, WAS a big chart hit the following year. (By the way, I find the accusation that there's lots of "filler" here absurd; no one's going to like everything here, but this IS the stuff that was dominant then.)
4) The "Remastering" issue. A very mixed bag. Apparently many of these songs are not remastered, but some are---or more likely, were licensed from companies that had already remastered them. This situation may be causing the up-and-down volume effect noticed by some reviewers here. Perhaps it would have been nice if Time Life had remastered them all, but the present situation doesn't trouble me deeply. Of the unremastered ones: I'm hearing them just as I heard them for the first time off the radio in the 60s and 70s.
5) The "Clasp" issue. Only critique I agree with 100%. Time Life should have put some little closure snap or clasp on the box---which is otherwise pretty cool.
In sum: If you're looking for "hippy" music, you want to think two or three or four times before buying this box. But if you're looking for a music hits set completely evocative of the late 60s and early 70s, I can't think of a better one--and I was there.
The sound quality is very good. But, there are a number of tracks (dozen or so) that I just don't recognize. The songs may have been the B-side of a hit record. But for the most part...Good Job.