One of the longest-neglected musical legacies from the ’60s is that of the Lovin’ Spoonful. In less than three years, the band not only released an astounding string of hit singles, but also four solid albums and a pair of worthy soundtracks as well. After suffering over 30 years of quickie reissues and cheesy compilations bearing their name, they’re finally the recipients of a major catalog overhaul. Their first two albums have just been reissues, lovingly remastered and replete with bonus tracks and liner notes.
Do You Believe In Magic was the band’s 1965 debut and contains their first two hits (the title song and “Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind”). Much like the first albums by the Byrds, the Who, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, it finds them performing non-originals from their repertoire alongside a strong enough handful of their own writing that it was clear they were on the verge of something much bigger in every regard.
With the second album, Daydream, John Sebastian wrote or co-wrote all of the album’s eleven originals (rounded out with a cover Dr. Feelgood & the Intern’s “Bald Headed Lena”). The band was not so much moving away from their Greenwich Village folk and jug band roots as they were incorporating those roots more seamlessly into their particular melange of American idioms.
Besides the title song, this set also bore the hits “Didn’t Want To Have To Do It” and “You Didn’t Have To Be So Nice”. However, this was not a band peddling in filler, with the rest of the set including such timeless numbers as “Jug Band Music”, “It’s Not Time Now”, “There She Is”, and “Warm Baby”.