I just got a Sunshine Company CD at a little shop in San Francisco called Aquarius Records. I had the vinyl at home of “Happy Is the Sunshine Company,” but figured maybe there were some more tunes I’d want to hear on the roadtrip back to L.A.
Really, after buying this collection, I still miss the song most that they didn’t include, “Four In the Mornin’.” It’s a psychedelic tune with full harmony vocals on every verse, about being awake after a breakup because some girl “Wouldn’t stop lying,” as cockroaches race across the floor and dirty dishes pile up in the sink. And there are no choruses, just pauses to let the guitar (that sounds like a sitar!) do its thing against groovy handclaps and sad-sounding echoey percussion.
At their best, these guys were like the BBC sessions of Fairport Convention–in fact, they tried to get Sandy Denny to sell ’em some songs, but she laughed them off. They had the misfortune of getting into the sunshine pop game a little too late. The songs they wanted to cover got stolen by the 5th Dimension and The Blades of Grass, and their cheerful name didn’t really fit with the edgin’-towards-Woodstock sounds that were blooming in the late sixties. But I recommend them, especially if you can pick up the vinyl. Just make sure that you get something with “Four In the Mornin'” on it!