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The GENTLE SOUL - Flying Thing (1968)

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Published on Jan 20, 2011

The Gentle Soul biography by Lise (HIBOU), CANADA
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The GENTLE SOUL were a California folk duo made up of singers/songwriters Rick Stanley and Pamela Polland who released one album in 1968. Surrounding themselves with talented musicians such as RY COODER, TAJ MAHAL and VAN DYKE PARKS to name a few, their music more or less bridged the folk-rock and singer-songwriter/soft rock eras. Their self-titled album was released to little fanfare and then quickly descended into obscurity. Although not a major work, it has become a classic of the sort and the LP version is extremely rare (and expensive).

This is gentle, acoustic-flavoured and very conventional folk by today's standards: safe vibes, soft rock of the PETER, PAUL AND MARY and CAT STEVENS category. The high harmonies of Pollard and Stanley, however, are impeccable. The 11-track album, deftly produced by Terry Melcher (The BYRDS, PAUL REVERE & THE RAIDERS), features some dreamy orchestral instrumentation such as harpsichord, flute and cello, and Ry Cooder makes his presence felt on some very gutsy/bluesy tunes. The overall feel, however, is extremely mellow. As for the nine bonus tracks of the CD re-release, they are much poppier than the rest, sometimes showing influences from The BYRDS and The MAMMAS & THE PAPPAS in the harmonies and guitar parts.

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