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The Youngbloods

The Youngbloods could not be considered a major '60s band, but they were capable of offering some mighty pleasurable folk-rock in the late '60s, and produced a few great tunes along the way. One of the better groups to emerge from the East Coast in the mid-'60s, they would temper their blues and jug band influences with gentle California psychedelia, particularly after they moved to the San Francisco Bay Area. For most listeners, they're identified almost exclusively with their Top Ten hit "Get Together," but they managed several respectable albums as well, all under the leadership of singer/songwriter Jesse Colin Young.

Young got his start on the folk circuits of Boston and New York, and had already cut a couple of solo albums before forming the Youngbloods. John Sebastian was one of the supporting musicians on Young's second LP, and comparisons between the two -- and between the Youngbloods and the Lovin' Spoonful -- are inevitable. Both groups offered good-timey folk-rock with much stronger jug band influences than West Coast rivals like the Byrds, though the Youngbloods made greater use of electric keyboards than the Spoonful, courtesy of the enigmatically named Lowell "Banana" Levinger. The Youngbloods didn't craft nearly as many brilliant singles as the Lovin' Spoonful, but (unlike the Spoonful) endured well into the hippie/psychedelic era.

While Young was always the focal point of the band, their first two albums also had songwriting contributions from guitarist Jerry Corbitt. Produced by Felix Pappalardi (who also worked with Cream), these records (The Youngbloods and Earth Music) were engaging and mature, if inconsistent, folk-rock. Corbitt's "Grizzly Bear" was a small hit, as was "Get Together," a Dino Valenti song that had previously been recorded by Jefferson Airplane. The Youngbloods' slow, soulful interpretation of "Get Together" was definitive, but it wouldn't reach the Top Ten until it was re-released in 1969, after the song had been used in a television public service ad.

By that time, Corbitt had left, and the Youngbloods, reduced to a trio, were living in Marin County, CA. 1969's Elephant Mountain was produced by, of all people, Charlie Daniels. Reflecting the mellowing influence of San Francisco psychedelia, it was their best effort, featuring some of Young's best songs. They released a few more albums in the early '70s (some live), but on these the mellow California rock sound that had served them well on Elephant Mountain had begun to turn limpid and wimpy. The group broke up in 1972, and Jesse Colin Young had a long and moderately successful career as a solo singer/songwriter. ~ Richie Unterberger, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

The eternal plea. They tell it like it is.
desiree.whee l e r
@partisan - I don't love guns or violence but with the world like it is, with people like you saying there is no GOD and nobody responsible for their own actions its hard to have faith in people. I will keep my GOD and you can live in fantasy land....
try to love one another right now
peace peace peace but there is no peace
nmarks01
Where have all the people gone who we're going change the world 40 years ago...
holt56
Get Together - a great song with a message for the ages!
OMG! Does this ever take me back! We had the best bands and music back then. Miss the vibes to hang out here to reminisce a little.
Elephant Mountain was definitely their best effort. Sunlight is one of the, if not the, .most beautiful love songs of the era. ..describing how "she feels about you" and Darkness Darkness ranks up there with CSN&Y. Sorry, I love Buffalo Springfield, but Elephant Mountain is the s**t.
karenhow0
I don't love guns but I do want one to use as an equalizer if someone attacks me or another innocent person who also hopefully loves the Youngbloods
chainreactio n 9 0 8
great band, focus people.
fxo2068
Jesse Colin Young lives on a ridge top in Marin. One of his great songs is about that home.
Was kurt cobain a gun lover when he quoted this song.....
What about gun loving atheists who find hoplophobes to be idiots ? We like the Youngbloods too.
All you gun loving idiots need to sit and listen to this song about a thousand times and believe in people not some fictitious Supreme Being fantasy.
garys_delta
Good music, good thoughts, not a bad combination at all, great package!
Loved this song...song of peace and togetherness . . . r e m i n d s me of the late 60's, hanging at the beach in Malibu by a beautiful sunset horizon with the fam.
Love peace and flower power yep that was then.
Nice rock band of the sixties.
There career was over when Johnny Carson threw them off his show for being a**holes
The Youngbloods were also a 1990s image comics super group.
webersf
I think the Youngbloods were a wonderful sixties rock band
The history of this song is a history of Rock and our times. Writte and recored in 62 released in 67 and then rereleased later both times went to #1
esther_litto n
Love the folk music in this era, it was all about world peace
Johnny Carson threw them off his show and announced it during the show,saying something like,these guys have been in show business for 5 minutes and they're not coming here and insulting my people.After that they wern't heard from much.Don't screw with the big dog.
Darkness, Darkness...I tracked that tune down when no one around me knew who that was. I could listen to that song forever, and I probably will.
Play more of elephant mountain. Especially Darkness Darkness. One of the greatest songs ever.
It was Vietnam for me 65 thru 69 what a waste of life... both sides USMC
cmyers3402
Darkness Darkness was my favorite - as rockin' as he ever got. Of course loved Get Together, beautiful mellow lyrics sung by a beautiful mellow voice.it was so needed then with war, assassinatio n s , censorship, racial strife & riots, generational conflicts,da m n those were intense times...hell u v a lot of fun too.
ladyfox411
Some of the best times of my childhood...
I want to hear darkness, darkness. Over and over, it has a lot of meaning to me. Oh those years.
kvons1
Jesse Colin Young & Youngbloods- - - - - t r u l y great old group
My older sister bought Elephant Mountain when it first came out. Got a lot of play in our house. Another favorite is Ridgetop. Another song of his where the lyrics and music seem perfectly suited for each other. His music has endured far better than many of his contemporari e s .
Elephant Mountain is one of my favorite albums of the times. I am looking forward to seeing Jesse Colin Young next month in concert, but know that it will never be quite the same as the original.
No mention of my favorite.... O r p h e u s . Just a Boston Band?????
bethzahn
Get Together takes me back to the 60's more than any other song.
If only the world cld live by this mantra echooed bk in 69!
who needs a job?
ahhhhh Dylan & Donavon, & all of em are the best!
Matthew, I cannot say it any better; hippie til the end
Get Together was sung at my first college roommate to get married's wedding in the summer of 1970. Awesome song then, and still great song today.
garlicbeth
the best of early rock
I've been an unreconstruc t e d and unrepentant hippie since way back in "the day." Elephant Mountain was always one of our favs, especially late at night when the discussions were cool and we were passin' round the...never mind. Sorry to say, but it doesn't seem like anybody today is having as much fun as we did while still doing as much good as we did (can you say Civil Rights Act and Environmenta l Protection Agency?)
pcafiero
hipies
kuhlesplash
The "Good and Dusty" album isn't shown. It has "Let The Good Times Roll," Stagger Lee, Circus Face,...one hell of a great album.
"When the one that left us here, returns for us at last."

I always wondered if that was a reference to Jesus. If you read the lyrics, it certainly has a Christian message "Love your brother." Or maybe it's just me. :-)
People just don't write lyrics like these anymore:
Love is but the song we sing And fear's the way we die
You can make the mountains ring Or make the angels cry
Know the dove is on the wing And you need not know why
Cmon people now Smile on your brother
Evrybody get together Try and love one another right now
If you hear the song I sing You must understand
You hold the key to love and fear All in your trembling hand
Just one key unlocks them both It's there at your command
kathpete4
You don't have the 'Ride The Wind' live record, now out of print, one of my favorite all time make out records when I had the good fortune and the good woman to be making out with. It is their best recording, Sugar Babe!
lauree5
Amazing song...still tugs at my heartstrings ! ! !
bfriedman37
We went down to Madison Square Garden to try to get into The Rolling Stones concert--tic k e t s were being scalped, but out of OUR price range. So we down to the Fillmore to catch The Younbloods open up for THE JEFFERSON AIRPLANE, circa '69!!! I don't remember whar other band played that night, BUT IT WAS A GREAT SHOW!!!
rondeb72
For me thier best song "Darkness - Darkness".
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