Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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The Youngbloods

  • Elephant Mountain [RCA Victor, 1969] C+
  • Ride the Wind [Raccoon, 1971] D

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Elephant Mountain [RCA Victor, 1969]
C is for chi-chi. In the manner of tight groups, the Youngbloods stretch thinner all the time. Not only have they lost Jerry Corbitt, but their own expertise has become somehow attenuated. Banana used to be the most tasteful electric pianist in rock. Now he has become so tasteful he can sounds like Roy Kral on a lazy night. This is a bad week for personnel listings--down a notch. C+

Ride the Wind [Raccoon, 1971]
What hath folk-rock wrought? Or is it Marin County, or "owning" your own label? A lot of third-hand Barney Kessel and/or Dave Brubeck that couldn't have second-billed at the Half Note in 1957 plus some very occasional vocals from ol' Jess, who sounds like Mel Torme after 2000 micrograms and three months of Diet No. 7. Country vibes don't mean spilling your seed on the ground. D