Apr 12 11
Cashman & West, A Song or Two
File Between: James Taylor and America
Comments: Terry Cashman and Tommy West were a couple of New York-based bubblegum-pop entrepreneurs in the late 60s, writing hits for Spanky & Our Gang and scoring minor hits in Canada. This record is most notable for the ten-minute opus which opens side two, “American City Suite” (which, the back of the record informs me, is composed of the songs “Sweet City Song,” “Hello Jack,” “All Around the Town,” and “A Friend Is Dying”), which apparently made it to #27 in the US and #25 in Canada. A glance at the credits suggests this album is part of the great session-man soft-rock tradition of the 1970s — Jim Gordon’s on drums, Jeff “Skunk” Baxter plays steel guitar — and it’s exactly as pretty, as mellow, and as non-insightful as that suggests. It’s professionally made, with massed strings woozing behind sensitive guitar and piano figures, and both Cashman and West sing well (not that I can tell the difference between them), but none of the songs are particularly memorable. Perfect background music, but you’d never put it on a mixtape.
A Keeper? Sure, why not? If only to remind myself of how desperate record labels were to find another Simon & Garfunkel.
Vinyl Rip: American City Suite