Secret Garden

The Magic Garden

It’s one of pop music’s hidden treasures -an album that’s probably not known well enough to even be regarded as a cult album, but one that is surely good enough to be spoken in the same breath as Pet Sounds, Blood On The Tracks etc. You should know the artists (5th Dimension – Aquarius etc.)  and you should know the main songwriter/producer Jimmy Webb. The combination had already scored with Up, Up And Away and Jimmy Webb contributed four songs to the 5th Dimensions first album.

However, The Magic Garden is Webb’s show, writing all but one track (a cover of Ticket To Ride), producing and arranging. And similarly to Pet Sounds, he uses other voices to deliver his musical vision and turbulent emotions. Like Pet Sounds, the album opens with a sense of wonderment of the possibilities of love (the title track) and gradually retreats to the withdrawal of Paper Cup.

The Worst That Could Happen is the best known song here although The Brooklyn Bridge had the big hit with it. However, the highlight is probably Requiem: 820 Latham, with an immense vocal reflecting the emotion in the song. All the tracks are worthwhile, however, in terms of vocal, production and lyrics.

A number of Pet Sounds fans also rate this album highly. It’s a pop record that seems to have escaped both major critical and commercial acclaim but it is very highly recommended by this blog. Head over to Amazon or elsewhere to get your copy.

One Response to “Secret Garden”

  1. the alf says:

    this record has some nice moments – pieces that move along the albumistic flow of things – rather then just a compendium of similiar sounding hits -plus jimmy can be a little melodramatic for my taste but he comes up with those great lines one of which from carpet man is the “bride and groom will have a dance on you” -ouch!! the pain the pain

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