Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Time Has Come Today!

The Chambers Brothers - The Time Has Come
COLUMBIA Records - CL 2722 - 1967

Side A
All Strung Out Over You
People Get Ready
I Can't Stand It
Romeo And Juliet
In The Midnight Hour
So Tired

Side B
Please Don't Leave Me
What The World Needs Now Is Love
Time Has Come Today

By 1967 when the Chambers Brothers recorded this, their third album, they had been performing together for twelve years. Up until this point their music was mostly gospel based and they enjoyed a lot of popularity on the folk circuit and had recorded two albums for Vault Records (blog post to come). However, when they signed to Columbia their music shifted away from the folk scene to land smack in the middle of the burgeoning psychedelic scene of the 'Summer Of Love'.

The album is a fantastic mix of soul and psychedelic rock with covers of soul and pop hits as well as their own tunes. Storming soul tracks, such as 'All Strung Out Over You', 'The Midnight Hour' and 'I Can't Stand It' are interspersed with tracks that hark back to their gospel roots, including a beautiful version of 'People Get Ready'. But it is the last track on the album, the epic 'Time Has Come Today', that this album is most remembered for. At just over 11 minutes long this psychedelic opus has everything you could possibly want in a psychedelic record. The alternate striking of cowbells creates a tick-tock effect running through the whole track, with the edition of phasing, distortion, echo, fuzz guitars, screaming, manic laughing and a widely varying tempo it's quite disconcerting. There's even a few bars of 'Little Drummer Boy' in there. There are few records more psychedelic.

'The Time Has Come' is much more than just a vehicle for 'Time Has Come Today' though, it works very well as an album and stands many, many listens. It remains one of my all time favourites. So marvel at the beauty of 'People Get Ready', groove to 'I Can't Stand It' then prepare to have your soul psychedelicised by 'Time Has Come Today'........

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