Magic Garden 400


rovi.MR0001167186 Used

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    Magic Garden 400 Buddha Records
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Review Text This record did contain the small hits "Paper Cup" and "Carpet Man," but the group, or more likely arranger/conductor Jim Webb, was probably shooting for something a bit higher than the Top 40. Aside from a misfired cover of the Beatles' "Ticket to Ride," Webb wrote everything on this album, which -- with between-track segues, lyrics expounding dreams and possibility, and dense orchestral settings -- seemed to be aiming for a song cycle of sorts. It's not Pet Sounds, however, or even Van Dyke Parks' Song Cycle. It's overambitious MOR pop-soul with mild psychedelic colors, and a bit ludicrous, though not unattractive due to the typically conscientious harmonies. "Orange Air" is probably the group's best shot at pseudo-psychedelia; "The Girls' Song," on much firmer MOR territory, was done much better by Jackie DeShannon; and "The Worst That Could Happen," Webb at his most disagreeably sentimental, was covered for a huge hit by the Brooklyn Bridge about a year later. A recent biography of cult singer/songwriter Nick Drake, by the way, revealed that this album, along with such estimable underground classics as Love's Forever Changes and Van Morrison's Astral Weeks, was a special favorite of his because of its combination of rock and orchestration. That means it might suddenly become a lot harder to find in the dollar bins, although many of those copies will probably find their way right back there after Drake fans play it once or twice. [The album was also reissued by Soul City under the title The Worst That Could Happen.] ~ Richie Unterberger

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Prologue - 1:24
  2. 2. Magic Garden - 3:48
  3. 3. Summer's Daughter - 3:03
  4. 4. Dreams/Pax/Nepenthe - 3:24
  5. 5. Carpet Man - 3:16
  6. 6. Ticket to Ride - 4:00
  7. 7. Requiem: 820 Latham - 4:26
  8. 8. Girl's Song - 4:09
  9. 9. Worst That Could Happen - 3:37
  10. 10. Orange Air - 3:38
  11. 11. Paper Cup - 3:48
  12. 12. Epilogue - 1:56

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