Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
rob + = email

2024 January 29 • Monday

The 815th Soundtrack of the Week is John Simon's music for Last Summer.

The main title theme is a delicate and slightly melancholy yet sunny instrumental with touches of country pop and summery indolence.

A host of different artists perform Simon's music and "Temptation, Lust and Laziness", a kind of acid folk bluegrass pop song, is realized by Aunt Mary's Transcendental Slip & Lurch Band".

Then we get a groovy sort of stripped down psych rock song, "Drivin' Daisy" by Cyrus Faryar. It fades out just when there starts to be some potentially interesting guitar work.

The next two songs are performed by Buddy Bruno, "Cordelia" being an electric soul blues pop number with harmonica and electric guitar and "Sonuvagun" is more of an anthemic, horns-driven soul number with soaring back-up vocals.

John Simon himself does "Hal, the Handyman", a kind of goofy, jaunty song with "Yellow Submarine" energy and a touch of soul.

Side A wraps up with an instrumental called "Beach Romp", which starts out in an upbeat ebullient way, with piano as the main voice, then downshifts into a slower solo piano reprise of the main title theme.

The B side starts with "The Subtle Evanescence of Now",a pastiche of classical Indian music with sitar playing by Colin Walcott.

Ray Draper sings "Lay Your Love on Me", a sort of sunshine psych rock soul song that uses the title as roughly half of the lyrics.

"Magnetic Mama" by The Electric Meatball, a pleasantly swaying acid rock number with some throwback piano playing and nice changes.

Then it's Henry Diltz with "Safari Mary", a curious mix of ecstatic group chorus and sing-songy lead vocals with a Bo Diddley beat and thick organ playing throughout.

The record wraps up with "Firehouse Blues" by Bad Kharma Dan & The Bicycle Brothers. (How many of these names are really John Simon?) This closing number is a laidback, smoky, wannabe Stax kind of thing with a nice groove.