Forgotten series: The Buoys – Golden Classics (1993)

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Hailing from Pennsylvania, the Buoys visited the national Top 20 charts in the spring of 1971 with “Timothy” that sounded innocent enough, but ruffled feathers in certain corners.

Authored by Rupert Holmes, who held membership in the Cuff Links and the Street People, scored hit singles like “Him” and “Escape,” wrote musicals and worked in television, the catchy little pop rocker was said to be about cannibalism, a subject not exactly deemed delicate, when it actually recounted the true tale of fellows trapped in a mine.

As verified by the other songs on Golden Classics (Collectables Records), the Buoys were more experimental than their fly-by-night claim to fame suggested. Stuffing their musings with the kind of regally coordinated harmonies typified by Buffalo Springfield, America, and Crosby Stills and Nash, the band not only receives high marks in the vocal department, but their arrangements are interesting, haunting and quite enterprising. An ample share of stringed instruments and horns lace the landscape, fueling the material with an elegantly artful complexion.

The Buoys also revealed a social conscious, particularly on tracks such as the hard-rocking spunk of “Pittsburgh Steel,” and “Look Back America,” which unveils a series of progressive time changes flanked by a big sing-along chorus and a moving jam session.

Bearing a similarity to Eric Burdon and War’s “Spill The Wine,” the funky footing of “The Prince Of Thieves,” as well as the psychedelic impressions of “Castles,” the insistent rhythm rush of “Don’t Try To Run,” and the beautiful melodic togetherness of “Tell Me Heaven is Here” confirm to be additional strong cuts on this fine retrospective.

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Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 with "Stand By Me" -- which is actually one of her favorite songs, especially John Lennon's version. She's contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as Rock Beat International's associate editor. Paterson has also published Inside Out, and Twist & Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Beverly Paterson
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