The British are coming! The British are coming! … Musically, that is. The year was 1964, and the airwaves were suddenly saturated with sounds from jolly old England.
As we all know, the Beatles kicked off the explosion, while bands like the Dave Clark Five, the Kinks, the Animals, Herman’s Hermits, the Searchers, the Yardbirds, the Rolling Stones, and the Zombies, to name but a few, quickly followed suit. A phenomenal movement was born, one where its influence proceeds to loom large today.
Chad Stuart and Jeremy Clyde, who were duly billed Chad and Jeremy, were another act from the United Kingdom to glean stardom. Contrary to a fair share of contemporaries, the duo not only conveyed a wholesome image, but their music also swayed towards the clean cut division of the stage. Achingly gorgeous harmonies, accompanied by meticulously chiseled arrangements sustained Chad and Jeremy’s perfectly pristine pop confections.
Signed to World Artists Records, Chad and Jeremy delivered a clutch of hit singles between spring 1964 and early 1965, including “Yesterday’s Gone,” “Summer Song,” “Willow Weep For Me,” and “If I Loved You.” The lads then switched labels, and Painted Dayglow Smile (Columbia Records) serves to be a tasty sampling of their output during this period.
Conducted by Chad and Jeremy’s customary soft and shimmery vocals, freckled with billowy melodies and impeccably performed orchestration, “Before And After,” “I Don’t Want To Lose You, Baby,” and “Distant Shores,” which appear on Painted Dayglow Smile, were the pair’s final efforts to grip the national top 40 charts. But despite diminishing commercial returns, Chad and Jeremy were by no means creatively bankrupt, as they simply embarked on an experimental path, resulting in a brace of immensely amazing statements.
The clangy country rhythms of “Teenage Failure,” the ruddy garage rock stance of “Should I,” and the Beach Boys meet the Byrds jangly lush of “You Are She” only hinted at what was to eventually arrive. Two albums, “Of Cabbages And Kings” and “The Ark,” which were released in 1967 and 1968 respectively, captured Chad and Jeremy in full-on psychedelic glitz. Cackling sitars, tooting flutes, symphonic arrangements, and trippy poetry were now what the fellows peddled.
Punching in at practically seven minutes in length, “Rest In Peace” twists, turns, and topples with freaky decals, a haunting chamber pop ambience administers “Painted Dayglow Smile,” “Editorial” glimmers and grooves to roiling raga rock measures, and “Paxton Quigley’s Had The Course” logs in as a nice mix of hooky flower pop and edgy psychedelic innovation. Tackling the genre with courage and clarity, Chad and Jeremy operated along similar lines as Traffic and Kaleidoscope, bolstered by nods to the Who and the Pretty Things.
Those not familiar with Chad and Jeremy’s lesser-recognized tracks will be highly enlightened by Painted Dayglow Smile, while hardcore fans will no doubt want to add the disc to their collection. Chad and Jeremy’s offerings should never be undervalued, and here’s a record that, time and time again, asserts their talent and worth.