Endless Loop: Elenore

theturtlesHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.

“Elenore” by The Turtles

Coincidentally enough, a couple of days after I decided to write about “Elenore” for this week’s column, my brother posted to Facebook that “The Turtles are criminally underrated.”  He’s not wrong.

Originally starting as a surf rock band in California in the mid ‘60s before moving on to folk, rock, and psych pop, The Turtles were fronted by dual vocalists Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan.  The group initially caught the public’s attention with a cover of Bob Dylan’s “It Ain’t Me Babe,” and then scored a huge hit in 1967 with their signature pop song “Happy Together.”  In 1968, they began to get a little more creative, crafting the concept album The Turtles Present the Battle of the Bands, in which they took on the personae of 11 different bands playing in different styles with jokes and puns layered throughout the record.  Mock group names included the likes of The Fabulous Dawgs, The Atomic Enchilada, and Chief Kamanawanalea and His Royal Macadamia Nuts, but the biggest hit from the album came from Howie, Mark, Johny, Jim & Al with the poppy instant earworm “Elenore.”

The song is pretty representative of the kind of safe pop rock coming out at the time, but I’ve long been a devotee ever since hearing it years and years ago.  And The Turtles in general too.  There is just something about the lovely, soaring harmonies of Volman and Kaylan, whom you may also know as Flo & Eddie, that eternally comforts my eardrums and my soul, whether it be with The Turtles, or solo, or their session work with bands like T. Rex.  It feels like a kind of zest for life, maybe a little bubblegummy at times, but a sound with great, exuberant elan nonetheless.

And I’ve been stuck in the doom and gloom lately, so I’m going to take this short reprieve.  And you should too.


Thomas H Williams

Thomas H Williams

From a bunker somewhere in Central Texas, Thomas H. Williams spends most of his time with his wife, his two sons, and his increasingly neurotic dog. He listens to a lot of music, drinks a lot of excellent beers, and gets out from time to time. For even more shenanigans, visit heavenisanincubator.blogspot.com.

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