Various Artists

Love Is the Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-1970 (Rhino)

The iconically maudlin tune "Get Together" provides both the title of this comp and its bookending tracks. The first instance of the song is Dino Valenti's sweetly naive 1963 original, and the Youngbloods' well-known cover closes the four-disc set. Take that for what you will, because I think we're all a little exhausted from an entire summer of What It All Meant bromides and dueling anniversary concerts and panel discussions re: the Summer of Love. Until recently there was a Gap store at Haight and Ashbury: that's ultimately What It All Meant.

So on to Rhino's San Francisco Nuggets comp, which is a satisfyingly broad survey of all the prefixes Bay Area musicians appended to "rock" between 1965 and 1970: psych, folk, Latin, pop, soul, Eastern. It seems like a violation of the Nuggets spirit when moldy oldies like Santana's "Evil Ways" or Janis Joplin's "Mercedes Benz" break up the hit parade of obscurities, but there are enough also-rans to get you through the inevitable "White Rabbit."

Unearthed gems on the 77-song comp include Teddy and His Patches' goofy, Zappa-inspired freak-out "Suzy Creamcheese," Country Weather's wistful, country-garage jammer "Fly to New York," and the lady-fronted R&B act the Loading Zone, with a theatrically dark wailer called "The Bells." What It All Means is $65 out of your wallet; not a bad price for a thorough tour of the actual sounds of '69.

 
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