Van Dyke Parks's Song Cycle (33 1/3 Series)

Van Dyke Parks's Song Cycle (33 1/3 Series)

Richard Henderson


Posing extra riddles than the common sphinx, with its decipherable solutions pointing someplace darkish, music Cycle was once something yet passive. I had already witnessed hippie bands fidgeting with their backs to the corridor, so the concept of past due '60s musicians being attracted to their viewers struck me as an idea bordering on progressive. The debut album from songwriter and pianist Van Dyke Parks, tune Cycle first seemed in 1968 on Warner Brothers documents. Its twelve songs led listeners via Joycean wordplay and sound collages to bare messages of dissent and private loss, at odds with Parks' buoyant, riotously eclectic tune. Monumentally formidable and both dear, track Cycle resembled a movie - probably Citizen Kane - greater than the pop track of its day; like Kane, Parks' masterwork was once cherished through critics but all yet overlooked via paying buyers. In his efforts to plumb the mysteries of this quixotic list and its next destiny, Richard Henderson interviews a number of of the major figures concerned with music Cycle, particularly Parks himself and manufacturer Lenny Waronker.

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