Friday, March 21, 2008

Boyce & Hart - L.U.V.

(A&M, 1969)

Oh, this is rich. A song arguing for what would be, in 1971, the Twenty-sixth Amendment, “L.U.V.” demands that the United States LET US VOTE. “Us” being, of course, those under 21… presumably the bulk of Boyce & Hart’s audience. Increasingly “with-it,” the duo was trying to tap into the times by recording a would-be musical rallying cry for all those folks who were young enough to be drafted and who were also quite reasonably asking for the right to vote. The single stiffed at the time, and, almost 40 years later, this clunker is hopelessly campy, from the sleeve’s clearly staged “L.U.V. rally” photos, to its starry-eyed lyrics (“A way to change things peacefully / And live together in harmony”), to its patriotic drums-n-fife intro. The thematically-fitting sapfest “I Wanna Be Free” – a hit in 1966 for the Monkees – even gets resurrected for the B-side. Overall, an amusing time capsule, little more. And hey: You guys supposedly “won” in 1971, so why did you promptly screw it all up and let Nixon get installed for a second term in ’72? Nice work, youth of America. Gimme McGovern!

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