Gary Puckett & the Union Gap were originally an actual band, but by the time the musicians entered the recording studio with producer and songwriter Jerry Fuller, the focus fell on Puckett's strong, smooth baritone voice, and the Union Gap part of the equation was buried under a MOR barrage of strings, horns, and choirs. The formula worked, however, and the group enjoyed five Top 40 hits between 1967 and 1969.
This is a 1998 album of all new material except for the re-recordings of a couple of his hits. Being a Gary Puckett & The Union Gap fan, I bought this out of curiosity several years ago. Most of the tracks are written or co-written by Gary or his brother.
During the late '60s – a period forever distinguished as rock's most radical, innovative, and far-reaching – Gary Puckett and the Union Gap forged a series of massive chart ballads almost otherworldly in their sheer earnestness and melodrama. Likely the only pop band of the era to play two nightly shows in the Catskills – the early gig for their younger fans, the later appearance for the fans' parents – the group pioneered the hip-to-be-square concept two decades before spiritual descendants Huey Lewis and the News; clad in Civil War-era get-ups (complete with fictitious military ranks) and bizarrely pedophilic lyrics, Puckett and the Union Gap were in their own way as far-out and singular as any other act of the period.
This is an album of re-recordings of his hits. I bought this CD for the tracks "Little Green Apples" and "Take A Letter Maria" which I haven't seen on any other issue. The other track that I haven't seen anywhere else is "Son Of Hickory Holler's Tramp". The casual fan may only want to get "The Best Of" CD that I posted earlier. The serious fans/collectors of Gary Puckett will want this one for the tracks I mentioned above.
GREATEST EVER! is Union Square Music’s select, best-selling label, utilising the very best repertoire from key major labels, Greatest Ever’s 3CD box sets are some of the strongest multi-artist compilations on the market, with the greatest ever songs.
Time Life's AM Gold '60s series provides a highly enjoyable history lesson. Each year is represented by songs drawn from a wide range of sources, features all very big hits all the time and plays like an hour of true golden oldies radio. As usual with the series, you'll get a pretty good idea of what was going on in the charts from this disc and would be hard-pressed to find a better single-disc collection of hits from the year.