March 03, 2021 1 min read

Vinyl-a-Day 40: The Appletree Theatre - “Playback” (Verve, 1967)

The Appletree Theatre - “Playback” (Verve, 1967)

Be not deceived by appearances. Looking at the cover, The Appletree Theatre looks fairly unremarkable, but it is a surprisingly compelling pop/psych album that is on par with other more celebrated studio group, concept album projects which emerged in the wake of “Pet Sounds” and “Sgt. Peppers,” such as October Country, The Smoke (Not “My Friend Jack,” the other one), The Holy Mackerel, and at times grazes the coattails of the likes of Sagittarius and even early Bee Gees. Like these other examples, the album is a patchwork of genres with solid psych/folkie/baroque/sunshine pop cuts like “Hightower Square,” “Don’t Blame It On Your Wife” and “I Wonder If Louise Is Home,” and the haunting closer “What a Way To Go.” “The Sorry State of Staying Awake” deserves a mention for creativity as it features the album’s lead characters, who we hear throughout in various interstitial bits, “scanning the radio” with snippets of catchy country and soul tunes. “Playback” does not get as much playback as it deserves - check it out!

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