Thursday, April 8, 2010

Jan & Dean — Carnival Of Sound

Jan & Dean
Carnival Of Sound
Rhino Handmade (RHM2 521476)
Grade: ★★★★★
David M. Beard

Jan Berry’s Carnival Of Sound — a collection of music he finished in 1968 (after his near-fatal automobile accident on April 12, 1966) — is astonishing. Miraculously Jan would reenter the studio April 19, 1967. More than 20 months later, Berry would complete the album, and it would remain shelved until now.

Strong production, great mixes, and, in some cases, the J&D-style banter we’re accustomed to hearing — are all a part of this release. The enclosed booklet includes extensive liner notes, track annotations and poignant images.

Waiting 40-plus years to experience Carnival Of Sound is more than worth it. This album will close a previously mythic chapter and invigorate Jan Berry’s musical legacy. If you’re not a Jan & Dean fan, don’t be fooled. This is psychedelic pop at it best. To top it all off, Dean Torrence designed the front and back covers.

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