SEALS & CROFTS
In 1969, the duo recorded their own album, which was far different from the instrumental style of The Champs. SEALS AND CROFTS debuted on the TA label. It featured lush harmonies and intricate guitar and mandolin duets. Perhaps the most notable song is "Ashes In the Snow," a beautiful love song that they often played to close concerts throughout their career. The dreamy orchestrations are especially effective on the ballads. The album also evidenced their interest in the Bahá'í faith, which would be developed further in the lyrics of all their albums. Louie Shelton played guitar, and continues to be a close collaborator with the duo. He became producer for most of their hits.
"The silver eagle of your love declared its place.
Its flight of splendor I still carry on my face.
I've known the emerald of the peace that I once sought.
I remember you in the birthday of my thoughts."
Birthday of My Thoughts
"I'll be here to hold you when flowers are fast asleep.
When perfumes of the meadow no longer haunt the sheep.
My kiss will surely tell you, I still love you so.
My love will be as plain as the ashes in the snow."
Ashes In the Snow
The follow up album was DOWN HOME, a fine collection of songs that has a far grittier rhythm and blues feel. "Ridin' Thumb," "Hand Me Down Shoe," "Gabriel" and "Leave" are outstanding, as well as the short ballad, "Robin." DOWN HOME is simply produced; it has an aura of spontaneity and a relaxed rock and roll attitude that was never repeated in later studio albums. It was recorded live at a studio near Woodstock with counter-culture musicians. Dash wanted to call the album "Lead Feather," because of the large feather that graces the album cover. Around this time, S & C developed a strong following, and became an opening act for groups such as Chicago, Procul Harum and the Moody Blues.
"Red eyed mama keeps cryin'. Blue-eyed cat keeps a-lyin'.
Catfish keeps his eye on the string. Cotton mouth keeps on windin'.
Dark moon keep on hidin'. 'Gator he keeps on slidin'.
Bullfrog he ain't mindin'. Cotton mouth keeps on windin'."
In 1972, Seals & Crofts released their third album, this time on the Warner Brothers label, backed by Louie Shelton, Bobby Lichtig, Victor Feldman, Russ Kunkel and Marty Paich. YEAR OF SUNDAY featured a song summarizing the teachings of the Bahá'í faith, and the entire album has outstanding guitar and mandolin work. "Antoinette" is especially lyrical and typical of their many excellent love songs. The album includes the joyous "Sudan Village" and "'Cause You Love." In that year, Dash also played mandolin on the James Taylor album, One Man Dog.
"In the dreamland, Naples by the sea. Antoinette of Naples waits for me.
Pretty lace upon her bonnet shades the softness of her skin
I almost thought I heard her callin' from the distance
Or could it be the wind?"
Seals & Crofts became nationally famous with their fourth album, SUMMER BREEZE. The title tune peaked at #6 in September of 1972 and was soon followed by the unique hit, "Hummingbird." The remaining tunes were all strongly rendered, such as the spiritual and moving "Euphrates," and "East of Ginger Trees." It moreover showcased Jimmy Seals' talent for writing about love and tragedy in the songs "Boy Down the Road" and "Advance Guards." "Fiddle In the Sky" was based on the riff of an earlier experimental song, "Death's Gonna Getch You," when S & C contemplated forming a macabre group called "The Ghosts."
"Summer breeze makes me feel fine
Blowing through the jasmine in my mind."
"Let the traces linger on.
Many years have come and gone.
Oh how lonely man has been,
without a trace of the Traceless Friend."
"Be lions roaring in the forests of knowledge
Whales swimming in the oceans of life."
East of Ginger Trees, from Bahá'í Scriptures
S & C Homepage / Payin' Dues (1940-1968) / Early Years (1969-1972) / Stardom (1973-1976)
Takin' It Easy (1977-1980) / Here and There (1981-2000) / Album and Lyric Pages / Pictures and Links / F.A.Q.