Harpers Bizarre

California sunshine poppers, initially The Tikis, who took their new name from the fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar and had a huge hit in 1967 with Paul Simon’s The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy). Four fine albums, produced by the peerless Lenny Waronker, followed; they didn’t write much of their own material, but chose quirky songs by the likes of Randy Newman and Van Dyke Parks, bittersweet harmonies adding a poignancy to the beautiful tenor voice of lead singer Ted Templeman (on, for example, The Drifter). And that would be that, had they not re-emerged after nearly half a century, thanks to the good taste and sampling skills of The Avalanches, as the unsung heroes of the Australian soundscapers’ brilliant 2016 album Wildflower.

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