Song of the Day, December 19: Do You Believe In Magic? by the Lovin’ Spoonful

lovinspbelieveToday’s song launched a brief, significant run on the charts by a new band. John Sebastian and Zal Yanovsky were both part of a burgeoning Greenwich Village folk scene in the early 60s. (The same scene that launched the Mamas & the Papas and overlapped with a number of other acts, as documented in the song Creeque Alley.) They formed a group to perform what they called good-time music, fusing folk, pop, and jug-band elements. Adding rhythm section Steve Boone and Joe Butler, they built a quick reputation and landed a deal with Kama Sutra records.

Their first single set the tone for the band’s output. A smart, fun song by Sebastian, Do You Belive In Magic? is pop genius, a sparkling celebration of music, joy, and love. Clocking in at just over two minutes, it features smart lyrics, sophisticated playing, and a wonderful sense of energy. The song blasted into the Top 10, the first of seven consecutive tracks by the band to do so.

By the end of 1966, however, two years of constant recording and touring took their toll. Lineup and management changes, along with shifting radio tastes, ended the Spoonful’s amazing run. They stuck it out for another couple of years, eventually disintegrating after Sebastian launched a solo career.

The song that started it all is not just one of their finest; it’s a standout of 60s pop, showcasing how powerful simplicity can be in the right hands.

Enjoy this wonderful song today.

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About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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