357) Canterbury Music Festival — “Super Duper Trooper”
What more could you want: a super fun fuzz guitar-driven romp of a song “about a psychedelic cop that will pull you over using a light show”? (https://www.gullbuy.com/buy/2003/9_2/canterburymusicfest.php) Contrary to scurrilous rumor, ABBA did not steal “Super Trooper” from the CMF. “Super Trooper” is about a rock star singing to tens of thousands of fans yet desperately lonely — until her love arrives!
Rain & Shine, the album from which “SDT” comes, is as rare as they get (though Discogs lists the song as an A-side in Australia). Light in the Attic records says that:
If you are looking for ultra-rare Softpop, you’ve come to the right place! Only 150 copies were pressed (in order to establish copyright) [of] Rain & Shine, an almost willfully secret psych-pop masterpiece of sorts, on the obscure and collectable BT Puppy label out of New York City, owned by the legendary Tokens . . . . [It is] scarily collectable . . . . one of the rarest albums in all the collectable Softpop genre!https://lightintheattic.net/releases/1286-rain-shine
Tim Sendra says that “the label really had no distribution and the[ CMF’s] one shot at the big time slipped away.” (https://www.allmusic.com/album/rain-shine-mw0000042587) Phil Margo, a Token and co-owner of BT Puppy, says that “[m]y personal regret is that this band . . . had quality material, but the distribution wasn’t there to back it up. . . . I wish more stuff had happened for them.” (liner notes to the CD reissue of Rain & Shine) Roger Germelle, the band’s leader, says that “I never [even] knew an LP was released! . . . It must have been released after we split up.” (liner notes) The LP, if a a copy could be found, was selling for $300, but then the “soft pop aficionados at Rev-Ola in the UK” (https://www.gullbuy.com/buy/2003/9_2/canterburymusicfest.php) had to ruin all the fun by reissuing the album on CD!
By the way, how is the album? It is “one of the lost gems of late ’60s soft pop” (https://www.gullbuy.com/buy/2003/9_2/canterburymusicfest.php), full of “[c]harmingly romantic, effortlessly fluid love songs, perfect lead and harmony vocals and it’s all played with love and life well and truly happenin’. . . .” (https://johnkatsmc5.tumblr.com/post/147965448839/the-canterbury-music-festival-rain-shineus). Patrick at Gullbuy says that:
[It is] a ’60s pop delight. There’s a shimmering and delicate sheen to the album, like rain falling on a bed of leaves in the fading days of Autumn. . . . [T]he sweet harmony vocals and the sunshine sadness of the lyrics . . . all combine together for a host of amazing songs. . . . Super Duper Trooper is the fuzzed out psych pop tune buried on this album, just waiting to be dug out and enjoyed.(https://www.gullbuy.com/buy/2003/9_2/canterburymusicfest.php)
OK, Richie Unterberger does equivocate:
The album mixed some decent if innocuous original compositions . . . with less impressive material supplied to them by their producers, the Tokens. Though at their best they were adept at soft pop-rock songs with string arrangements, accomplished harmonies, and a tinge of psychedelia, the record was weighed down by Tokens-devised tunes with a more gimmicky bubblegum-psych flavor.https://www.allmusic.com/artist/the-canterbury-music-festival-mn0000656609/biography
Richie, for once, is actually out-snarked by his fellow All Music Guide critic Tim Sentra:
The music remained unheard until [a label] decided to reissue the album. The question that arises here is: Did they need to? Yes and no — mostly no. . . . Anyone who isn’t a sunshine pop fanatic will wonder why [the label] bothered, as most of the tunes are pretty insubstantial and sometimes downright embarrassing [including] the silly “Super Duper Trooper[.”] Unless you are a sunshine pop nut with a fat bankroll, you can rest easy with the knowledge that you aren’t missing anything . . . .
Well, I may be a sunshine pop nut — wouldn’t that be a great name for a new snack food? — but I bought the CD. So I get to keep my fat bankroll!
“I’m a super duper trooper. Don’t you like to be me now. Don’t you wish you could be too a super shooting . . . super duper fun. Don’t you wish you could be a super duper trooper too? I’m a super duper highway got to catch you now. I’m a super duper ticket, I’ll throw you in jail wow. [W]ith psychedelic lights that scare you half to death at night. Don’t you wish you could be a super duper trooper too? If you really want to be cool, then you could be a super duper, one of us, a super trooper. . . . We’ll lock you up tight, there will be no sleep for you tonight. . . . I’m a super duper trooper, don’t you like me? I’m a super duper trooper, don’t you wish you could be? I’m a super duper trooper . . . .”
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