409) The Buckinghams — “Song of the Breeze”
Wonderful, wistful ‘68 B-side and album track by Chicago legends the Buckinghams. A song of the breeze for the Windy City.
Bull Dahl writes that:
Backing Dennis Tufano’s buoyant lead vocals with prominent harmonies and punchy soul-styled brass, the group came across the wistful “Kind of a Drag,” and in short order, [they] had a million-selling pop chart-topper on their hands. They quickly graduated to recording for Columbia. . . .https://www.allmusic.com/artist/the-buckinghams-mn0000628981
Rick Simmons adds that:
In 1967, Billboard magazine declared the Buckinghams to be “the most listened to band in America[.]” . . . As 1967 began, their first release, “Kind of a Drag,” was racing up the charts and would reach the #1 position by February . . . . [T]he group would have one, two, and sometimes three songs in the Top 100 almost every week that year as they passed each other on the way up and down the charts . . . .http://www.rebeatmag.com/dennis-tufano-the-buckinghams-and-rocks-greatest-disappearing-act-part-1/
As Tufano recalls:
[T]he Pulsations . . . was a good name considering how often we played at drag strips and car shows and things like that. We got on a “Battle of the Bands” competition on a Chicago television station and won, and so we became the house band on a TV show called All Time Hits. They asked us to change our name to something more English because the British Invasion was in full swing at the time, and we were fine with that . . . . A security guard at the station heard the request and he gave us a list with eight or 10 names on it, and the Buckinghams stood out not only because it sounded British, but also because there’s a beautiful fountain in Chicago called Buckingham Fountain. This way, we didn’t feel like we were selling out Chicago to take a British-sounding name.http://www.rebeatmag.com/dennis-tufano-the-buckinghams-and-rocks-greatest-disappearing-act-part-1/
But, then came ’68. Per Rick Simmons:
[T]he subsequent year would hold nothing but disappointment: in 1968 they had just one release that charted, and it wouldn’t even break into the Top 40. Then they were done. It was one of the most perplexing falls in rock ‘n’ roll history.http://www.rebeatmag.com/dennis-tufano-the-buckinghams-and-rocks-greatest-disappearing-act-part-1/
Richie Unterberger says of In One Ear and Gone Tomorrow, from which today’s song is taken, that “the band wrote most of the songs . . . and proved that they simply weren’t up to making memorable album-oriented rock. It’s obvious at points that they’re straining to be heavier and more relevant in the psychedelic rock scene of 1968.” (https://www.allmusic.com/album/in-one-ear-gone-tomorrow-mw0000241431) Well, Richie, I still love their ’68 music, especially the lovely “The Song of the Breeze.”
“Take a ride on a windy day. Let the wind [breeze?] your mind away. The air is scented with a fragrance from a garden where a tree bends lazily. I’m a bird on a wing in the sky, like the feeling you get when you sigh. It’s a sound you can hear if you try. It’s the song of the breeze. Take a ride on a windy day. Catch a cloud if it comes your way. The sky is filled with perfect shades of moodiness that can [?] everyone. I’m a bird on a wing in the sky, like the feeling you get when you sign. It’s a sound you can hear if you try. It’s the song of the breeze.”
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