Jan & Dean: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — June 9, 2022

THE GREATEST SONGS OF THE 1960s THAT NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD

479) Jan & Dean — “Mulholland”

In my mind, this is the greatest ode to a street in song since “Penny Lane.” Terry Staunton sees “a formidable sophistication to . . . the epic LA poetry of Mulholland.” (https://recordcollectormag.com/reviews/album/carnival-of-sound). Domenic Priore & Mark Moore explain that:

“Mullholland” equates the zenith drive atop Hollywood Hills as a celestial experience, complemented by a sitar and a raga “snake charmer” motif, giving the song a magic-carpet feel. It’s then all brought down to Earth by a girl jumping not onto a flying rug, but into Jan’s car. The extended stereo mix . . . features some of Jan & Dean’s stock-in-trade comedy with Jan arguing with police before breaking into a bit of “Yes Sir, That’s My Baby.”

liner notes to the Carnival of Sound CD

Anyway, the song comes from the fabled “lost” Carnival of Sound album, unreleased until 2010 (see #376). Gold Mine Magazine and Endless Summer Quarterly enthuse that:

Jan Berry’s Carnival Of Sound — a collection of music he finished in 1968 (after his near-fatal automobile accident on April 12, 1966) — is astonishing . . . . This album will close a previously mythic chapter and invigorate Jan Berry’s musical legacy. . . . This is psychedelic pop at its best.

https://www.bear-family.com/jan-dean-carnival-of-sound-plus-deluxe-edition-the-legendary-unissued-album-cd.html

Bruce Eder adds that:

[I]f not as well-known as Brian Wilson’s Smile, Carnival of Sound is just as tantalizing a “lost” artifact of the psychedelic ’60s . . . . What is here is mostly fun, and beautifully accomplished, with superb playing and excellent singing; and the production is, at times, stunning, and also far more self-consciously ambitious than prior Jan and Dean releases . . . . Jan & Dean had always managed to quietly impress listeners by slipping these beautifully produced jewels past them as pop music, but on Carnival of Sound, they were very obviously calling more attention to the layers of sound swirling and shifting below the surface . . . .

https://www.allmusic.com/album/carnival-of-sound-mw0001977238

Terry Staunton adds that:

The Beach Boys are rightly held in awe for making the journey from the throway Surfin’ Safari to the eloquent genius of Pet Sounds in less than five years, but they weren’t the only sunkissed Californians pushing the envelope. History has often overlooked Jan & Dean, but Jan Berry always hungered for the teen symphonies so commonly associated with Brian Wilson. The duo’s career was put on hold after Berry’s horrific car crash in 1966, but he continued to piece together the components of Carnival Of Sound during his long recovery.

https://recordcollectormag.com/reviews/album/carnival-of-sound

“Where the mountains reach up to the sky, Mulholland. High above all the lights waiting there for me. I’m goin’ up tonight that’s for sure, Mulholland. ‘Cause every day’s such a drag. All day long I sleep. Ah, but every night I turn on Mulholland. The air is clear, the past is near, and then it’s time to leave. Oh no. I feel wasted all day long, Mulholland. The nothing hours, how they drag till the nighttime comes ’round. Now the sun’s all right but I dig the night, Mulholland. My mind is free, there’s more to see than any place I know. So for tonight, till it’s light, Mulholland. A place for me, where I will be spending all my timе, Mulholland. . . .”

Check out the site’s new page: Stick It to the (Fish)Man: Feedback — the coolest comments I have received!

I have added a Facebook page for Brace for the Obscure 60s Rock! If you like what you read and hear and feel so inclined, please visit and “like” my Facebook page by clicking here.

Here is the extended stereo mix:

Pay to Play! The Off the Charts Spotify Playlist! + Brace for the Obscure 60s Rock Merchandise

Please consider helping to support my website/blog by contributing $6 a month for access to the Off the Charts Spotify Playlist. Using a term familiar to denizens of Capitol Hill, you pay to play! (“relating to or denoting an unethical or illicit arrangement in which payment is made by those who want certain privileges or advantages in such arenas as business, politics, sports, and entertainment” — dictionary.com).

The playlist includes all the “greatest songs of the 1960’s that no one has ever heard” that are available on Spotify. The playlist will expand each time I feature an available song.

All new subscribers will receive a Brace for the Obscure 60s Rock magnet. New subscribers who sign up for a year will also receive a Brace for the Obscure 60s Rock t-shirt or baseball cap. See pictures on the Pay to Play page.

When subscribing, please send me an e-mail (GMFtma1@gmail.com) or a comment on this site letting me know an e-mail address/phone number/Facebook address, etc. to which I can send instructions on accessing the playlist and a physical address to which I can sent a magnet/t-shirt/baseball cap. If choosing a t-shirt, please let me know the gender and size you prefer.

Just click on the first blue block for a month to month subscription or the second blue block for a yearly subscription.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: