Fever Tree — “Love Makes the Sun Rise”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — October 20, 2022


614) Fever Tree — “Love Makes the Sun Rise”

This ’69 A-side and album track is, per Richie Unterberger, a luminous “pretty, wistful ballad” by a Houston psych group. Oh, with guitar courtesy of ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons!

Richie Unterberger tells us:

A minor, if reasonably interesting, late-’60s psychedelic group, Houston’s Fever Tree is most famous for their single “San Francisco Girls,” with its dramatic melody, utopian lyrics, and searing fuzz guitar. Most of their best material, ironically, was written by their over-30 husband-wife production team, Scott and Vivian Holtzman, who had previously written material for Tex Ritter and the Mary Poppins soundtrack. These odd bedfellows produced some fairly distinctive material with more classical/Baroque influences and orchestral string arrangements than were usually found in psychedelic groups. Their pretty, wistful ballads . . . endure better than their dirge-like fuzz grinders, which epitomize some of the more generic aspects of heavy psychedelia. Releasing four albums (the third of which, Creation [from which today’s song is drawn], included guest guitar by future ZZ Top axeman Billy Gibbons) . . . the group disbanded in 1970.


I guess we need to trust at least some people over 30!

Kostas adds:

[A]mong late-’60s psychedelic groups . . . Fever Tree boasted attributes that set them aside from many of their peers on several counts. There was their unusual heavy concentration of classical and jazz influences within a rock framework, as well as their use of numerous instruments other than the standard guitars, bass, drums, and keyboards. There was also the use of a husband-wife team that wasn’t part of the group, Scott and Vivian Holtzman, who supplied much of the material as well as handling management and production duties. . . . Originally known as the Bostwick Vines, the group changed their name to Fever Tree after hooking up with the Holtzmans, who had already written some material on records by the New Christy Minstrels and Tex Ritter. It wasn’t the kind of resume one would expect to lead to involvement with an emerging psychedelic rock combo, but Fever Tree proved adept at interpreting and recording the Holtzmans’ material for rock arrangements, also getting involved in the writing as well. . . . [T]hey had some success in Houston with singles on the Mainstream label. By the time they were ready to record their first album, they’d signed to a new label, Uni, and [added a] multi-instrumentalist . . . who handled harp, flute, harpsichord, bass recorder, clavinette, and cello in addition to piano and organ. . . . Fever Tree released their self-titled debut album . . . in 1968, which charted at No. 156 on the Billboard 200 Chart. A second album, Another Time, Another Place, followed in 1969 and peaked at No. 83 with a third album Creation [from which today’s song is drawn], charting at No. 97 on the Billboard 200 Chart in 1970. After “San Francisco Girls”, they never had another hit, although they later also tried writing songs themselves when they had dropped the Holtzmans as producers. The group disbanded in 1970 . . . . Creation is their most accomplished album . . . . [G]rowling Steppenwolfish vocals are mostly gone in favor of classier singing that suits the more baroque elements of Fever Tree, which are their strong suit. . . . When the band foregoes straight bluesy rock for folkier elegance and more adventurous jazz dabblings, the results are usually impressive and occasionally even timeless. An interesting band, Fever Tree, who put it all together and played to their strengths on Creation.


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One thought on “Fever Tree — “Love Makes the Sun Rise”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — October 20, 2022

  1. I discovered this album (Creation) a few years ago digging through my mother-in-law’s record collection. I had heard their self-titled so was very excited to listen to this one. I was completely blown away by some of the songs, on the other hand there’s some I cannot stand, but the good ones are some of my most favorite songs now.


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