The Sunshine Company — “A Year of Jaine Time”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — January 4, 2023


691) The Sunshine Company — “A Year of Jaine Time”

False advertising — a beautiful, laid back, sad song from the first album by southern California’s Sunshine Company! J Rodger says that:

[Q]uite a few tunes on the record contain moments of beautiful melancholia. Aside from a few happy go lucky ‘fluffers’ the sad undertones are a far more prominent theme. This is presented beautifully on . . . ‘A Year Of Jaine Time’. . . . [which] maintains it’s plaintive longing. [It] is the only track on the album written by a member of the group.

Jason Ankeny tells us that:

[The s]outhern California soft pop quintet . . . . [s]ign[ed] to Imperial Records in the fall of 1967 . . . [and] issued its debut LP Happy Is the Sunshine Company, scoring their lone Top 40 hit with the single “Back on the Street Again.” The album also generated the minor hit “Happy,” although with their self-titled sophomore effort, the Sunshine Company’s commercial momentum dissipated, and in the wake of their third LP, 1968’s Sunshine and Shadows, the group disbanded (although rumors of a completed but unreleased fourth effort, supposedly titled Think, continue to circulate).

Richie Unterberger writes that:

Much of their material may have been pure sunny SoCal pop . . . . But their real heart lay closer to rootsy singer-songwriter folk than the child-like naivete conveyed by their name and some of their songs. . . . “It was a struggle with Imperial, because they kind of wanted to carbon-copy ‘Happy’ over and over,” confesses [singer/guitarist Maury] Manseau. “We didn’t like a lot of the pop, bouncy material they brought us. . . . [We had] this ongoing fight . . . with the record company . . . . We had to give a lot to get a few things on that we liked[.]” . . . [Producer Joe] Saraceno [says “]I said, ‘Look, let’s get a hit and then invite the public into your world after you’re popular,’ and they agreed to that.[“] . . . [He] calls them “the most talented group I’ve ever worked with or seen,” [and] puts a lot of blame on their failure to go further on the record company politics that had kiboshed the release of “Up, Up and Away” [lost to the Fifth Dimension] (“they really got screwed”). . . . Manseau recalls Bill Graham introducing the[m] at a San Francisco show at the Filmore with the words “I know that San Francisco audiences haven’t really warmed to this group. But I think it’s one of the few good things that ever came out of L.A.”

liner notes to The Best of the Sunshine Company

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