My main man pots and pans Charlie Hall, musician extraordinaire from Philly just dropped Now That’s What I Call Soft Rock Volume 2: Roots today, hot on the heels of Volume 1: The Essentials.
Here’s what Charlie says:
Here’s another installment in the That’s What I Call Soft Rock series. I appreciate all of the concern that the last one incurred – for example I received emails with questions such as ‘Thanks, but why the lack of mixed gender duos?’, ‘Why no Little River Band?’, etc. (To answer those two specifically, hang tight for Volume 3 which contains both of those things). But for Volume 2, I wanted to focus on what one might call THE ROOTS OF SOFT ROCK.
It’s hard to pinpoint the “roots” of something that is so loosely defined, but this is just an attempt to trace things back through my own personal vantage point (ie my own records). I’m sure there are many many other factors involved – but it seems to me that a few undeniable forces would be the Beatles/Beach Boys, the sudden popularity of bossa nova in the 60s and the influence that had, and, more than anything, people just being plain MELLOW. Without the Everlys and Four Freshmen there would be no Beatles and Beach Boys (respectively), so of course they have to be in the party. And if we’re tracing back to the Four Freshmen, you gotta include the Mills Brothers on some level (I do, anyway). Vocal harmony seems to be a key ingredient. And in looking back for soft rock “indicators”, shall we say, it seems more often than not we’re talking about people getting sentimental. Nine times outta ten, someone’s gushing about someone. Or talking about how kites are fun. Now that’s soft.
Here’s the setlist:
The Everly Brothers, The Beatles, The Mills Brothers, Stevie Wonder, The Byrds, The Free Design, The Left Banke, The Zombies, CSNY, The Association, Simon & Garfunkel, The Kinks, The Mamas and Papas, The Doors, Glen Campbell, Dionne Warwick, The Four Freshmen, and The Beach Boys.
You can download it here