Song of the Week Revisited – Carnival of Life, Lee Michaels


Since we’re on a roll with Lee Michaels’ posts, I thought I’d resubmit a SotW I originally wrote in November 2012 for the email distribution list I had prior to joining this blog.

Does anyone remember Lee Michaels? If you do, it’s probably either from his very good third album Lee Michaels (recorded live in the studio accompanied only by his hefty drummer, Frosty) or his top 10 hit, “Do You Know What I Mean”, from “5th”.

But I fell in love with his 1968 debut Carnival of Life through an introduction I remember fondly. My 7th grade best friend, Mark P., had a much older brother that was attending Manhattan College in New York City. Albert had his own car with an 8-Track tape deck in it… and very good taste in music. He also liked to drive, and gas was cheap, so now and then he would take Mark and me on long rides to nowhere, just cruising and listening to tunes.

It’s where I first heard Zappa’s Freak Out, The Band’s Music From Big Pink, and The Who’s Tommy. Not bad. And though Carnival of Life isn’t nearly as “important” as those albums (nor has it aged as gracefully), it still holds a warm place in my musical memory. That aside, it is still a pretty rare record that commands a decent price in psych record collecting circles. (Check out the prices they want for the CD on Amazon!)

So let’s give a listen to the title track, “Carnival of Life.”

On this song Michaels plays his trademark Hammond organ and harpsichord. But I chose this cut because it also includes some pretty nifty guitar work by Hamilton W. Watt.

So where is Michaels now? If you really want to know, check out his wacko personal web site:

Lee Michaels Home Page

Enjoy… until next Saturday.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.