Song of the Week – Through a Window, Euphoria

Ignored            Obscured             Restored

One of my favorite “hidden classics” is Lee Michaels’ Carnival of Life.  I featured a SotW from that album way back in late 2012.

Although Michaels is known for his work behind the keyboards (organ, piano, harpsichord), one of the best parts of Carnival of Life is the guitar playing by Hamilton W. Watt.  But who is Hamilton W. Watt?

Trying to answer that question sent me down an internet wormhole.  First I landed on this interesting obituary:

Hamilton W. Watt Obituary

And by the time I came out, I had discovered a terrific album that I hadn’t heard before – A Gift from Euphoria, by Euphoria.

Euphoria was a duo made up of Watt and William Lincoln.  They were signed to Capitol Records and made one album that was released in 1969.  That album has become a cult classic among record collectors.  (No, I don’t own a copy!)  It is well regarded for the eclectic mix of styles that are executed so well.  The album has symphonic ballads (think Moody Blues), hippy country rock (like The Byrds), psych, and songs that integrate sound collages (like The Beatles “Tomorrow Never Knows”).

Today’s SotW – “Through a Window” – is the cut that makes the best use of Watt’s guitar prowess.

After listening through the whole album a couple of times I happened to pick up my copy of The MOJO Collection – The Greatest Albums of All Time, and guess what?  A Gift from Euphoria is represented in the section for 1969!

To fully appreciate this album, you should listen to it all the way through.  It isn’t available on Spotify, but the full album can be found on YouTube.

Enjoy… until next week.

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.