Seals and Crofts Greatest Hits (Vinyl Review #5)LizardKing99 Per request of Billyv, I’m taking us down a different route this time. Usually I don’t do compilation albums, but I’m going to review Seals and Crofts – Greatest Hits. Most of you are probably unaware of who Seals and Crofts are. To me, they’re kind of like the lesser known Simon and Garfunkel. This duo is great but sadly forgotten, so we’re going to dig into some of their gems from the past.
1. When I Meet Them – The intro to this song reminds me of the song about nouns from Schoolhouse Rock; except this song is much cooler. I like the nice tambourine beat we have going here, it’s an upbeat song to get you moving. While the verses sound slightly folkish, the chorus has a disco feel to it. Then, there’s a piano breakdown and they sing to us about remembering how to love, a classic 60s theme. This is followed by some unexpected electric guitar and more disco-esque music. It was confusing with all of the genres thrown in here, but it all somehow fit together really well. This is a great song to get you going for the rest of the album.
2. Diamond Girl – Here, we take a different trip to a tropical environment. The intro has that beach vibe to it with bongos and everything. They harmoniously sing about a girl they treasure, and compare her to a diamond (as you can tell by the title). Contrasting from the beginning, you can hear jazzy, if not Steely Dan-type guitars going on, yet the chorus remains under that reggae influence. My favorite thing about this song is that they chose to pair a guitar solo with a flute solo. I thought it was an odd idea at first, but they sounded really cool together. This is one of Seals and Crofts’ many great love ballads, more of which are to come on this album.
3. Hummingbird – This song’s intro is absolutely stunning. It starts right off the bat with some beautiful vocal harmonies and finger-picked guitar. After the intro, the song picks up with some drums and a twist of electric guitar. I particularly liked how, during the verses, there was a flute mocking the notes they were singing. If you want to sing an ode to someone you love, this is the song to choose. It’s such a gorgeous way to tell someone you care while you compare them to a cool bird, because why not? And then, our love song fades out with strings arrangements, folky guitars, and the vocalist beautifully singing, “Don’t fly away,” repeatedly. An overall amazing song.
4. Castles in the Sand – This intro is so hot. The first word that came to mind when listening to it was ‘smooth’. It gives you a super daring vibe, and in a way, it fits. The song, to me, is about a guy who spots a beautiful girl he’d like to be with, but he feels like he can’t because he’s a tumbleweed that keeps on rolling. I love it when the song takes a turn and the music goes all “fairytale land” on you, and he sings, “Your eyes are dancing and saying to me…” This song is just all kinds of great. You go from the fiery desert to a beautiful garden with princesses and back. I also love the lyrics to this song. I feel like this track is one of the more underrated ones, but I highly recommend checking this one out; it’s amazing.
5. East of Ginger Trees – This song goes back and forth a lot. The intro starts us off with an eerie feeling. Whenever they’re singing, the music sounds that way. However, when they aren’t singing, there are these cool instrumental breaks that sound happy. During these breaks I could hear instruments that sound Eastern or Indian, if you will. I thought it sounded super awesome. I love that they chose to put that influence in there, because it gives it a real hippie vibe. I also love how the particular vocal harmonies sound over the acoustic guitar in this song. The song picks up a little bit and they begin to sing about things like “swimming in the ocean of life.” This is definitely the psychedelic track of the album; a forgotten gem that needs to be listened to.
6. I’ll Play For You – I feel like this might be one of the more well-known songs on the album. The intro reminds me of falling rain for some unexplained reason. I believe this song was meant to sound like a live version to give you a better feel on what they’re singing about. I think it’s about being a performer and wanting to play for the people who are special to you; lovers, friends, and most of all, your audience. It makes you see how passionate they were about their music. There’s this one quote in the song that sticks out to me: “I’d like for you to be whatever you would like to be, you’ll always be special to me.” Just the entire concept of this song and the gleeful trumpets going on in the background lifts your heart.
7. Ruby Jean and Billy Lee – This is probably my favorite Seals and Crofts love ballad. This may even be one of the most well-written and thought-out love songs I’ve ever heard. The intro makes me think of Led Zeppelin III, which tells you it’s going to be acoustic. The lyrics to this song are outstanding. One of my favorite parts is when they sing about how this couple will grow up and get together and have children. “Nor will they kill, hate, or hesitate to love,” is how they describe those future kids; that’s so touching to me. If I decide to have kids, that’s how I want them to be. I also like how, rather than harmonizing as two people like the rest of their album, they sing this song primarily in duet form. I thought this fit well because one sings from Ruby Jean’s point-of-view, while the other sings from Billy Lee’s. It just makes the song that much more genuine.
8. King of Nothing – This is one of my personal favorites on the album; actually, the last three songs are. This song’s music sounds gleeful, while the lyrics aren’t so happy. He sings about loving someone but it ultimately not working out, and feeling like he’s been left with nothing and dreams about being king. This track is wonderful because this has been my go-to songs many times. I would listen to it when I felt like I didn’t have control over my life, or if I felt alone or down, or just sad in general. My favorite line from the song and probably my favorite part in it as a whole would be when he sings, “If I could rule, I’d dance my cares away, find romance every day…” That line just makes you feel like you can be anything you want to be.
9. Summer Breeze – This song is Seals and Crofts’ greatest hit for a reason. I love the song’s intro; it’s probably one of my favorite intros of all time. This is a great summer song, a great driving song, a great hippie jam… just everything a 60s/70s song needs to be. The first time I ever heard this song was in fifth grade. My teacher would play this for us while we were writing. A few years later, I found the song again and it gave me such a nostalgic feeling. Not only that, but this song makes you want to run through a field of daisies when the sun is shining. It makes you feel connected to the spirits in nature and everything around you. It makes me feel fine…
10. We May Never Pass This Way (Again) – This song, hands down, is my favorite Seals and Crofts song of all time. It’s such an emotional rollercoaster; happy, sad, appreciative, nostalgic… everything. This is the song I want to have played at my funeral, but also at my wedding. It also sounds like something you would hear when the movie is happily ending and the character thanks all of his friends, but it’s sad because he has to move on. To me, this track is about living a happy life with no regrets because you don’t get two chances for everything. At the same time, it’s also about meeting wonderful people in your life, but moving on your own life’s journey and always remembering what they did for you… just letting your fears go and allowing the wind to take you wherever it blows. The quote from the song that sums up exactly what I’m trying to say here is, “I wanna laugh while the laughing is easy. I wanna cry if it makes it worthwhile.” And then the guitar solo; I don’t know what it is about this particular solo, but it makes me so emotional every time I hear it. There’s so much passion and emotion put into it all at once. And when the solo ends, it makes you feel satisfied or content. This song lifts you up so high. It’s ultimately a great way to summarize their greatest hits album.
This album perfectly recounts the wonderful career of a forgotten duo. It’s also a 70’s staple. If you want to take some alone time and cheer up or find yourself, this is the album to go with.
Give me requests, all the albums I have are listed here
Review my favourite album of all time...
... Rust in Peace - Megadeth. - IronSabbathPriest
I sure will. I have a lot of requests before that one though so it may be a while~ - LizardKing99
Thank you. Owning the vinyl album, I was happily surprised to see it on your list. I enjoyed the read here while listening to it, but of course I enjoyed the YouTube video More lmao etc 😉 - Billyv
Glad you enjoyed it 😊 - LizardKing99