The Chambers Brothers -1969 – Love, Peace and Happiness
The brothers seemed to really believe in the title track’s message, and they earned style points by including white drummer Brian Keenan, making them one of the few racially mixed American bands. This album, originally released as a double LP, is half studio and half live. The studio sides reflect the message with titles such as “Have a Little Faith” and “To Love Somebody“. But the brothers lose their way in covers of songs by the Bee Gees and Marvin Hamlisch, and the epic title track never coheres like “Time Has Come Today“. The live sides are better, with stronger material, including “I Can’t Turn You Loose” and “People Get Ready“. The boys have some fun with the encore, a barbershop medley.
“Have a Little Faith” 5:11
“Let’s Do It (Do It Together)” 4:33
“To Love Somebody” 4:36
“If You Want Me To” 3:58
“Wake Up” 2:17
“Love, Peace and Happiness” 16:15
“Wade in the Water” 10:22
“Everybody Needs Somebody” 6:28
“I Can’t Turn You Loose” 2:56
“People Get Ready” 4:13
“Bang Bang” 7:25
“You’re So Fine” 4:38
“Medley: Undecided/Love! Love! Love!” 4:04
When this initially came out I believe it was a virtual 2 for the price of 1 double set. Chances are that neither the live or studio set would have sold that well and combining the two different venues was a popular marketing concept at the time.
Musically both albums are about equal in value. The live set has the two best songs “Wade in the Water” and the playful “Bang Bang” with its simple three chorded progression. It also has versions of “People Get Ready” and “I Can’t Turn You Loose” that differ very little from the originals. The studio has the side long title track that isn’t bad even though it has the expected small soloing and noodling that was the signature of it times. A couple of other studio tracks “Have a Little Faith” and “Let’s Do It” are decent as well.
The Chambers Brothers played all their own instruments and even though their riffs were simple they were more than adequate to back up their gospel rock harmonies. This is easy music to enjoy and can be gotten in one or two plays.
For those who miss their masterpiece from 1967, “The Time Has Come” you can grab it, in our back pages here