Exposé Online banner

The Yellow Balloon — The Yellow Balloon
(Sundazed SC 11069, 1967/2002, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2005-03-01

The Yellow Balloon Cover artThe Yellow Balloon is basically the story of one producer & songwriter Gary Zekley who, disappointed with the results after having Jan and Dean record one of his songs, decided to record it again himself. Then, with an unexpected smash hit song on his hands, quickly recorded a full album of material with studio musicians, then contacted his friend, multi-instrumentalist & singer Don Grady (better known as Robbie Douglas from the TV show My Three Sons) to assemble a “real” five-piece band to work up a live set and make a bunch of TV appearances in the wake of the hit. Beginning with album opener “How Can I Be Down?” the material has an unapologetically positive and uplifting vibe, heavily influenced by the “Good Vibrations”-era Beach Boys sound and the sunshine pop of the period (think Millenium, The Association, Sunshine Company, etc.) full of melody, simple happy-go-lucky rhythms, fun lyrics that intentionally eschew the social consciousness of the times, and meticulously arranged elaborate multi-part vocal harmonies. The twelve songs are all short, no-nonsense pieces that concisely showcase and support the songwriting, and although musicianship is top notch throughout, there’s not a lot of room here for solos. Songs like “Follow the Sunshine,” “Stained Glass Window,” “Baby Baby It’s You,” and “Springtime Girl” are all as strong as the better known title track. Eight bonus tracks include singles, demos, and four cuts by Don Grady and his pre-YB Windupwatchband. All taken, an important, if somewhat obscure slice of 60s pop history.

Filed under: Reissues, Issue 31, 2002 releases, 1967 recordings

Related artist(s): The Yellow Balloon

Latest news

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

However - Sudden Dusk – The reissue of However's classic Canterbury inspired first album is one this writer has been anticipating for many years. The band at this point was a four-piece, featuring Peter Prince (vocals,...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues