There Stands the Door: The Best of We Five

There Stands the Door: The Best of We Five

by We FiveWe Five


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Though "You Were on My Mind" was one of the first and best big folk-rock hits, We Five's reputation as early folk-rock pioneers has suffered from the abundance of weak and ill-suited pop material on the spotty two LPs recorded by the original lineup. It's no exaggeration to hail the 22-track There Stands the Door as a major rehabilitation of the group's legacy. That's due both to the wise selection of their best and most folk-rock-oriented material, and to the inclusion of eight previously unissued cuts (and one non-LP A-side) that do much to fill out a fairer portrait of the group's strengths. Instead of sounding like a wildly erratic outfit prone to interpreting too many pop standards and show tunes, this cherry-picked anthology shows them more as a highly worthwhile, if a little lightweight, early folk-rock group who helped innovate the male-female harmonies characteristic of early San Francisco folk-rock in particular. The CD focuses both on the group's best original material (often penned by John Stewart's brother Mike Stewart) and their most appropriate choices of folky songs to cover, including several compositions by John Stewart and an obscure tune (the previously unissued "What'cha Gonna Do") co-written by Bob Gibson, Shel Silverstein, and Fred Neil. All but a couple of the tracks were recorded prior to the first lineup's dissolution in spring 1967, and Beverly Bivens' vocals in particular anticipate aspects of the San Francisco folk-rock singing heard in early Jefferson Airplane recordings, particularly on the 1966 single "You Let a Love Burn Out." From the same year, the non-LP single "There Stands the Door" hints at some more musically and lyrically adventurous directions that went unexplored, even if its adventurousness is fairly mild compared to that of the Airplane. True, "You Were on My Mind" remains the best track they ever did by some distance. But much more than their original LPs, There Stands the Door stands as their true best-of, and if its concentration on folk-rock gives a somewhat incomplete document of their eclectic repertoire, it does indisputably focus on the best of that repertoire. Note that a couple of the unissued tracks (judiciously placed at the end of the CD) are actually taken from recordings they made for Coke commercials; while they're hardly emblematic of the group at their best, they certainly are rare and thus to be welcomed by hardcore collectors. A more significant bonus is Alec Palao's extensive annotation, in which first-hand interviews with surviving bandmembers do much to flesh out the history of this ill-documented group.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/10/2009
Label: Big Beat Uk
UPC: 0029667428620
catalogNumber: 286
Rank: 3278

Album Credits

Performance Credits

We Five   Primary Artist
Jerry Granelli   Drums
Bev Bevan   Vocals
John Chambers   Drums
Peter Fullerton   Bass,Electric Bass,Acoustic Bass,Group Member
Rich Tilles   Percussion
Beverly Bivens   Percussion,Vocals,Group Member
Jerry Burgan   Acoustic Guitar,Group Member
George Yanok   Drums
Mike Stewart   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Electric Guitar,9-string Guitar,Group Member
Bob Jones   Electric Guitar,Guitar (12 String Electric),Group Member
Debbie Burgan   Vocals
Frank Denson   Piano
Bill Stamps   Bass

Technical Credits

Bob Gibson   Composer
Fred Neil   Composer
Shel Silverstein   Composer
John Stewart   Composer
Jerry Riopelle   Producer
Burt Bacharach   Composer
Bill Chadwick   Composer
John Chambers   Composer
Hal David   Composer
Sylvia Fricker   Composer
Peter Fullerton   Composer
Alec Palao   Liner Notes,Memorabilia,Cover Photo
Beverly Bivens   Composer,Memorabilia
Jerry Burgan   Composer,Memorabilia
Randy Cierley   Composer
Frank Weber   Author
Dino Valenti   Composer
Frank May   Composer
Debbie Burgan   Composer,Memorabilia

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