THE GRASS ROOTS Anthology: 1965-1975 (1991)

Anthology: 1965-1975 (1991)
Lead Singer Rob Grill Fights For His Life

For me, The Grass Roots were a coming of age band. From age 13 on, their hit singles provided a soundtrack to my clueless adolescence. Courtesy of AM radio, mostly, but I also owned a brand new copy of 1968’s Golden Grass, a fast-buck ‘best-of’ (and only their third album) that managed to work its marketing magic on me. If someone ever makes a Stand By Me-styled movie of my life, a few of these tunes would be prominent, backdropping events from a major crush to ring-the-doorbell-and-run teenage ignorance. The Grass Roots were one of those bands that grew comfortably into the psychedelic era, creating a handful of solid psych-pop radio hits in the late 60s, before 70-izing their sound with horn charts and formal arrangements. As this 2CD collection illustrates, they weren’t all gems, and the band, like The Turtles, relied on outside songwriters early on, primarily Steve Barri & P.F. Sloan, who helped form the band as an outlet for their songs. But this collection goes deep into the albums, including rare B-sides and rarities alongside the band’s well-known hits, a few of which you can hear, below. Very expensive at Amazon.


Mr. Jones (Ballad Of A Thin Man) (2:57)
You’re A Lonely Girl (2:25)
Where Were You When I Needed You (3:04)
Only When You’re Lonely (3:12)
This Is What I Was Made For (2:25)
Lollipop Train (You Never Had It So Good) (3:15)
Tip Of My Tongue (2:35)
Let’s Live For Today (2:52)
Things I Should Have Said (2:34)
Out Of Touch (2:55)
Is It Any Wonder (2:48)
Wake Up, Wake Up (3:04)
Melody For You (2:59)
Feelings (3:08)
Here’s Where You Belong (3:28)
Midnight Confessions (2:48)
Bella Linda (3:07)
Lady Pleasure (2:55)

Lovin’ Things (2:51)
The River Is Wide (2:53)
City Women (2:58)
I Can’t Help But Wonder, Elisabeth (4:09)
I’d Wait A Million Years (2:46)
Heaven Knows (2:29)
Out Of This World (2:50)
Walking Through The Country (3:03)
Baby Hold On (2:41)
Come On And Say It (2:32)
Temptation Eyes (2:41)
Sooner Or Later (2:42)
Two Divided By Love (2:39)
Glory Bound (2:38)
The Runway (2:56)
Any Way The Wind Blows (2:57)
Love Is What You Make It (2:56)
Mamacita (3:22)

18 Comments

  • 1
    Willard
    July 8, 2011 - 16:04 | Permalink

    Search HERE

  • 2
    July 8, 2011 - 16:21 | Permalink

    Thank you Willard, very nice. Interestingly, my first exposure to them was via an 8-track my father played occasionally as I grew up.

  • 3
    Shriner
    July 8, 2011 - 16:23 | Permalink

    I own this one. It’s a great compilation and has a great late 60’s/early 70’s pop sheen on it that still holds up well.

    Midnight Confessions is one of those great walking bass lines you hear and always wonder how you can sing and play it at the same time (sort of like “Silly Love Songs”…)

  • 4
    July 8, 2011 - 23:00 | Permalink

    …plus, Creed Bratton on guitar.

    • 5
      Willard
      July 8, 2011 - 23:53 | Permalink

      Yeah… The Office’s Creed. Forgot about him.

  • 6
    July 9, 2011 - 08:23 | Permalink

    This was the sweet spot of my gooey pre-adolescent taste, soon to be reinforced by comic infusions of metal (see: Black Sabbath). Amazing, listening to these samples, how it still stands up.

    • 7
      Willard
      July 9, 2011 - 09:01 | Permalink

      Fan mail from some flounder? Yeah, it all went downhill from here, didn’t it? Thanks for stopping by.

  • 8
    July 11, 2011 - 14:06 | Permalink

    Ah, yes. I, too, have fond memories of many of these songs from my pre-teen and teen years. I particularly remember the early songs like ‘Let’s Live For Today’ and groovin’ to the cool bass-line of the non-hit ‘Feelings’ from that very same ‘Golden Grass’ LP.
    Much thanks for this. The only Grassroots I had was on long-lost vinyl, so it will be great to these again.

  • 9
    Willard
    July 11, 2011 - 14:36 | Permalink

    Thanks for stopping by BB,
    Golden Grass was a really solid album. It was supposed to be a “best of, ” but the band had actually only charted a few times up to that point, so it was more of a marketing move (“Midnight Confessions” had gone Top Ten with no album behind it to sell), but since it was filled with their best material to date, it made quite an impression.

  • 10
    AP
    July 12, 2011 - 14:54 | Permalink

    RIP to Rob Grill who passed away yesterday… and thanks so much for this fantastic Anthology. I was a secret Grass Roots / PF Sloan fan but the Bangles’ version of Where Were You When I Needed You helped bring me out from the shadows. Die-hard fans and 60s bubblegum/sunshine/whatever fantatics might get a kick out this 1967 Grass Roots performance at Fillmore West (via Quality Bootz):
    http://qualitybootz.blogspot.com/search/label/Grass%20Roots-The

    The ’67 version of the band scored big with Live For Today, plus I believe was the Creed-era lineup.

    Also highly recommended: Grass Roots’ progenitor PF Sloan’s twofer reissue, Here’s Where I Belong, which I found at: http://filetram.com/download/4shared/7173238889/pfsloan-mrfive-rar

    Some admire Sloan’s sunshine pop genius, others are left cold. To the latter, I recommend NPR/Ed Ward’s touching recent segment on Sloan and his partner Steve Barri:

    http://www.vpr.net/npr/130594067/

    – AP

    • 11
      Willard
      July 12, 2011 - 16:27 | Permalink

      Thanks AP… for the updated info about Rob and the extra stuff to investigate.

  • 12
    AP
    July 13, 2011 - 11:13 | Permalink

    PF Sloan posted this note at the PF Sloan fan site on Yahoo (pfsloan at yahoogroups dot com)

    Rob Grill had an “indefinable something” in his spirit that came out, when
    he sang.
    That no-one can deny.
    He enjoyed being in a band, The Grassroots.
    I remember him as always eager to work long hours…
    to give the best he had to give. It was humble beginnings.
    Then we recorded ‘Live For Today’ …
    And he never looked back or stopped…
    He might have stepped on a few toes along the way
    But those that knew him well, understood and forgave and moved on…
    I could tell a lot of stories, but in the end it was the enjoyment of the
    music…
    With love,
    Phil Sloan

    • 13
      Willard
      July 13, 2011 - 11:27 | Permalink

      Thanks, AP. I met Grill a few times in social situations in the late 90s/early 00s. Nice guy.

  • 14
    Willard
    July 15, 2011 - 14:50 | Permalink

    Rob Grill’s solo album, Uprooted, from 1979. Includes a remake ballad of The Grass Roots’ “Where Were You When I Needed You.”

    Search HERE

  • 15
    DrPhil
    July 16, 2011 - 00:16 | Permalink

    I forgot all about that Bangles cover, AP. The Replacements “Temptation Eyes” is also recommended.

  • 16
    NANCy E BARKLAGE
    July 16, 2011 - 01:30 | Permalink

    My condolences to Rob Grill’s family, friends, and fans. I saw the Grass Roots at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa when I was a teenager. What an amazing concert! I actually caught the band’s drumstick (which I still have) when they threw it out to the audience. I am trying to figure out what the year was as I spent so many summers in Clear Lake and don’t remember the exact year. I’ve searched various websites (Surf Ballroom, Grass Roots, etc.) but can not figure it out. If anyone knows when they played there in the late 60’s, I would appreciate knowing. Again, my condolences. Let’s Live for Today! Best, Nancy

    • 17
      Willard
      July 16, 2011 - 09:01 | Permalink

      I gave a quick look myself and couldn’t really find anything. One person over at YouTube, however, said they saw The Grass Roots at your venue in 1969. They also said “The keyboard player had just recovered from being shocked by the microphone,” if that helps any. Thanks for commenting.

      • 18
        NANCy E BARKLAGE
        July 18, 2011 - 01:34 | Permalink

        Willard, thanks so much for looking into this! Appreciate it! Nancy

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