Summer Breeze offered an unusually ambitious array of music within a soft rock context -- most artists tried to avoid weighty subjects in such surroundings (except, of course, CSN or Simon & Garfunkel, who could pretty much get away with anything). The title track is one of those relentlessly appealing 1970s harmony-rock anthems, in the same mode as the Doobie Brothers' "Listen to the Music" and appropriately ubiquitous on the radio and in the memory; the guitar (electric and acoustic) and vocal hooks are all well-nigh irresistible. The rest varies in sound and focus. "Hummingbird" quotes from the Baha'i scriptures and has a segmented structure with a chantlike opening and a sharp change in tempo, which didn't stop it from becoming a hit, and for all of its beauty, the soaring Marty Paich-arranged orchestral accompaniment, highlighted by lofty strings and a gorgeous horn part, never eclipses the core sound of the duo's singing and their acoustic guitar/mandolin combination. "Funny Little Man" mixes understated harmonies and acoustic instruments into an extended break that could almost pass for a classical piece. "Say" asks a lot of serious philosophical questions amid its rapid beat and playful tone. "East of Ginger Trees" is a hauntingly beautiful excursion into more Baha'i scripture, with delectable harmonies, a gorgeous mandolin part, and one of the most exquisitely restrained uses of orchestra of its era. "Fiddle in the Sky" shifts the album into purer country territory, while "The Boy Down the Road" moves listeners into a country-folk vein with a spookily melodramatic tale. "The Euphrates" picks up the tempo, providing an upbeat take on the meaning of life that loses none of its inherent sense of wonder. "Advance Guards" has that same sense of wonder, conveying it in a slower, more luxuriant setting, and the record ends on a rougher-hewn note with the more beat-driven, electric guitar-heavy "Yellow Dirt." Summer Breeze was the most highly regarded of all of Seals & Crofts' albums, a fact reflected by its reissue as part of the all too short-lived Warner Archives series in 1995, which also accounts for its far better than average sound.
Performance CreditsSeals & Crofts Primary Artist
John Hartford Banjo
King Errisson Conductor,Conga
Red Rhodes Guitar,Steel Guitar
Jim Keltner Drums
Louie Shelton Bass,Guitar,Electric Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals
Jim Gordon Drums
Harvey Brooks Bass
John Ford Coley Piano,Vocals
Dash Crofts Guitar,Mandolin,Piano,Drums,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals
Wilton Felder Bass
John Guerin Drums
Del Higgins Vocals
Milt Holland Percussion,Tabla,Tamboura
Jim Horn Flute,Wind
Larry Knechtel Piano
Russ Kunkel Drums
Michael Lang Piano
Larry Lichtig Piano
Robert Lichtig Bass,Clarinet,Flute,Wind
Clarence McDonald Piano
Michael Omartian Piano
Don Shelton Vocals
Jim Seals Fiddle,Guitar,Violin,Saxophone,Vocals
Joe Osborn Bass
Technical CreditsLouie Shelton Producer
Val Garay Engineer
David Hassinger Engineer
Marty Paich String Arrangements
Ed Thrasher Artwork,Art Direction
Mark English Illustrations
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Summer Breeze based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
I remember hearing Seals and Crofts the first time as a warm-up act for Chicago in 1968. They were then and still are an very enjoyable duo to sit back and relax and listen to. As they progressed from songs such as "Tin Town" (not on this album) to their more well-known selections such as "Summer Breeze" and "Hummingbird", their songs became richer and deeper, but always retained a smooth, easy-listening quality. The subjects range from the personal (Summer Breeze, Fiddle in the Sky) to the spiritual (Hummingbird) to social commentary (Funny Little Man). Glad I bought it.
Listened to Seals & Crofts in highschool & as a young adult. My favorite group. Love the sound & the words bring me back to my youth. Glad to find it on CD. For a remake, it seems to have a great sound, although I am no expert.
A nice album from the 70's that will bring back many memories for those of us of a certain age. Two big hits with the title track and Hummingbird.