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Shindig!’s 10 Of The Best: Balloons


Hey, why the hell not?

Welcome to the first in an ad-hoc, offbeat and topsy-turvy series of themed Youtube playlists from the lunatics in the Shindig! basement.

It might be sugar; it might be sheep; it might be shadows but it’ll always be Shindig! 

This time round, it’s balloons – those squeaky beacons (squeacons?) of sunshine-pop and summery psychedelia.

Enjoy the tunes and careful with that pin!

1. The Yellow Balloon – Yellow Balloon (1967)

Consummate US sunshine-pop. Where else could we start? Take it away, Casey…

2. The Pretty Things – Balloon Burning (1968)

Kinetic centrepiece of the Pretties’ SF Sorrow opus. Still sounds like the future.

3. Rick Nelson – Red Balloon (1969)

Much-covered Tim Hardin song given a country-rock makeover by Rick and The Stone Canyon Band.

4. The Balloon Busters – Alcock And Brown (1969)

Preposterous yet perfect slice of bubblegum nonsense penned by the hit-making (although not on this occasion) team of Barry Mason and Howard Blaikley.

5. Kaleidoscope – Balloon (1969)

Much-derided (by its creators at least) stab at chart success from everyone’s favourite UK pop-psych minstrels.

6. Icarus – Yellow Balloon (1969)

No relation to selection #1 above, this near-perfect chunk of British psychedelic rock went unreleased until 2007. Criminal.

7. Rainbow Ffolly – Montgolfier (1968)

Quaint and vaguely unsettling ode to the French inventors of the hot air variety. The balloon we mean.

8. The Swampseeds – Can I Carry Your Balloon? (1968)

Not a great deal known about this New Jersey act, other than their garage-bubblegum credentials are well and truly intact on this stomping Epic 45.

9. Peter Pan & The Good Fairies – Balloons (1967)

Slow-burning, hypnotic instrumental penned by Jim Gordon (the Jim Gordon?) that should have soundtracked a US TV drama of the day.

10. The 5th Dimension – Up, Up And Away (1967)

Ha! You thought we’d forgotten didn’t you? Jimmy Webb may as well have been a balloon, such was his lightness of touch.



7 thoughts on “Shindig!’s 10 Of The Best: Balloons

  1. Surely the Balloon Farm’s A Question Of Temperature should’ve made the top 5 at least no … it’s a question of its a question of its acquisition of … of tem per a chuuure! BANG!

  2. Oh … balloon sonnnnggggs welllll that’s a different thing entirely he he Sorry for jumpin the gun … errr just got the K thing in post … OUCH!! Ehhhhhhhh just No!

  3. I have to agree with your comment about ‘Alcock & Brown’, as I was the guitarist and one of the singers on it. The band was called St Johns Wood, but Howard & Blaikley wanted us to change our name to the Balloon Busters, which we did for one night, when we promoted the song on a television talk show called Dee Time in May 1969. Two days after, we went on tour in Denmark and kept our old name.

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