Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

“Leopard Skin Phones”: Stereo Demonstration Pop Art

With the aid of producer, Bob Dorough (“Schoolhouse Rock”), Spanky & Our Gang put together an ambitious song cycle – 1969’s Without Rhyme or Reason – where all the songs are interlinked for continuous sound from start to finish.

Spanky & Our Gang LP

Album opener “Leopard Skin Phones” also ended up as the B-side of “And She’s Mine” (#97), the group’s final charting single:

Leopard Skin Phones

Spanky & Our Gang [Smother Brothers Show]

Sonically speaking, this song would seem to be poking fun at stereo demonstration albums, as National Lampoon would go on to do to hilarious effect five years later.  Sadly, as 45Cat notes, the group had already disbanded by the time this recording was released.

Written by EustaceLefty Baker (guitar/banjo) & Kenny Hodges (bass)

45Cat’s Dale45 provides this helpful review of the 45’s A-side and B-side:

When we think of Spanky And Our Gang, we usually think of agreeable A-sides on which Spanky performs lead vocals, accompanied by her gang of background-singing, instrument-playing, eccentric-looking fellows. But here are two tracks, no less agreeable, in which we hear very little of Spanky and a heavy dose of her gang.

Leopard Skin Phones” has an attention-grabbing opening leading into a snappy-sounding accompaniment for a story of a fellow who likes to play his stereo loudly enough for his neighbors to hear. Predictably, he is asked to vacate the premises, while Spanky’s gang sing chords that are all over the chart.

Far more mild-mannered is the A-side. “And She’s Mine” may be described as sunshine pop or bubblegum. I simply call it a sublime pop confection. To me it sounds like The Association trying to imitate The Beach Boys. It also sounds like a smash hit, which it was not.

This single presents some of the sixties’ finest harmonizers giving their vocal cords a workout. It’s a treat for the ears, especially if your habit is to experience music at something beyond a superficial level.

ElaineSpankyMcFarlane, John Seiter, Kenny Hodges, Lefty Baker, Nigel Pickering, and Malcome Hale provided all the vocal work on the album, along with Little Brother Montgomery on exactly one song — “But Back Then.”


LINK to Psychedelic Rock +/- Pop

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