Sunday, September 18, 2016

SHG: The Brothers Four: "Greenfields"

The Brothers Four: “Greenfields”
Entered the chart on: 3/21/1960
Peaked on: 4/18/1960
Weeks at #2: 4
Songs at #1: “Theme From A Summer Place” by Percy Faith and “Stuck on You” by Elvis Presley

I usually only do two of these, three tops, at a time, but I kind of want to keep doing these until the songs start getting good again. I couldn’t let Paul Anka’s “Puppy Love,” which is unquestionably the worst song I have covered so far on this feature, be the last of these I listened to today. I know the light is at the end of the tunnel (wait till you see which song I’ll be covering after this one), in the meantime, here’s another song I’ve never heard before, the first since Della Reese’s “Don’t You Know”

The Brothers Four aren’t brothers by blood, they’re fraternity brothers, formed at the University of Washington. The idea of a frat-boy group isn’t exactly lighting my fire, I must say. Actually, this seems to be part of the nascent folk boom, proof that this was in fact the 60s and not the 70s. I’m not exactly expecting Bob Dylan here, though. So, let the references to A Mighty Wind commence!

Well, I can appreciate the fingerstyle guitar arpeggios that open this, being a former classical guitar student myself. And you have to say, their vocal harmonies are pretty damn sweet.

For a second, I thought the green fields of the title were literal. The fields were green, now they’re brown. I wondered, could this be a very prescient protest of the mounting fears of pollution and its effects on nature? Well, no. The green fields of the title are a metaphor. The song’s protagonist is heart-broken that his love has left him, and now he’s left feeling barren and dried out like dead grass.

This was...unexpected. I mean, “He’ll Have to Go” wasn’t exactly sunny and cheery, but this one is absolutely melancholic. But it captures a mood and does so well. After the last four or five songs, I’m trying to figure out how this one fits in, and I’m drawing a blank. But it actually come as a breath of fresh air.

But then, after “Puppy Love,” what wouldn’t?

Rating: 4

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