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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Elephant Mountain

The Youngbloods

1969

Elephant Mountain
Album Summary

Elephant Mountain is an album by the American rock band The Youngbloods, released in 1969. It reached number 118 on the Billboard 200 chart. Reviewing for The Village Voice in 1969, Robert Christgau wrote, "In the manner of tight groups, the Youngbloods stretch thinner all the time. Not only have they lost Jerry Corbitt, but their own expertise has become somehow attenuated. Banana used to be the most tasteful electric pianist in rock. Now he has become so tasteful he can sounds like Roy Kral on a lazy night." Lester Bangs was more enthusiastic in Rolling Stone, saying "this is one of the most encouraging albums I have heard in months. ... This album exudes that supremely rare commodity in these dark, bored, destructive times – joy." Years later, Rolling Stone said the album "bridges the gap between the last days of psychedelia and the outbreak of country-rock that had afflicted artists like the Byrds and Neil Young." In a retrospective review for AllMusic, Lindsay Planer praised the album, feeling that it "contains some of the band's strongest material to date". The New York Times described the album as their "1969 folk-rock touchstone".

Wikipedia

Rating

3.08

Votes

10857
Genres
Rock
Country
Psychedelic Rock

Reviews

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Mon Jan 25 2021
3

This is an interesting album. I... I think I liked it? There are certainly no stand-out tracks. Nothing to point to and say, "that was a great song!" but, at the same time, I really enjoyed listening to it as background music. Nothing disagreeable in the album (apart from a brief saxophone solo which was as tasteful as that sort of thing can be). Nothing great either. So strange. Not entirely sure how to rate it so it's getting a middling 3.

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Thu Apr 29 2021
1

This list really loves albums that are old. This is more old music that is not special or unique compared to the other old music and it adds nothing. Just because things are old don’t make them groundbreaking or important. This is best described as decade filler.

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Mon Dec 19 2022
2

Well, this was a strange one. A bit folky. A bit rocky. A bit jazzy. A bit country. A bit too averagey. Nothing stood out for me, and there was nothing to get my teeth into. It flowed over me like water over a rock. And left me just as cold.

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Wed Aug 18 2021
5

The sound is fantastic from the get go. Loved all the songs, very folksy. In the same breath, it sounds old and contemporary, it's just an excellent album.

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Wed Aug 18 2021
5

An oft-forgotten jazzy psychedelic country album? Oh yes. Yes PLEASE.

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Tue Mar 22 2022
5

Absolutely beautiful album. My perception is that The Youngbloods are less cited than other popular counterculture musicians but they are great standard bearers for the movement. The lyrics are poetic and still relevant to our culture 50+ years later. I love everything about this album. The instrumentation is dated but that’s fine. It’s of it’s time. So much fun.

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Tue Jul 12 2022
2

Mildly interesting but not horrible. Was nothing different or very entertaining. Not sure how this made the top 1001 albums lists

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Thu Feb 18 2021
5

Already loving the bluegrass feel as soon as the album starts. Anything that sounds like Outlander is good. Singer sounds like Neil Young. It started like bluegrass but now it's turning into late '60s rock. I do like how every song has a different style, and each one is a pleasant little diddy. (Note after listening) Well that was awesome. The album escalated with each song and ended on a very high note. Will 100% listen again.

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Sat Apr 17 2021
5

I'd never heard of this album, or the band until now, but I'm glad I found out about them. The music is just so good! I can't believe how good this album has been, from start to finish!

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Mon Mar 08 2021
4

Jammy, folksy, but totally not over the top. Light and fluffy like a merengue (am I good at album reviews???)

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Wed Aug 18 2021
4

Sublimely lowkey. Great background, great foreground. Sounds unique and yet matches its contemporaries. I love the folk, psychedelic, and Bluesy vibes going on here.

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Sat Aug 20 2022
2

The Youngbloods album was just like most of the other 60s psychedelic rock stuff we've had. Started okay then got lost up its own arse.

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Mon Feb 13 2023
2

I wish I could fistfight this band. Wild swings between lounge jazz and Rollin’ Stones-esque tracks left me borderline furious due to the cocktease of semi-good rock and the worst jazz I’ve heard.

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Tue Sep 27 2022
5

Heck yes. Weird hippy Americana jazz stuff is my jam.

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Mon Feb 28 2022
5

Enjoyed it so much bought it on vinyl.

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Tue Nov 01 2022
5

Get Together, the only Youngbloods song I ever heard before this, happens to be one of my very favorite songs of the ‘60s. So I’m pretty excited to see the group appear here. It’s about time I checked out some of the rest of their music. From the moment I hit play I loved this album. Darkness Darkness kicked things off beautifully. It’s got a folky, mountainy vibe that instantly appealed. Then as it goes the psychedelia came in and it all blended into something really impressive! The arrangement is beautiful and I love the lead singer’s voice. The Youngbloods make folksy, bluesy, jazzy, country, psychedelia seem completely natural. Only on reflection do I realize what an accomplishment that is. Nothing really jolted me. It all just seemed perfect. The instrumentals are wonderful. And thank you for Don’t Let The Rain Get You Down as I enter a Seattle winter. This is one of my favorite discoveries in this project so far. There will be a lot more from The Youngbloods in my future.

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Mon Jan 15 2024
4

The Youngblood’s “Elephant Mountain” is great example of an album that isn’t really in the cultural lexicon when talking about 1960’s rock, but probably should be. The musicianship here is excellent and the songs, whether traditionally structured or improvisational are engaging and exceptionally performed, moving seamlessly between psychedelic rock, jazz, blues and Americana, sometimes within the same song. As this record draws to a close, one final thing to note: It’s kind of funny how literally every band residing in northern California that released a psych album in the late sixties were better musicians and songwriters than the Grateful Dead.

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Wed Feb 14 2024
4

I've not heard of the youngbloods before but I was pleasantly surprised, great album

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Mon Apr 24 2023
3

Sounded great right off the bat, but ended up fading into mediocrity. The lead singer sounds like a very tame and much less interesting Janis Joplin.

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Wed Sep 28 2022
2

Not terrible but not good. Surely this sort of stuff is ten-a-penny from this era.

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Sun Nov 06 2022
2

Yay more slightly bland folk

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Thu Nov 18 2021
1

Too much of an elevator music.

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Sat Jul 16 2022
1

This was pretty annoying. It sounded like stupid hippie crap. Gross. I didn't like this much at all. There was 1 song that actually wasn't too bad but I have so much ill will toward this album that it's getting a 1 anyway. This should be omitted from all future publications of the book. Yuck.

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Sat Jan 30 2021
5

Great opening song, and the rest of the album is good vibing music, how have I never heard of this band?!?!?!?!!!

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Fri Mar 05 2021
5

Ha estado buenisima la semana y este no fue la excepción

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Wed Jun 16 2021
5

5/5 - Like some of this older folk music: it's good for what it is, but not my cup of tea.

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Tue Oct 26 2021
5

From the lyrics to the music, how it plays with rock, and tries different sounds. I liked it.

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Thu Jan 06 2022
5

Black Mountain Breakdown 👌 Seems like folk is pretty timeless accidentally listened to the whole thing twice

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Sun Feb 27 2022
5

Folk rock. Late 60's. Psychedelic rock. Fun songs, love some of the harmonies. Mellow but upbeat. Perfect for helping keep things light and happy while working.

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Mon Apr 11 2022
5

Really good album! Groovy blues and funky rhythms. It resembles me a bit of Creedence Clearwater Revival.

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Wed May 25 2022
5

Did not know this album yet but it is excellent in every aspect and I have listened to it non-stop for several times.

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Wed Jun 01 2022
5

dude so good and like crazy diverse, J can’t believe all these songs are on the same album made by the same band, that’s crazy - 10/10

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Fri Jun 03 2022
5

This was a very nice surprise. I was expecting more boring Neil Young folk rock nonsense but instead I got: Blues, folk, jazz, country, soul, rock, funk, ragtime, psychedelic, 60s silliness. Will defo listen again.

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Mon Aug 08 2022
5

Très belle découverte de cette liste. Honnêtement pas un mauvais moment sur l'album. Pourquoi ce n'est pas plus connu je ne comprends pas.

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Thu Aug 18 2022
5

Loved it! Folk with a bit of jazz… easy to listen

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Fri Sep 02 2022
5

Nice groove. Hadn't heard of them before.

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Mon Sep 05 2022
5

Mi sorprende che non conoscessi affatto questa band. Un album eclettico in cui ogni traccia rappresenta un genere diverso: folk, soul, perfino jazz. Sicuramente approfondirò la loro discografia.

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Fri Sep 23 2022
5

40 minutes long, in out all quality. Bosh.

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Tue Nov 01 2022
5

Oh, sure. The Youngbloods. I know them. Wait...do I? Am I confusing them with The Yardbirds? Oh yeah: come on people now, smile on your brother... That's them. That song's not on this album though. The only song I know on this album is Darkness, Darkness because Ann Wilson (of Heart) did a cover on her amazing album Hope & Glory. I love that cover. And I love The Youngbloods' original. I love a lot of this album. It's definitely 60s but not overplayed. Interesting instrumentation. Speaking of...there are a few instrumental bits that go on a little long but that's my only complaint. This is good good stuff and I want to hear more.

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Sat Dec 24 2022
5

I love folk rock! This is amazing! I love the Built to Spill vibes. Darkness Darkness is such a DnD song, Smug was great, On Sir Francis Drake was a fire jazz track, love this. Great listen, start to stop.

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Tue Jan 10 2023
5

Loved it! Elements of folk music. It didn't sound typically '60s like "Get Together."

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Tue Mar 28 2023
5

OMG! How have I never even heard of this band before? The first track was sensational. Second track not quite so good, but still worth listening to. Echoes of Nick Drake in 'Sunlight'. 'Quicksand' excellent. This is more like it.

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Thu Mar 30 2023
5

A very strong record that, while begun in NY, took on a late 60s California vibe that was part of the time’s reach toward roots and Americana. Incorporating an array of sound and styles, this album conveys a sense of evolution and growth that keeps it sounding fresh. Folk rock? Yes, kind of. But less dated sounding than much contemporaneous music. Strong.

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Mon Aug 14 2023
5

Considering the fact that I have always had a healthy dislike of country-rock, and have always felt a general disdain towards the psychadelic, I was really surprised by my reaction to this album. I kinda loved it? It was all the best of a music decade that has always kind of fell flat to me. A really nice melding of genres, with some truly gorgeous songs. Best tracks: Beautiful, Darkness, Darkness, Quicksand Worst track: Trillium

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Sat Aug 19 2023
5

Jessie Colin Young - listened while in Hawaii

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Thu Sep 14 2023
5

this was lovely, lots of influences from places I wuite enjoy. Nothing too special about the songwriting, but some really nice soundscapes

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Thu Sep 28 2023
5

Really like this one. Multiple listens and want to re-listen.

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Sun Nov 26 2023
5

I really liked this. Beatles-esque 60's pop done by jazz artists with lots of jazzy arrangements, medlies, and interludes.

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Tue Dec 19 2023
5

Lovely jammy alt psych country rock situation with a little swizzle of big band jazz stylings to round it all out. Big fan.

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Fri Feb 09 2024
5

This album kinda blew my mind. Love the little jazz odyssey’s through out

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Thu Mar 07 2024
5

This is something I am going to listen to for the next 15 years

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Fri Apr 05 2024
5

This is such a groovy record, I am loving it. I'm certain I've heard some of these songs before but never knew the band. I probably assumed they were just some Eagles or Animals deep cuts. I can see myself, a passenger in my dad's '79 Oldsmobile, watching the world roll by as we cruise the backroads on a sunny summer day. Maybe we’re going to get ice cream. Maybe we’re going to get groceries. It doesn’t really matter where we’re going, I just love that we’re together and the radio is playing such great tunes. This record helps me prolong this sweet reverie, it’s an unexpected conduit to happy memories, and I still miss my dad so much since he passed away last spring, so I’m going to keep idling in this one for a while.

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Fri Apr 05 2024
5

This is an actual great psychedelic-yet-very melodic album that sounds not too hard like other psychedelic stuff - and that is its secret strength. Love it.

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Wed Feb 10 2021
4

Monta kuuntelua, aina tuli fiilis, et on pikkukekkulissa lauantaipäivänä auringonpaisteessa

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Thu Jun 03 2021
4

It was nice, pseudo psychedelic album

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Tue Feb 23 2021
4

Virkeligt fedt album. En smooth og easy listening plade med en blandet rock/jazz stil. Tæt på 5 stjerner

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Wed Jan 20 2021
4

Lekker album om te luisteren

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Thu Jan 21 2021
4

This was a wonderfully produced album with a nice bluegrass sound.

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Sun Apr 18 2021
4

Great album. Amazing guitar and cool use of a variety of instruments. Definitely listening again

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Fri Apr 02 2021
4

Last track, praise be to God emoji!

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Mon Mar 22 2021
4

I enjoyed just the full on vibe

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Mon Mar 22 2021
4

I enjoyed this slightly folkier/jazzier version of the Allman Brothers. Some really solid songs as well as some that were just low key and kind of fun. Favorite Tracks: “Darkness, Darkness,” “Smug,” and “Ride the Wind”

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Fri Mar 05 2021
4

I knew the songs but couldn't tell you their name or the band, they are a classic, nice instrumentation and a powerful voice

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Mon Feb 22 2021
4

Good folk music—fiddling, acoustic guitar, EYC. Sometimes reminiscent of Irish folk music

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Fri Apr 02 2021
4

This is exactly what I was in the mood for. Solid album

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Thu Feb 04 2021
4

The little musical interludes were kind of fun breaks to actual tracks and I think set the album up well. I enjoyed the sorta lighthearted vibe, and the sound from these older albums just sounds good, so I really enjoyed it without knowing how to describe it. The Francis Drake one that was long and purely instrumental also caused me to dive into his Wikipedia page, so I’ll add an extra star for the potential LearnedLeague help.

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Thu Feb 04 2021
4

Enjoyed it end to end... the first ~30 seconds were awesome, then from there I liked the bluesy parts, instrumentals, even the little slide whistle and the elevator music opening on the last track. Close to a 5 for me but I just didn’t hear the homerun song

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Sat May 22 2021
4

Nog nooit iets van gehoord en aangenaam verrast. Ik hoorde er van alles in: Nick Drake, The Beatles, Aaron Neville etc.

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Wed Mar 17 2021
4

a bit of a blur, but I vaguely recall this as pleasant and old school. need to listen again

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Tue Apr 06 2021
4

I liked this a lot. Perfect vibes for a Monday morning. Chill, but upbeat.

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Sun May 09 2021
4

Ziemlich gut und ziemlich zeitlos

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Sun May 09 2021
4

War mir bisher gar kein Begriff l, aber schönes Album und gut zum durchhören

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Sun May 23 2021
4

Yet another I've never heard of that is incredibly impressive. I don't get all the hullabaloo around the 70s when the 60s seem to have stuff like this

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Sun Apr 04 2021
4

Folksy, smooth, snappy, and hoppy

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Thu Jun 03 2021
4

Pleasantly surprised by this record. More 3.5 than 4. Still good though.

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Wed May 19 2021
4

Nice and chili folk rock. I specially liked the track 'on sir Francis drake'. A mellow instrumental whit jazz and psychedelic influences.

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Tue May 11 2021
4

Darkness Darkness-Already impressed by the fiddle (?) ish start. The lyrics are so...dark. heh. liking that riff with the main vocals. i really should learn proper music terms lmao. Smug-has a country like melody to it so far. Damn that was so short! On Sir Francis Drake-its an instrumental piece? sounds not bad. and whoops two songs went by without me noticing. Beautiful-chill feel good piece. Rain song- lmao relistening to the album. i like it better than yesterdays bc rock still doesnt jive with me much. this ones like a mix of different genres altogether, jazz, some rock, swing? country, idk. nice tunes regardless. very alternative i think? oh lmao wiki says its folk rock/country rock/psychidelica? sounds about right actually. not bad. maybe this rock i can jive with.

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Sun Jun 06 2021
4

Very trippy, jazzy, cool! Started with kind of a dark hippy Darkness Darkness (later covered by Robert Plant), got into loose jazzy improv-feeling Francis Drake…Beautiful is 60s bluesy Janis Joplin-esque (or JC superstar)

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