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The Association

The Association

Review by Gary Hill

I first got into the Association when I read that Jon Anderson and Chris Squire were both big fans when they were forming Yes. I can often make out influences that lent themselves to progressive rock music in the sound of this group. The thing is, the vocal harmonies are amazing. Surely that’s the biggest thing Yes took away from the sound. This album has plenty of that. Interestingly enough, though, if you really listen you can hear how these guys influenced groups like Bread and America. However you slice it, though, this expanded edition is quite a strong release. When it comes to the Association, come for the influences, stay for the harmonies.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 5 at

Track by Track Review
Look At Me, Look At You

There is a definite country folk sound to this cut. It’s definitely very much in the style of the late 1960s – think Peter Paul and Mary and Country Joe and the Fish. The arrangement gets pretty involved at times.

Yes, I Will
We get more of a classic pop rock sound here. The guitar sound is pretty fuzzy at times. Overall this is quite a strong tune.
Love Affair
Although this is mellower, the arrangement is more lush. I like this song much better than either of the two openers. It’s quite a nice cut. Sure, it sounds a little dated now, but it’s also a great tune.
The Nest
The vocal arrangement on this one is purely sublime. It’s another slow tune that’s fairly mellow. The vocals are really the main “instrumentation” here and they really sell the tune. There is a faster paced movement later, though. I can hear this as a big influence on progressive rock, but an even bigger one on the band Bread. In fact, it wouldn’t be a big stretch to imagine those guys doing a version of this.
What Were the Words
There is a bit of country music on this via the slide guitar. It fits into the folk rock stylings more than anything else, though.
Are Your Ready For That?
We get a great soulful vibe on this killer rocker. It’s got a cool horn section and the whole thing just plain scorches. This is one of the best songs here.
Dubuque Blues

Fairly energetic folk rock, I’m just not overly crazy about this tune. It’s catchy and fun. It just doesn’t work all that well for my tastes.

Under Branches
Although the overall musical concept hasn’t changed, this tune is stronger to my ears. There are some horns in the arrangement and it’s another that shows some hints of the kinds of things prog bands would later do. One or two sections here also make me think of the band America a bit.
I'm Up For Europe
Much more of a rocker, there’s a real theatrical element to this. It feels like it could have come from one of the “hippie musicals” like “Jesus Christ Superstar” or “Godspell” to me. It’s a good tune.
I have to say, I’m a fan of broccoli, the food. I never thought I’d hear a song written about it, though. This starts with some studio talk about the food order being delivered. Then they take it into a folk rock number about the vegetable. This is silly, but somehow it works. There is a little spoken bit here adding to the silliness and then tape effects turn the cut to space to end.
Goodbye Forever
More of a rocker, this is a great tune.
Boy On The Mountain
As far as I’m concerned this piece by itself would be worth the price of admission here. It is an evocative and powerful cut that has a rather lush arrangement. It is another that has some leanings that seem like they could have influenced progressive rock that would come later.
Just About The Same (Non-Lp 45)
This tune is pretty straightforward folk rock. It’s a good number.
Six Man Band (Non-Lp 45)

That fuzz guitar is back on this number. It’s one of the stronger cuts here. It’s a real rocker.

Enter the Young (Mono 45)
Energetic, this is more of the folk rock we’ve heard throughout much of the set. It’s one of the more effective cuts here.
Yes I Will (Mono 45)

This is an alternate take of the earlier cut.

Are You Ready (Mono 45)

Here is a mono-single version of the tune we heard previously on the disc.

Dubuque Blues (Mono 45)

The mono single trend continues with this alternate version.

Under Branches (Mono 45)
Here’s another mono single.
I Am Up For Europe (Mono 45)
Yet another single is delivered here.
Look At Me, Look At You (Mono Mix)

This is a mono mix of the earlier cut.

Boy on the Mountain (Mono Mix)
The final bonus track is the mono mix of this great piece.
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