The song is still regarded as one of the most influential on the Psychedelic Rock genre
In 1968, when Psychedelic Rock ruled the charts, The Lemon Pipers reached No.1 on the Hot 100 with “Green Tambourine”
Written and composed by Paul Leka (who also produced it) and Shelley Pinz, the Psychedelic Rock hit “Green Tambourine” was released towards the end of 1967, it spent 13 weeks on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No. 1 on February 3, 1968, selling over a million copies. The record remained on the chart for three months and it was also the first U.S. number-one hit for the Buddah label. The Lemon Pipers never repeated this success, though their “Rice Is Nice” and “Jelly Jungle”, both also written by Leka and Pinz, made the charts in 1968. Here’s some interesting facts about the song background and recording: The song tells the story of a street musician pleading for someone to give him money. In exchange he offers to play his green tambourine. The song’s instrumentation contains the titular tambourine as well as an electric sitar, a frequent signature of the so-called “psychedelic sound.” Another hook is the heavy, psychedelic tape echo applied to the word “play” in each chorus and at the end, fading into a drumroll (“Listen while I play play play play play play play my green tambourine”). The echo is noticeably different in the mono and stereo mixes. While the Lemon Pipers played on the record, producer and joint author-composer Leka hired a string section to accompany the band to add extra depth to the already psychedelic arrangement. The song is still regarded as one of the most influential on the Psychedelic Rock genre along with Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” or Strawberry Alarm Clock “Incense and Peppermint”.
Watch The Lemon Pipers performing “Green Tambourine” in 1967
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