Nights At The Roundtable with the sadly misinterpreted Left Banke and a track off their second and final lp "Left Banke Too" - There's Gonna Be A Storm.
June 22, 2011

The Left Banke - miscast and misinterpreted but certainly not the last.

One of the positive aspects to the current state of music is certainly no lack of genres and classifications. There is a genre for everyone, no matter how obscure or abstract. If your band doesn't fit in one category, it's certainly okay to align yourself with two or twenty others. Not so in the 1960's.

The Left Banke had the misfortune of being labeled a "Baroque Pop" band, because their sound included a pronounced string section on some (but not all) of their songs. They were also labeled "two hit wonders" with such acknowledged masterpieces as Walk Away Renee and Pretty Ballerina. But that's not what they were all about. The band were capable of a lot more, but the prevailing structure of the business at the time couldn't accommodate more (unless you were huge and sacred). And so Left Banke were pigeonholed as a Baroque Pop outfit, and when they wanted to branch out and show they could do more, were banished to the annals of "two hit wonders" in history and quietly left alone to be remembered as an elaborate flash in the pan.

But the band were not without their trials and tribulations, and it probably hastened their short life expectancy which went from 1965 to 1969. But in that time made some very good and very enjoyable music.

Tonight's track is off the ill-fated Left Banke Too and an excursion into psychedelia with There's Gonna Be A Storm. After their breakup, the members went on to other bands and other projects - some memorable and others not so. But for their time, The Left Banke were an innovative band that signaled a very creative time in popular music. One which keeps getting discovered, even some forty years later.

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