Friday, December 9, 2022

Crystal Blue Persuassion





A gentle-tempoed groove, "Crystal Blue Persuasion" was built around a prominent organ part with an understated arrangement, more akin to The Rascals' sound at the time than to James's contemporary efforts with psychedelic rock. It included melodic passages for an acoustic guitar, as well as a bass pattern, played between the bridge and the third verse of the song.

In a 1985 interview in Hitch magazine, James said the title of the song came to him while he was reading the Biblical Book of Revelation:

Stewart had all of the music and orchestration written and completely recorded before he even had a title for any of the songs. In a Canadian radio interview he stated that he has done this for six of his albums, and he often writes four different sets of lyrics for each song. The title track derives from a song Stewart wrote in 1966 called "Foot of the Stage" with prescient lyrics about Tony Hancock, one of Britain's favourite comedians who died by suicide two years later. When Stewart discovered that Hancock was not well known in the United States, he went back to his original title "Year of the Cat".


When released as a single in June 1969, "Crystal Blue Persuasion" became one of the biggest hits for the group, peaking at number two on the Billboard pop singles chart for three weeks behind Zager and Evans's single "In the Year 2525".  In Canada, the song spent one week at number one. The single version differs from the album version of the song with horn overdubs added to the mix and a longer bongos overdub before the third verse.

A music video was made which showed various scenes of late 1960s political and cultural unrest and imagery of "love and peace".

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