Birthday (The Association album)

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Studio album by
Released March 1968[1]
Recorded October 1967-February 1968
Genre Psychedelic pop, rock
Label Warner Bros.-Seven Arts
Producer Bones Howe
The Association chronology
Insight Out
Greatest Hits
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[2]

Birthday is The Association's fourth album. Despite the ostensibly psychedelic cover, the album was even lighter on psychedelic influences than their first three, with "The Time it is Today" being the sole representative of conventional psychedelic rock. Most of the album, including the two hit singles, "Everything That Touches You" (which hit number 10 in the charts[3]) and "Time For Livin'" (which reached number 39[3]) is in the easy-listening symphonic pop vein.

This was the last LP by the group that spawned Top 40 hits. It peaked at number 23 in the Billboard charts.

MacArthur Park

The song "MacArthur Park", which was first recorded by Richard Harris, was originally offered to the Association for inclusion on this album. Producer Bones Howes challenged Jimmy Webb to write a pop song that incorporated classical instrumentation and an odd time signature, which he planned to have the Association record.

According to rumors, the song was intended as a centerpiece for a twenty-four minute cantata that would occupy one side of the record; but the group rejected the idea and were only interested (albeit reluctantly) in recording the “MacArthur Park” section. This rumor was later debunked by Webb himself, claiming there was only one composition. The reason for its exclusion was that the group, being able songwriters themselves, were not willing to give up two to three of their songs for the sake of Webb's project.

When Harris, who had just performed a slew of musical numbers for the film adaptation of Camelot, contacted Webb for a possible collaboration, this was among the compositions that were in consideration. The Harris recording became lead single for his pop record debut, A Tramp Shining, and made its way onto the Billboard Hot 100 at number 79 on May 11, 1968, peaking at number 2 on June 22, 1968 behind Herb Alpert's "This Guy's in Love with You".

Track listing

Side one
No. Title Lead vocals Length
1. "Come on In" (Jo Mapes) Kirkman and Giguere 3:19
2. "Rose Petals, Incense and a Kitten" (Ric McClelland, Jim Yester) Yester 2:57
3. "Like Always" (Bob Alcivar, Tony Ortega, Larry Ramos) Ramos 3:08
4. "Everything That Touches You" (Terry Kirkman) Kirkman and Yester 3:22
5. "Toymaker" (Jeff Comanor) Yester and Kirkman 3:30
Side two
No. Title Lead vocals Length
1. "Barefoot Gentleman" (Skip Carmel, Yester) Yester 3:27
2. "Time for Livin'" (Don Addrisi, Dick Addrisi) Giguere and Ramos 2:48
3. "Hear in Here" (Ted Bluechel) Bluechel 3:17
4. "The Time It Is Today" (Russ Giguere) Giguere 2:19
5. "The Bus Song" (Kirkman) Kirkman 3:34
6. "Birthday Morning" (Carmel, Yester) Yester 2:25


  1. ^ "The Association". Technicolor Web of Sound. October 10, 2011.
  2. ^ Allmusic review
  3. ^ a b The Association USA chart history, Retrieved June 2, 2012.

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