The World’s Filled With Love (ABC Records 1968)
A real obscurity, The World’s Filled With Love marked the lone album by The Griffin. Comprised of Bruce Bentley on guitars, Vince Morton on keyboards and Jerry Brown on drums, the long-forgotten trio assimilated the many sights and sounds of the mercurial musical era in which they existed into their own interesting and oddball sonic statements.
Although The World’s Filled With Love ping pongs from style to style, there is no denying The Griffin were a tight and polished band. Sterling singfests, akin to those of The Association and The Cowsills, magnified by precise timing and tone, reveals these fellows were rehearsed and professional. But a fun and playful factor still manages to figure into the equation, suggesting The Griffin were allowed plenty of mobility.
Captained by a soulful vocal, I’m Movin’ On is highlighted by a rollicking mid-section romp with Who-flavored flash and flair, and I Could Never Leave You bops and hops to a cute and catchy bubblegummy vaudeville shuffle. Not to be confused with the Steppenwolf song of the same name, Magic Carpet Ride reels and rolls to a ghostly glare, and the hypnotic pulse of Lovely Blossom features some neat sitar samplings.
A curious contrast of joy and sorrow arises on Murder In The Cathedral, which tells the tale of a homicidal wedding. Performed at an energetic clip, backed by a merry chorus of la la la’s and a moody church organ, the cryptic composition bears a mesmerizing choral pop feel. Clutching rhythms and burning hooks fuel the rousing I’m Takin’ The Freeway and the sleepy-eyed In My Other Life is a trippy meditation on reincarnation.
The title track appears in three different places – two are quick instrumentals, clocking in at mere seconds. The third version of The World’s Filled With Love closes the album with a sweeping flourish to a sunny showcase of heavenly harmonizing and electrifying orchestration. Also of note, carnival-colored rings of a calliope organ crop up between each cut on the album.
By blending psychedelic motifs with supper club elegance, The Griffin produced an album that is strangely appealing. A period piece for sure, The World’s Filled With Love includes enough groovy moments to be so far out that it is in. It’s a bummer The Griffin didn’t create more music because it would have been great to hear where they would have gone from here.