Their 16 Greatest Hits (MCA ’71) Rating: B+
The Grass Roots were an underrated ‘60s band who has never been accorded the proper respect. Originally masterminded by songwriters/producers P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri, I won’t even bother getting into this outfit’s convoluted history. However, I will note that the Grass Roots had several memorable ‘60s singles. Among these were the hummable piano jingle “Sooner Or Later,” the simple folk rocker “Where We You When I Needed You” (later covered by The Bangles), “Heaven Knows,” which sounds like a mellower Big Star, the beautifully bombastic “Temptation Eyes,” the bubblegummy pop of “Bella Linda,” and the melodramatic “Wait A Million Years.” These songs are all guilty pleasures (only I don’t feel guilty for liking them!) that often contained a Motown rooted r&b flavor, not to mention nice sounding horns and syrupy strings. The band’s two certifiable classics were “Let’s Live For Today,” which was notable for its brilliantly borrowed (from The Drifters) “sha la la”'s and heartfelt hippy message, and “Midnight Confessions,” a soulful pop classic that delivers a wonderfully dramatic declaration of love (simply put it’s one of my favorite songs ever). The band didn’t quite have 16 great hits, but most of the other songs here are also worth hearing, and this collection contains the essential songs that most people remember the Grass Roots for.