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The Balloon Farm | Hurry Up Sundown b/w Farmer Brown | Review

The Balloon Farm Hurry Up Sundown Vinyl

Just shy of a decade ago, I went through a pretty big garage rock phase. During this time, I collected quite a few singles from the original garage rock era of the 1960s and early 70s. One song that stood out to me during my exploration of this time was by a band called The Balloon Farm — it was, of course, their lone hit.

Here’s my YouTube coverage of the single:

The Balloon Farm was a garage and psychedelic rock band from the late 1960s best known for their hit song “A Question of Temperature.” Released in October of 1967, it became a Billboard Top 40 hit in February of 1968. Ultimately, the song would end up on the 1984 pressing of Nuggets Volume One, though it was notably absent from the original 1976 Nuggets Compilation. 

In an article titled The Story of the Balloon Farm by Mike Stax, he notes: “The lack of information about the band is somewhat puzzling, given the continued popularity of their best-known song.”

That article provides what is probably the most comprehensive history on the band available and is published to the URL, Mike Appel being the lead singer of The Balloon Farm.

The Balloon Farm’s follow up single to “A Question of Temperature” was this 7-inch single: “Hurry Up Sundown” backed with “Farmer Brown.” Like its predecessor, the single was released on Laurie Records in the US, but unlike the more famed single, it wasn’t released outside North America. According to Discogs, there are a handful of US-based variants from 1968 and a lone Canadian pressing, also from ’68.

“Hurry Up Sundown” was a dud and didn’t gain traction commercially, and Laurie dropped the band prior to them recording a full LP.

Listening to “Hurry Up Sundown” it’s nowhere near as powerful and poignant as “A Question of Temperature.” In fact, it’s almost bland by comparison. I like the song—it’s a solid track—but the hit single seemed so out there and unlike what you’d expect from a top 40 hit. This is more psych pop and thus quite subtle in comparison to its predecessor.

“Hurry Up Sundown” has a prominent bass line, which sits at the forefront of the song. The chorus is powerful and emotive. Listening to it a few times, you can hear why it didn’t gain traction, but you can tell why it might be a bit underrated.

The single’s B-side is “Farmer Brown.” 

Quoting Stax’s interview with Mike Appel once again, Appel noted: “The Lovin’ Spoonful’s ‘Daydream’ was the inspiration for ‘Farmer Brown’s Ole Mill Pond … It wasn’t nearly as good. I was a copycat.”

You can hear some of the parallels to Daydream, and what Appel means by it not being nearly as good. I’d much rather listen to the A side as “Farmer Brown” almost seems like a different band entirely, and not one I’d have in my collection.

However, “Hurry Up Sundown” is a pretty great track and it’s a bummer it didn’t hold more clout in the late 60s. Who knows what would have come from the band had it gained traction?

As of early 2023, you can find copies of the single on Discogs for between $15-25 US dollars. 

What do you think of The Balloon Farm and Hurry Up Sundown? Let me know in the comments, don’t forget to like this video, subscribe to my channel, and I’ll see you next time. 

More 60s Garage Rock

If you like The Balloon Farm, here are some other records you might find interesting, including an interesting Nuggets 2LP set on Purple Marbled Wax. Additionally, there’s a 180 gram reissue of Love’s Forever Changes that looks a bit interesting (longtime fan of that LP, though I’d lean toward grabbing an original pressing. Finally, check out this Wanted 60s Garage Rock compilation and this one titled Gritty 60s Garage & Punk, the latter of which is on gold vinyl! Both have an interesting and eclectic array of artists…

hand-picked vinyl recommendations

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