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The Tokens - It's A Happening World

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It's A Happening World

The Tokens

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The Tokens had a big hit in 1962 with "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," a remake of the Weavers' "Wimoweh," itself a version of a '30s South African pop-folk song, and that's usually it for the the Tokens in most rock and pop history books. But there's more to the story, as there usually is. The Tokens formed their own record label in 1964, B.T. Puppy, and they got to be pretty good record producers, and by the time the band signed with Warner Bros Records in 1967, they knew their way around a studio. Their first album for the label, It's a Happening World, was a minor and woefully unsung gem, full of interesting psychedelic and Baroque touches that make it sound like the Beach Boys circa Pet Sounds, or the Beatles just as they stepped off into "I Am the Walrus" territory, all complete with those trademark vocal harmonies and inventive arrangements the Tokens were known for. The best tracks, like "Portrait of My Love," the Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil-penned title tune, "It's a Happening World," and the delightful "Grey City Day" are all solid examples of intelligent late-'60s sunshine pop, and the album deserved to fare better than it did with both the critics and the market place. [Some reissues package the It's a Happening World LP with 11 singles the band released for Warner Bros between 1967 and 1969, including delightful re-imaginings of Marvin Gaye's "Ain't That Peculiar," Harry Belafonte's "The Banana Boat Song (Day-O)," and Skeeter Davis' "The End of the World." Oh, and the lead track is a Baroque re-rendering of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," here called "Wimoweh 5 1/2 Years Later," that should have been a big hit all over again in the heady summer of 1967.]
© Steve Leggett /TiVo

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It's A Happening World

The Tokens

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1
Wimoweh 5 1/2 Years Later
00:02:21

The Tokens, MainArtist - Hamiph, Writer

1967 Warner Records Inc. 1967 Warner Records Inc.

2
Sunset See My Sadness
00:02:20

The Tokens, MainArtist - Friedland, Writer

1967 Warner Records Inc. 1967 Warner Records Inc.

3
Grey City Day
00:02:17

The Tokens, MainArtist - Kahan, Writer - Friedland, Writer

1967 Warner Records Inc. 1967 Warner Records Inc.

4
Grandfather
00:02:13

SIEGEL, Writer - Medress, Writer - The Tokens, MainArtist - Margo, Writer

1967 Warner Records Inc. 1967 Warner Records Inc.

5
She Comes & Goes
00:02:15

SIEGEL, Writer - Medress, Writer - The Tokens, MainArtist - Margo, Writer

1967 Warner Records Inc. 1967 Warner Records Inc.

6
Perhaps, the Joy of Giving
00:00:32

SIEGEL, Writer - Medress, Writer - The Tokens, MainArtist - Margo, Writer

1967 Warner Records Inc. 1967 Warner Records Inc.

7
Poor Man
00:02:21

SIEGEL, Writer - Medress, Writer - The Tokens, MainArtist - Margo, Writer

1967 Warner Records Inc. 1967 Warner Records Inc.

8
It's a Happening World
00:02:38

B. MANN, Writer - C. Weil, Writer - Jimmy Wisner, Arranger - The Tokens, Producer, MainArtist

1967 Warner Records Inc. 1967 Warner Records Inc.

9
How Nice? (Single Version)
00:02:56

Hank Medress, Writer - Phil Margo, Writer - Mitch Margo, Writer - The Tokens, MainArtist - Jay Siegal, Writer

1967 Warner Records Inc. 1968 Warner Records Inc.

10
For All That I Am
00:02:20

The Tokens, MainArtist - Kahan, Writer - Friednamn, Writer

1967 Warner Records Inc. 1968 Warner Records Inc.

11
Bye, Bye, Bye
00:02:32

SIEGEL, Writer - Medress, Writer - The Tokens, MainArtist - Margo, Writer

1967 Warner Records Inc. 1967 Warner Records Inc.

12
The Purpose of a Circus
00:02:10

SIEGEL, Writer - Medress, Writer - The Tokens, MainArtist - Margo, Writer

1967 Warner Records Inc. 1967 Warner Records Inc.

13
Portrait of My Love
00:02:26

West, Writer - The Tokens, MainArtist - Omdell, Writer

1967 Warner Records Inc. 1967 Warner Records Inc.

14
Ain't That Peculiar
00:03:37

Moore, Writer - Rogers, Writer - Robinson, Writer - The Tokens, MainArtist - Tarplin, Writer

1967 Warner Records Inc. 1967 Warner Records Inc.

15
Till
00:02:08

Sigman, Writer - The Tokens, MainArtist - Danvers, Writer

1967 Warner Records Inc. 1967 Warner Records Inc.

16
Bathroom Wall
00:01:43

SIEGEL, Writer - Medress, Writer - The Tokens, MainArtist - Margo, Writer

1967 Warner Records Inc. 1967 Warner Records Inc.

17
Animal
00:03:02

SIEGEL, Writer - Medress, Writer - The Tokens, MainArtist - Margo, Writer

1967 Warner Records Inc. 1967 Warner Records Inc.

18
The Banana Boat Song
00:02:12

The Tokens, MainArtist - Darling, Writer - Carey, Writer - Arkin, Writer

1967 Warner Records Inc. 1967 Warner Records Inc.

19
The World Is Full of Wonderful Things
00:02:10

SIEGEL, Writer - Medress, Writer - The Tokens, MainArtist - Margo, Writer

1967 Warner Records Inc. 1967 Warner Records Inc.

20
Some People Sleep
00:01:56

SIEGEL, Writer - Medress, Writer - The Tokens, MainArtist - Margo, Writer

1967 Warner Records Inc. 1967 Warner Records Inc.

21
Go Away Little Girl / Young Girl
00:02:37

Fuller, Writer - KING, Writer - GOFFIN, Writer - The Tokens, MainArtist

1967 Warner Records Inc. 1967 Warner Records Inc.

22
I Want to Make Love to You
00:02:15

SIEGEL, Writer - Medress, Writer - The Tokens, MainArtist - Margo, Writer

1967 Warner Records Inc. 1967 Warner Records Inc.

23
I Could Be
00:02:17

SIEGEL, Writer - Medress, Writer - The Tokens, MainArtist - Margo, Writer

1967 Warner Records Inc. 1967 Warner Records Inc.

24
The End of the World
00:02:43

The Tokens, MainArtist - Dee, Writer - Kent, Writer

1967 Warner Records Inc. 1967 Warner Records Inc.

Album Description

The Tokens had a big hit in 1962 with "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," a remake of the Weavers' "Wimoweh," itself a version of a '30s South African pop-folk song, and that's usually it for the the Tokens in most rock and pop history books. But there's more to the story, as there usually is. The Tokens formed their own record label in 1964, B.T. Puppy, and they got to be pretty good record producers, and by the time the band signed with Warner Bros Records in 1967, they knew their way around a studio. Their first album for the label, It's a Happening World, was a minor and woefully unsung gem, full of interesting psychedelic and Baroque touches that make it sound like the Beach Boys circa Pet Sounds, or the Beatles just as they stepped off into "I Am the Walrus" territory, all complete with those trademark vocal harmonies and inventive arrangements the Tokens were known for. The best tracks, like "Portrait of My Love," the Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil-penned title tune, "It's a Happening World," and the delightful "Grey City Day" are all solid examples of intelligent late-'60s sunshine pop, and the album deserved to fare better than it did with both the critics and the market place. [Some reissues package the It's a Happening World LP with 11 singles the band released for Warner Bros between 1967 and 1969, including delightful re-imaginings of Marvin Gaye's "Ain't That Peculiar," Harry Belafonte's "The Banana Boat Song (Day-O)," and Skeeter Davis' "The End of the World." Oh, and the lead track is a Baroque re-rendering of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," here called "Wimoweh 5 1/2 Years Later," that should have been a big hit all over again in the heady summer of 1967.]
© Steve Leggett /TiVo

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