Song of the Day: Laura Nyro – Stoned Soul Picnic (1968)

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Rich Karfilis Recalls: Another product of the singer-songwriter revolution of the late 1960s, Laura Nyro was perhaps best known for her songs that other artists turned into hits – “And When I Die” for Blood, Sweat and Tears; “Eli’s Comin” for Three Dog Night; “Sweet Blindness”, “Wedding Bell Blues” and this track for The 5th Dimension.

She was a songwriter’s songwriter. She tossed evocative imagery together with a whimsical use of the English language – “Surry down, to a stoned soul picnic” – like nobody else could. Her musical progressions were also revolutionary, combining jazz chording and changes with pop structures in a completely original way. Elton John, Todd Rundgren and Elvis Costello are just three of the many artists who cite Laura Nyro as a major influence.

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