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Sopwith Camel

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The Sopwith Camel gained some passing mentions in rock histories as one of the first San Francisco psychedelic era bands to record for a national label; in fact, they were the first to have a Top 40 hit, with the vaudevillian "Hello, Hello" in early 1967.
They were not, however, one of the best San Francisco bands, nor were they even very good or psychedelic. Usually they sounded like a second-rate Lovin' Spoonful (with whom they shared producer Erik Jacobsen), emulating the more unfortunate camp aspects of that group with sleepy, good-timey pop-folk. Personnel changes delayed completion of their first album until nearly a year after "Hello, Hello" was a hit. The record, which would have been dated had it come out a year earlier, sounded hopelessly out of touch when it finally emerged; after the group moved to Warner Bros., The Miraculous Hump Returns from the Moon was released in 1972. Those two would be the Sopwith Camel's only albums, and the band split for good in 1974. ~ Richie Unterberger, Rovi

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