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The Association


The Association's place in rock history is an interesting one. Nowadays, the band is considered nothing more than an oldies act forever associated with AM pop. However, along with the Byrds and the Mamas and the Papas, the sextet emerged from Los Angeles' folk-rock scene of the mid-'60s. The Association sounded a bit more saccharine than their contemporaries, yet they gained instant street cred with their second single, "Along Comes Mary," a British Invasion-inspired nugget that sparked controversy when more than a few squares claimed the song extolled the virtues of cannabis (aka Mary Jane). In an attempt to cement their rep in the burgeoning underground, the Association played the Monterey International Pop Music Festival in the summer of 1967. At the same time, the group shared little in common with Janis and Jimi. Scoring one Billboard smash after another, including the radio staples "Cherish" and "Windy," the Association favored a mix of smooth harmonies, lush strings and punchy brass, a sound that would prove influential on soft-rock acts like Bread and Air Supply. By the early '70s the band's glory days were behind it, yet it continues to record and tour to this day.
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