The Rose Garden

So there’s been this thing going around social media where DJs post 10 records from their collection over 10 days. Krister was recently asked to do it, but we hate social media and what’s the point if you can’t tell a story.

Day 8

The Rose Garden – If My World Falls Through

Despite having a minor hit with “Next Plane to London” in 1967, the Los Angeles folkrock group The Rose Garden are mostly recognised for their only album these days, released on Atco in 1968. It’s a classic of the genre and notable for including two Gene Clark compositions. Clark didn’t really write songs for other groups but around the time he left The Byrds he recorded five songs for The Rose Garden that ended up on an acetate. Two years ago these songs were finally released on the Gene Clark Sings For You compilation. “A Long Time” is the only one that is the Rose Garden album. But also included on the compilation is a demo of “Till Today”, which is the other Clark song on it. Both are among my favourite songs.

But back to “Next Plane to London”. It was written by Kenny O’Dell and included on his album Beautiful People from 1967. For The Rose Garden’s second 45, they opted to try and emulate the success of their hit, choosing another song from O’Dell’s album. “If My World Falls Through” on the a-side is an amazing version and one of their finer moments. While singer Diana DeRose’s vocal is faithful to the original, it’s been lowered to the unusual key A flat. The 12-string is playing over a 6-string guitar using major-seventh chords and the whole recording has a very dreamy mono sound.

The b-side “Here’s Today” is very good too, and proves that they could actually write brilliant songs of their own. The single probably didn’t fare very well since it was not included on the album. Saying that, it was released in Canada as well as on the Atlantic label in New Zealand and South Africa. In 2018 Omnivore released a compilation of The Rose Garden’s album, singles and unreleased songs, called A Trip Through The Garden: The Rose Garden Collection. This includes stereo mixes of both sides of the single. I’ve got the ATCO promo issue.

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