The Tradewinds were one of those groups…strikingly classic yet little known outside their one much covered mega hit… New York’s A Lonely Town was kind of the record that shut down (see what I did there?) the Surf/Hotrod craze pioneered by The Beach Boys and Jan And Dean with a wistful eulogy to a lonely surfer stuck in NYC…yet Peter Anders and Vincent Poncia had been hitmakers since the second wave doo wop days….and had worked with Phil Spector writing such classics as The Best Part Of Breaking Up for The Ronettes among many others and producing such classics as Bonnie And The Treasures Home Of The Brave on Philles……………….
The Tradewinds’ “New York’s a Lonely Town,” a 1965 Top 40 single, was the best Beach Boys imitation bar none. It’s perhaps inevitable that their sole LP, though it does of course feature “New York’s a Lonely Town,” is a letdown in comparison, as groups whose signature tune is a soundalike rarely match it with anything else in their repertoire. While nothing else on the record is as blatantly derivative of the mid-‘60s Beach Boys, there is a light Beach Boys influence on much of the LP in the presence of high, airy harmonies. The other tracks, however, aren’t as firmly in Beach Boys territory, instead sounding a little like an East Coast variation of sunshine pop, or perhaps sunshine pop-Beach Boys-lite with a little Lovin’ Spoonful influence. Their sole other (and minor) hit single, “Mind Excursion,” is here too, and while there’s a slight psychedelic lilt to the lyrics, it’s more akin to Lovin’ Spoonful efforts like “She Is Still a Mystery to Me” (which it resembles quite a bit) than all-out psychedelia. None of the other songs are too memorable, though the harmonies and careful arrangements will be appreciated by hardcore fans of '60s harmony pop/rock. The 2008 Japanese CD reissue adds a couple bonus tracks, “That’s When Your Heartache Begins” and “Hard Life.”………..by Richie Unterberger…………. A rare full album from The Tradewinds – a wonderful harmony pop group with a Sunshine Pop feel! The Tradewinds have a style that’s heavily in a Beach Boys mode – sunny California harmonies on the vocals, and a sort of post-Pet Sounds approach to songwriting – one that makes for some really compelling songs in the set! The group’s best known for their “New York’s A Lonely Town” hit, but the whole album is great – filled with inventive songs, compelling vocals, and cool arrangements from Jimmy Wisner and Artie Butler – two very groovy talents.
Coming from Providence, Rhode Island, Anders and Poncia released a single on a local label as the Vidals in 1960 and then moved to New York, where they signed to a national label. Their second single, Mr. Lonely, made the charts but its follow-ups failed. The duo were then signed as contract writers for Hill & Range and penned some hits and played for the Ronettes, The Crystals, Darlene Love and other Phil Spector productions. After a brief stint with Red Bird Records, they became The Tradewinds and signed with Kama Sutra as writers, producers and singers. The Tradewinds were a pop duo who occasionally became caught up in some of the psychedelic trappings of their era, most notably on Mind Excursion, which can also be found on Nuggets Vol. 5 (LP).
Mind Excursion and New York Is A Lonely Town were also featured on the 1970 Buddah sampler LP, Incense And Oldies.
They also recorded as The Innocence, the Mulberry Fruit Band, The Penny Arcade, The Treasures and Pete and Vinnie. They even worked on an Elvis Presley film score. In 1968 they formed Map City Productions with Frank Mell and used this label to produce and release some East Coast groups, including Yesterday Children, Purple Image, the Blue Jays and Mardi Gras.
In 1969, they had a further self-titled album as Anders And Poncia (Warner WS 1776). This was produced by Richard Perry, but despite some excellent guitar from Ry Cooder, isn’t very good overall.
In 1972, Peter Anders released a solo album, Peter Anders (Family Productions FPS 2705). A competent California folk rock album, it’s notable for featuring Hamilton Wesley Watt, ex-Euphoria, on guitars. Poncia went on to produce several albums for Ringo Starr and Melissa Manchester and also wrote Kiss’ ,,I Was Made For Lovin’ You´´!………….
Tracklist A1 Mind Excursion 2:15 A2 Catch Me In The Meadow 1:48 A3 Bad Misunderstanding 2:03 A4 New York’s A Lonely Town 2:15 A5 I Believe In Her 2:31 B1 Only When I’m Dreamin’ 2:25 B2 Small Town Bring Down 2:30 B3 To Be With You 2:36 B4 Huggin’ In The Hall 2:10 B5 Little Susan’s Dreaming’ 3:08