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Featuring: Van Morrison, Big Brother & The Holding Company with Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead, Santana, Country Joe and The Fish, Steve Miller Band.
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One of rock music's golden eras is spotlighted in The San Francisco Sound, which features some of the artists who emerged from the Bay Area in the mid-to-late 1960s. There's no arguing that various trappings of San Francisco culture at the time (the hippies and their flower power; the rampant consumption of LSD) now seem "dated," as host Casey Kasem puts it. But even if these performances aren't great from a purely audiovisual standpoint, there's a certain timeless appeal to songs like Van Morrison's "Domino" (the Irish-born Morrison relocated to Northern California early on in his career) and the Grateful Dead's "Truckin'" (others featured include Steve Miller, Santana, Country Joe and the Fish, and Janis Joplin with Big Brother & the Holding Company). There are some flaws: lumping Morrison and Santana in with the others under the banner of psychedelia is convenient but inaccurate; not all of the tunes come from the '60s (let alone the '67 "Summer of Love," as the cover suggests); and with just six songs and a total of 38 minutes, it's way too short. But at least there's no lip-syncing, and overall, the program effectively evokes a thrilling time in rock history. --Sam Graham
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