Mixcloud | View image | Duration: 2 hours 4 minutes

A minor dilemma for me, as a blogger living in a different hemisphere to almost all of my readers, is when to share a mix that seems so perfect for a particular season. I've had this mix in mind as a soundtrack for spring, but wondered whether to post it in your spring or mine? I've decided perhaps this is an ideal time for you and I alike, as my springtime begins, and maybe some of your summery days still linger as it turns to autumn. Whatever the weather, I think this provides some much-needed sunny cheer. It's music for daydreaming out the window.

This mix was inspired by, and shaped around, the simple, escapist joy of the song 'Up, Up and Away'. Written by Jimmy Webb and originally recorded by The Fifth Dimension, the harmonic slice of breezy listening was a big hit around the world in 1967. I wanted to create a mix with a feeling of pure escapism and floating away from troubles. Is there any song that better epitomises this?

The version I decided to include here is the less familiar Supremes' cover from their 1968 album Reflections, which is a little sweeter and more buoyant to my ears, and of course has Diana Ross' irresistibly silken vocals. It's nestled among a collection of songs I find uplifting, comforting and sometimes achingly beautiful (wow, that Aretha cover of 'Over The Rainbow').

While the mix is a joyous, romantic ride through sunny, clear skies, there's also some stormier weather encountered here in its more melancholy moments. There's always, after all, a twinge of sadness that underlies escapism. As The Free Design sing on one of the tracks here, 'Bubbles': "Bubblegum kind of keeps my heart from getting heavy and crying." Even 'Up, Up and Away', which embodies exuberant lightness, hints at worry in the world below: "The world's a nicer place in my beautiful balloon / it wears a nicer face in my beautiful balloon". But from high up in the clouds, some of that melts away and doesn't seem so bad.

I hope you will enjoy soaring away with 'In My Beautiful Balloon', which is packed with lots of sixties sunshine pop, as well as jazzy pop, soft orchestrations, heart-melting harmonies... and quite a bit of flute!


  1. Eternity's Children - My Happiness Day (1968)USA flag
  2. Claudine Longet - Dindi (1968)French flagUSA flag
  3. The Supremes - Up, Up And Away (1968)USA flag
  4. The Looking Glass - Silver And Sunshine (How Wonderful Is Our Love) (1966)USA flag
  5. Kiyoko Itoh - Papa to Mama ni naru hi (パパとママになる日) (1969)Japanese flag
  6. Scott Walker - Butterfly (1969)UK flag
  7. Dionne Warwick - Paper Mache (1970)USA flag
  8. The Magic Whispers - Fly (2003)Spanish flag
  9. Honey Ltd. - Tomorrow Your Heart (1968)USA flag
  10. The Holy Mackerel - The Secret Of Pleasure (1968)USA flag
  11. Flora Purim - Light as a Feather (1973)Brazilian flag
  12. Rotary Connection - Magical World (1968)USA flag
  13. Lia Pamina - Sycamore Tree (2016)Spanish flag
  14. Wendy & Bonnie - It's What's Really Happening (1969)USA flag
  15. The Yearning - How Do You Make Somebody Fall In Love? (2017)UK flag
  16. Natalie Wood - The Sun Is Gray (1965)USA flag
  17. The Poppy Family - Beyond the Clouds (1968)Canadian flag
  18. The Executives - It's A Happening World (1968)Australian flag
  19. Le SuperHomard - Under a Charm (2018)French flag
  20. Astrud Gilberto - Dreamer (1965)Brazilian flagUSA flag
  21. France Gall - Les Yeux Bleus (1967)French flag
  22. The Free Design - Bubbles (1970)USA flag
  23. Agincourt - Joy In The Finding (1970)UK flag
  24. Bobbie Gentry - Marigolds And Tangerines (1971)USA flag
  25. Jackie Wilson - I Get The Sweetest Feeling (1968)USA flag
  26. Harpers Bizarre - The 59th Street Bridge Song (1967)USA flag
  27. Susanna Hoffs - Picture Me (2012)USA flag
  28. Billie Davis - Love (1970)UK flag
  29. Pic-Nic - En mis noches (1968)Spanish flag
  30. Yo La Tengo - How To Make A Baby Elephant Float (2003)USA flag
  31. The Carolyn Hester Coalition - Calico Sky (1970)USA flag
  32. Club 8 - Where Birds Don't Fly (2007)Sweden flag
  33. D.D. Denham (Jon Brooks) - Above The Clouds, You Can't See Anything (2010)UK flag
  34. The Tokens - Both Sides Now (1970USA flag
  35. Isobel Campbell - Love for Tomorrow (2003)Scottish flag
  36. Kazumi Yasui - Atashi ni wa nani mo nai (あたしには何もない) (1970)Japanese flag
  37. Charles Fox - How Will I Know You? (1969)USA flag
  38. The Yellow Balloon - Yellow Balloon (1967)USA flag
  39. Marion Maerz - Auf, auf und davon (1969)German flag
  40. Anne Murray & Glen Campbell - Canadian Sunset (1971)Canadian flagUSA flag
  41. Aretha Franklin - Over the Rainbow (1961)USA flag
  42. Sospetto - Il Sonno Sano (2017)German flag
  43. Donovan - Ferris Wheel (1966)Scottish flag
  44. The MPI Studio Orchestra (Claude Vasori) - Une guitare pour le soleil (1967)French flag
  45. Michèle Richard - Doo da dou (1971)Canadian flag

Image credit: Mix illustration by Alain Gree, 1968. Source: Pommedejour on Etsy.

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