In 1995 Strawberry Alarm Clock released a new song called “Love Story” on the various-artists compilation World Jam. “Love Story” was written by longtime SAC member Lee Freeman, the man responsible for much of Strawberry Alarm Clock’s classic 1960s sound. “Love Story” was the band’s first new release since two tracks on the 1971 soundtrack of Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls.
World Jam was a 5-CD set comprising 47 artists, many of the young and unsigned bands. More familiar names included SAC, The Fleshtones, and Robby Krieger of the Doors. The aim of the series was to aid world hunger; the reunited Strawberry Alarm Clock lineup had been playing “Love Story” in their live set and in rehearsals and donated it to the cause. According to bassist George Bunnell, the recorded track was done in one take at Dodge City Sound studio in Burbank, with Lee Freeman double-tracking his vocals.
“Love Story” appears on CD #3 of World Jam, subtitled Footsteps. This is supposedly the blues/R&B disc, though to be honest “Love Story” is neither of these: it’s rock and roll. The individual World Jam CDs are:
CD #1 — Ground Zero Pop
CD #2 — Wild Side Rock
CD #3 — Footsteps Blues/R&B
CD #4 — Oceans To Ozone Easy listening
CD #5 — Singles Rock/Pop/Blues
Musically, “Love Story” is an accomplished, crisp rock song with gritty guitars, some melodramatic minor-chord riffing, and snaky vocals by Lee Freeman. It doesn’t really recall Strawberry Alarm Clock’s 1960s sound, sounding instead like what it is: post-1980s rawk with a studio sheen, by a group of musicians adept enough to carry it off with panache. It is also one of the least-known Strawberry Alarm Clock songs, rarely showing up even in ‘comprehensive’ online discographies of the band.
The players on “Love Story” are:
Lee Freeman — guitar, lead vocals
George Bunnell — bass, backing vocals
Howie Anderson — lead guitar, synth guitar, background vocals
Bruce Hubbard — drums, background vocals
What’s more, it was produced by Steve Bartek, a former member of the band who was featured on the band’s first album, the classic 1967 Incense And Peppermints.
You can hear an MP3 of the rough mix of this song at this link; this is before Lee Freeman double-tracked his vocal and “Love Story” was finalized. (Link last checked in July 2015; if it fails in the future, please let us know.)
Finding the CD
World Jam is very tough to find these days. Online searches generally yield nothing whatsoever. Keep an eye on eBay, maybe; but it may be quite a while before you find one. If you do, let us know, we’re curious!
(Thanks to George Bunnell for his help with information about this little-known Strawberry Alarm Clock track.)