Classics IV "Traces"

Hmm. The most I can think of to say about the Classics IV (also known as Dennis Yost & The Classics IV, but that never sounds right to me) is they were a reliably good, mid-level, workman-like pop band from the ’60s that had a string of well-received songs still heard on oldies radio.

Which is enough, really. Not all bands can be Beatles, but they can still record some seriously good music.

“Stormy” and “Spooky” are most frequently heard on the radio today, despite their alliteratively monosyllabic titles confusing just about every inattentive DJ. (You can tell them apart by waiting for Halloween, the noting which gets a god-awful lot of airplay.) But one of their last hits, “Traces”, as I recall, got an awful lot of play on a radio station that broadcast to the Clarksburg, WV area a number of years ago. It, along with Harry Nilsson’s “Everybody’s Talkin'” could be expected at least once a day, probably more commonly but I only had the radio on as I was going to sleep.

“Traces” is a nice, lyrically strong song from the summer of 1969. And strong as the lyrics are, it’s Yost’s vocals and the moody instrumental backing–aching and anguished–that pull everything together. Or maybe it’s just me. I recall coming home one evening years and years ago; it was bitter winter, February, and something that had long been problematic had at last resolved itself unpleasantly. I turned on the radio, heared “Traces”, and promptly broke the radio. (I’m still not particularly enthusiastic about hearing the song, but it’s still really, really good.)

The Classics IV “Traces”