The result of the meeting of Michael McCartney (brother of Beatle Paul), who would work as Mike McGear to avoid accusations of coat-tailing, and Post Office engineer John Gorman, the Scaffold took a blend of absurd humor and catchy songs to chart-topping glory throughout the 1960s. Their lineup filled out with Roger McGough and Adrian Henri, the group was briefly known as the Liverpool One Fat Lady All Electric Show, to the horror of everyone around them. Henri soon departed. A change of name later, they were gaining a reputation as one of the most amusing outfits on the scene, with a residency at Peter Cook's Establishment Club (where the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band also held court). The Scaffold's biggest successes were their cheerfully silly singles, starting with "Thank U Very Much" and continuing with "Lily the Pink" (a sterilized adaptation of an old rugby song, featuring Jack Bruce on bass) and the somewhat incomprehensible "Gin Gan Goolie," all of which had a knack for sticking in the mind on endless repeat without causing undue annoyance. These three songs, in particular, are well remembered even as the 1990s draw to a close.
Bruce Cockburn's self-titled debut's blend of diversity, enthusiasm, and innocence never quite resurfaced again in his work, especially in his more clinical, politically inclined tracts of later decades. The opening number, "Going to the Country," still evokes that hippie-esque, back-to-the-earth movement as well as any song ever recorded, complete with a sly wink that keeps it fresh to this day. And since this was 1970, the album also comes equipped with some of those quaint excesses of the period; try the nasal tone poem gracing "The Bicycle Trip." "Musical Friends" remains a lively, happy-go-lucky classic with piano signature lifted from Paul McCartney's playbook; it's difficult to picture the dour Cockburn of more recent years ever having this much fun. In contrast, "Thoughts on a Rainy Afternoon" offers a trance-like, introspective atmosphere reminiscent of British folkie legend Nick Drake.