Strawberry Alarm Clock – Incense and Peppermints: #873 of best 1,000 albums ever!

Strawberry Alarm Clock - Incense and Peppermints

Why is Strawberry Alarm Clock’s Incense and Peppermints on my best 1,000 albums ever list?

A kaleidoscopic spectacle of psychedelic hippie rock.

What does Strawberry Alarm Clock’s Incense and Peppermints mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?

Strawberry Alarm Clock is the kind of band where a majority of people with at least a passing interest in pop music history will have heard of precisely one song of theirs – that being the title track on this album, “Incense and Peppermints” – and then possible they’ll also know the name of the band associated with it.

While the song is pretty fantastic – a kaleidoscopic spectacle of hippie rock with a genuinely great beat that kicks the groovy party right along – there’s a cornucopia of delights abounding on Incense and Peppermints the album as well. But let’s start with the title track.

While the band is obviously lip syncing their hit song in that performance clip, it’s fun to see Strawberry Alarm Clock in their Peak Hippie Era 1967 outfits. I love this kind of stuff, if you can’t tell. For example, I feel like the guy on keyboards could either be ready for a Be In or alternatively for the alien spacecraft mothership to land. We’re talking versatile attire here!

On a semi-serious note, it’s these kinds of outfits and a psychedelic rock vibe that nearly veers into “Are we sure even Austin Powers would think this would be too over-the-top?” territory, which leans into some people suggesting that this band is a “one-hit wonder” of the hippie dippy era. But if you take the music on its own merits I’ll venture that it absolutely stands up – and therefore is best 1,000 albums ever worthy!

“Paxton’s Back Street Carnival,” another fantastically psychedelic song title (along with “Rainy Day Mushroom Pillow,” bummer vibes, yeah!), shows off nice range while keeping the hippie party grooving. I also very much dig the keyboard solo in the middle, and there’s nice guitar work here as well.

“Unwind With the Clock” again shows off fantastic keyboard chops. And in fact it’s mostly a psychedelic-flavored cocktail lounge song instrumental of sorts – and a rather good one – before finally segueing into a pretty fantastic vocals section near the end.

I feel compelled to share a little Austin Powers with you: the scene when Austin, he being an international time traveling man of mystery, arrives back in the swinging London of 1969.

And note that “Magic Carpet Ride,” from Steppenwolf’s The Second (#999) greets Austin upon arrival.  

Some stats & info about Strawberry Alarm Clock – Incense and Peppermints

  • What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock Music, Pop Music, Psychedelic Rock, SoCal Bands
  • Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
  • All Music’s rating – 4 out of 5 stars
  • When was Incense and Peppermints released? 1967
  • My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #873 out of 1,000

Strawberry Alarm Clock’s Incense and Peppermints on Spotify

What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?

Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.

But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective take on what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.