Mojo (Publisher) (7/02, p.54) - "...MAGIC stands as a glorious aural snapshot of the summer of 1965 in New York's Greenwich Village..."
Uncut (magazine) (p.106) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Debut album DO YOU BELIEVE IN MAGIC was heavy on trad chestnuts, but still found space for self-penned sweet teen anthems."
The Lovin' Spoonful: John Sebastian (vocals, guitar, autoharp, harmonica); Zal Yanovsky (vocals, guitar); Steve Boone (vocals, piano, bass); Joe Butler (vocals, drums).
Producer: Erik Jacobsen.
Reissue producers: Bob Irwin, Rob Santos.
Recorded at Bell Sound Studios, New York, New York and RCA Studios, Los Angeles, California.
Originally released on Kama Sutra (KLPS-8050).
Includes liner notes by Ben Edmonds.
Liner Note Author: Peter Stampfel.
The Lovin' Spoonful's 1965 debut set the tone for their entire career: summery good-time music with its roots in Greenwich Village's jugband folk scene of the early '60s. However, besides the massive hits of the title track and the slyly funny "Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind?," a good chunk of this brief album consists of snappy, slightly electrified versions of traditional American folk songs like "Blues in the Bottle" and "The Sportin' Life." The combination of these slices of juiced-up trad folk and Brill Building pop, like the Mann/Weil hit "You Baby," works better than one might expect, because John Sebastian and Zal Yanovsky, the leaders of the group, seem to make no distinctions between the two styles. Later albums would be even poppier, but DO YOU BELIEVE IN MAGIC has a folk-rockin' charm all its own.