In the time when teenagers bought singles instead of full albums, full albums were still made. More often than not they were merely a cheap gathering of that group’s singles, arranged in no particular order. The Turtles’ debut album It Ain’t Me Babe is no exception. Alone, most of the songs carry their weight, but as an album it has no flow, and the flip-flopping between the album’s manufactured pop hits and the tunes bordering on folk rock are at times a bit too much to handle.
Most of the density of the album comes from the four Bob Dylan covers, including the title track “It Ain’t Me Babe”. Their cover took the original love ballad and turned it into a song that sounds like it’s rejoicing the fact that he’s not right for her, and launched The Turtles into stardom. The rest of the songs are a wide range of tunes, from stereotypical pop singles to songs that have a great deal of thought behind them.
There’s no doubt that The Turtles, at that time, were a band that thrived off of the sales of singles and not albums. Coming from a relatively new label, there was much in the production of the album that could have been done better. It’s obvious by the strength of “Eve of Destruction” and “Let Me Be” that The Turtles were destined to be more than just a hit machine, but everybody has to start out somewhere
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