These underrated folk-rock pioneers cut a great number of unreleased outtakes/demos during their mid-'60s prime that didn't make it onto the albums they released for the tiny Autumn label during that period. Fourteen of those songs were released in the early 1980s by Rhino on the fine From the Vaults
album. Autumn of Their Years
reprises ten of those tunes and adds 16 previously unreleased cuts for a grand total of 26, all of which are group originals. There are a lot of fine moments here, but it's actually a bit much for all but hardcore fans. First off, the best cuts -- ones like "She Sends Me," "Dream On," and "Love is Just a Game," which display their supremely haunting folk-rock melodicism and minor-key harmonies -- were already available on From the Vaults
. The 16 newly found demos aren't as good, production-wise (several are acoustic sketches) or material-wise. Earlier demos of their hits "Laugh Laugh," "Just a Little," and "Still in Love with You Baby" are interesting in comparison to the originals, but not as good. And some strong cuts from From the Vaults
are inexplicably omitted. Of the new vault finds, the highlight is "Tomorrow Is Another Day," an acoustic ballad showcasing Sal Valentino
's rich and moving vocals.