Reach Out of the Darkness

Album: Reach Out of the Darkness (1968)
Charted: 10
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Songfacts®:

  • Well, light some incense and bang that tambourine! "Reach Out of the Darkness" is one of the canonical Flower Power songs, almost to the point of being a stereotypical parody of itself. It was written by Jim Post of the husband-and-wife duo Friend & Lover - Cathy Post being the other half. It is also Friend & Lover's sole hit, although Jim Post has had a moderately successful performing career since.

    And Cathy? They divorced. Jim's next spouse, Janet, moved in with him in Galena, Illinois.
  • Media to use this song includes a 1999 TV commercial for a Milton Bradley game, in the Robert Downey Jr., Kiefer Sutherland, and Winona Ryder film 1969 (released in 1988), and in an episode of the ABC TV series Night Stalker. This last was a remake of the mid-'70s TV series Kolchak: The Night Stalker, which was a kind of X-Files predecessor with a lone detective hunting down vampires and werewolves.
  • Note that Jim appears to be singing "freak out" while Cathy is singing "reach out." This has fueled an urban legend that Jim wrote the song while tripping on LSD and had to tone the lyrics down before the song could be released. Maybe so or maybe not; urban legends have it that everything in the '60s was done under the influence of LSD, including the Apollo moon missions. It's enough to make you think that LSD itself is just a myth. It wouldn't be a bit surprising if it turned out that it was.

Comments: 5

  • Wayne from PennsylvaniaWhy is the song titled "Reach Out OF The Darkness" when the lyrics say reach out IN the darkness?
  • Wayne Edwards from New Jersey, UsaI MAY have heard the male voice sing "freak out" instead of "reach out" once during the whole song. But one thing is certain: they're both singing "IN the Darkness", not "OF the Darkness" as the song title would lead you to believe.
  • Rick from Seattle, WaFor some reason I did not hear this song for many years (I was about 11 when it came out). When I did hear it, I was pretty sure it must have been released a year or two earlier - 1966 or '67 at the latest. After all, by 1968 the word "groovy was already out of use by young people, only used by older folks who wanted to sound "with it". But I really like the song.
  • Howard from St. Louis Park, MnIt was the only hit for Jim & Cathy Post under the name Friend and Lover. I didn't know that Ray Stevens played keyboards on the song until I saw the article of Wikipedia. It's a great one hit wonder and I can still hear the line "freak out in the darkness." The song has new life in a recent Target commercial. Reach out !
  • Camille from Toronto, OhIconic flower power song: yes. This song is so simple, pure and....well, simple. No bells or whistles, just pure, life-changing musical magic. I love how the two voices blend together, demanding that you, me, all of us, any of us, 'REACH OUT' in the darkness. Are they leading us, guiding us, teaching us, coaching us? Popular at a time when everyone seemed to be searching for something, not exactly knowing where any of us were heading, but knowing it was necessary for us to reach out to move forward. Tonight, May 12, 2013, this song was played during the closing credits of a "Mad Men" episode, just after the characters of the series begin hearing of Bobby Kennedy being shot.
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