Although former New Christy Minstrels singer Barry McGuire scored a fluke novelty hit with the Bob Dylan-styled folk-rock protest anthem "Eve of Destruction" in the summer of 1965, neither he nor producer Lou Adler's startup label Dunhill Records seems to have had a long-term plan for his solo career beyond trying to score another hit single. Naturally, Dunhill quickly issued an Eve of Destruction LP, filling the tracks with McGuire covers of recent folk hits and more originals by P.F. Sloan, who'd penned the hit. Sloan also wrote the follow-up singles "Child of Our Times" and "This Precious Time," neither of which made the Top 40. By the end of the year, Dunhill had another McGuire LP, This Precious Time, again mixing Sloan songs with other people's hits like "Do You Believe in Magic" and "Yesterday." That is the first of two McGuire albums combined on this two-fer CD reissue.
A superbly atmospheric John Barry score effectively conveyed the mood of swinging London for this 1965 film by Richard Lester. Usually playing around with variations of the haunting main theme, Barry used vivacious horns, melancholic strings, and above all a groovy jazz organ (played by Alan Haven). A couple of the tracks don't work well in isolation: the vaudevillian "Something's Up!," and the vocal version of the main theme (not used in the film) by mediocre singer Johnny De Little. But overall, it's got a consistently captivating groove, rating as one of Barry's best scores.