Pushin’ Too Hard

“Pushin’ Too Hard”, originally titled “(You’re) Pushin’ Too Hard”, is a song by American rock group The Seeds, written by vocalist Sky Saxon and produced by Saxon with Marcus Tybalt.  It was released as a single in 1965, re-issued the following year, and peaked at number 36 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart in February 1967.  The song is featured in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s exhibit showcasing “The 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll”.  The Seeds performed “Pushin’ Too Hard” during a 1968 episode of the television sitcom The Mothers-in-Law.  Saxon revisited the song on his 2008 solo album The King of Garage Rock.  (More from Wikipedia)
Even before I played Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era, 1965-1968 the first time, I knew I would love it, because I was already familiar with a lot of these bands.  In fact, I picked up the debut albums by Blues Magoos and the Electric Prunes in the same shipment from Columbia Record Club back when; and it wasn’t long before I also had the first album by the Shadows of Knight, with their killer cover of Van Morrison’s Gloria”.  The Seeds’ “Pushin’ Too Hard” was another favorite, though it was awhile before I got an album. 
(January 2011)
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I was born a couple of years later than Greg Shaw, so I turned 14 in 1965.  By then, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones were old news; and while I was still paying attention, what was really grabbing me at the time were American artists and bands.  First and foremost was Like a Rolling Stone by Bob Dylan; that song – plus the flip side “Gates of Eden” that was nearly as long and every bit as good – captivated me in a way that I just couldn’t keep quiet about.  Other great folk-rock sounds of that period included the release of the cover of Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man” by the Byrds and the revamped "The Sounds of Silence" by Simon and Garfunkel.  Bob Dylan himself preferred the Byrds’ cover to his own recording of “Mr. Tambourine Man; but in my usual contrarian way, I preferred Dylan’s original – it was a lot longer for one thing. 


These songs were followed closely by the glorious sounds of garage rock and psychedelic rock that were then in their infancy.  Songs like “Pushin’ Too Hard” by the Seeds, “We Ain’t Got Nothin’ Yet” by Blues Magoos, and I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night) by the Electric Prunes really made an impression on me.  It wasn’t until I picked up the Nuggets collection and then the numerous Pebbles albums that I plumbed the depths of this scene, but it was by no means brand new to me either. 

(May 2013)
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Sky Saxon is the former frontman for the Seeds, best known for their hit song “Pushin’ Too Hard”; while not among the biggest garage rock hit songs, peaking only at #36 on the Billboard Hot 100, it is likely one of the best known.  Pushin’ Too Hard was included on the Nuggets compilation album and the Nuggets Box Set, and it is featured in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s exhibit showcasing “The 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll”.
Wikipedia notes that the Seeds performed Pushin’ Too Hard live on an episode of The Mothers-in-Law that starred Eve Arden and Kaye Ballard.  Like He & She, which came along in the same time period, The Mothers-in-Law is one of my very favorite sitcoms but did last two seasons.
From Wikipedia:  “Allmusic’s Richie Unterberger wrote that ‘Pushin’ Too Hard [by the Seeds] is one of the songs most commonly cited when people are trying to celebrate or denigrate 1960s garage rock, and sometimes championed for precisely the same reasons as others put it down, though in time the critical balance tended toward praising the tune rather than dumping on it.'” 
(December 2017)
Last edited: March 22, 2021