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One album wonders: The Open Mind's The Open Mind

Posted by Eric Brightwell, November 10, 2014 01:00am | Post a Comment
THE OPEN MIND - THE OPEN MIND (1969)

Around 1963, Putney-based musicians Mike "Mike Bran" Brancaccio (guitar), Phil Fox (drums), Timothy du Feu (vocals), and Ray Nye (bass) formed The Apaches, who recorded a demo with none other than Joe Meek. Nye left the band and du Feu moved to bass after they acquired a new singer, Terry Martin (real name Terry Schindler). They changed their name to The Drag Set in 1965.

The Drag Set

Two years later the band were writing their own material and released their first and only single as The Drag Set, “Day and Night” b/w “Get Out of My Way” in early 1967 on Go. Go was a short-lived label which released mostly mod and soul music by the likes of The Barney Sisters, Carl Douglas And The Big Stampede, Neil Spence, Our Plastic Dream, Phil Brady And The Ranch Set, The Roll Movement, Samantha Juste, Scots Of St. James, and Sugar Simone.


The Drag Set realized that there might be some unintended connotations to their name and in 1968 changed it to the suitably psychedelic The Open Mind, on the suggestion of De Feu

The Open Mind

The following May they released their first single with their new name, “Horses And Chariots” b/w “Before My Time.” In July the band released a collection of mod-tinged, leather pants heavy psych which proved to be their only LP, titled The Open Mind and released by Philips

The Open Mind

In August of 1969, The Open Mind released a non-album single, “Magic Potion” b/w “Cast a Spell," produced by Fritz Fryer, guitarist of The Four Pennies. "Magic Potion" proved to be The Open Mind's final release, although they soldiered on until 1973, at which point Phil Fox quit. 


After that, De Feu and Schindler were joined by Stephen Florence and a new drummer and became Armada (not to be confused with Rod Torfulson's Armada Featuring Herman Menderchuck), who broke up after releasing no music.

Yet More One Album Wonders

Posted by Eric Brightwell, September 22, 2014 04:00pm | Post a Comment
Here is an additional edition of my series of great, mostly obscure, one album wonders. In the album era (roughly the mid-1960s until the mid-2000s), the album was the dominant format of recorded music expression and consumption. It seems that most musicians from that era, if able to scrape together the funds for the recording of one studio album, generally returned with at least one more.  Some, like Sun Ra, somehow released more albums than I've had hot dinners. Even most excellent bands, in my opinion, would have done well to find something other to do with their time rather than keep making records after their fifth album or twelfth year (although there is the Go-Betweens Exception). The following acts mostly date from the Golden Age of the LP -- and yet were unable or unwilling, in all cases, to record more than one. 

*****

ORGANISATION - TONE FLOAT (1969)

Organisation - Tone Float

Although most musicians associated with the Krautrock scene usually argue that it didn't even exist as such except in the collective conscious of British music critics, on first spin of Organisation's sole album, Tone Float, the discerning listener will have little doubt that the album is a product of late-1960s/early-1970s Dusseldorf

Heading Organisation were Florian Schneider and Ralf Hütter, who famously went on to form Kraftwerk and have almost as famously been unfairly sniffy about their excellent pre-Autobahn output. Organisation's only album was produced by Konrad "Conny" Plank and, since its 1970 release by RCA Victor, has long been out-of-print. The other members of Organisation were Basil Hammoudi, Butch Hauf, and Fred Monicks. After the band's disorganisation Hammoudi joined another one album wonder, Ibliss, who released Supernova in 1972. 

Continue reading...

Even More One Album Wonders

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 28, 2014 12:11pm | Post a Comment
The vinyl LP was introduced by Columbia Records in 1948 but the 45 inch single remained the primary market for the music industry until the dawn of the album era, which began in the mid-1960s. During that period, for any number of reasons, many fine musical acts released only one studio album -- Perfect for completists on a budget! Here's Part III of a look at some of my favorite "one album wonders."



MARGO GURYAN - TAKE A PICTURE (1968)

Margo Guryan - Take a Picture
Margo Guryan was born in Far Rockaway, New York in 1937. Her first credit as a recorded songwriter was for a Chris Connor single in 1958. Over the years, many artists have recorded her compositions although “Sunday Mornin’” and “Think of Rain” are probably her most-recorded songs.

More One Album Wonders

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 21, 2014 10:00am | Post a Comment
The vinyl LP was introduced by Columbia Records in 1948 but the 45 inch single remained the primary market for the music industry until the dawn of the album era, which began in the mid-1960s. In that era, for any number of reasons, many fine musical acts released only one studio album. Here's Part II of a look at some of my favorite "one album wonders."



MICHAELANGELO - ONE VOICE MANY (1971)

Michaelangelo - One Voice Many


Michaelangelo were a Greenwich Village-based psychedelic folk-rock group led by Angel Petersen (but credited simply as “Angel”) who wrote the group's music and played electric autoharp -- an instrument popularized within the folk-rock scene by Lovin' Spoonful's John Sebastian. Rounding out the band were Michael John HackettRobert Gorman, and Steve Bohn. After attracting interest from producer Rachel Elkind and composer Wendy Carlos, what proved to be Michaelangelo's solitary album, One Voice Many, was released by Columbia. It incorporates a variety of influences that give the band a unique sound but one that might appeal to fans of Pidgeon and Renaissance (and not just because both used autoharps as well). Apparently the excellent album was poorly promoted which accounted for its poor sales and the group's subsequent disbandment. However, it clearly found its way to some fans over the years, as in 1992 the band Golden Smog included a cover of their song, 
"Son (We've Kept the Room Just the Way You Left It)" as the lead track on their EP, On Golden Smog. In 2009 it was released on CD by Rev-Ola.

Hippies and Hooligans -- Great Madchester covers of 60s tunes

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 3, 2014 04:57pm | Post a Comment
1967 Peace March Madchester '89
Although our music and our drugs stayed the same, Although our music and our interests are the same

1988 -- the Second Summer of Love. 1989 -- the end of South African apartheid and the cold war. Love was all around and if it wasn't enough to make one euphoric there was ecstasy and Madchester to the rescue. What were baggies but hip-hop-and-house-hip hippies-cum-hooligans-cum-hippies again? In case we needed further proof, the baggies made the connection more obvious with their updated covers of psychedelic and Situationist era tunes which at their worst sounded like karaoke versions spruced up with the funky drummer beat but at occasionally exceeded the popularity of the originals.

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