giovedì, febbraio 02, 2012

The Glitterhouse - Color Blind (1969 psych pop)

The Glitterhouse - Color Blind
Once the contract hit the file, the Glitterhouse - if the band's recollections are to be believed - existed as a Bob Crewe vanity project, something to bolster his artistic reputation. See, Crewe (the Four Seasons & Frankie Valli, the Walker Brothers, the Tremeloes, Lesley Gore), a future member of the Songwriters' Hall of Fame, saw these guys play for a book release party & decided he could turn them into the next Lovin' Spoonful. But once their contribution to the Barbarella soundtrack (Crewe picked studio musicians, relegating the band to vocals only) tanked at radio, support for Color Blind was all but withdrawn. You know where I'm going next - damn shame. Cos even with Crewe's sweetening, Color Blind is an interesting document, albeit one that induces a few winces. The band blames their producer for fare like "Child of Darkness" (a moody, underwritten midtempo piece in the vein of the Association). But who gets blamed for the sugar-spun too-muchness of "Sassafrass and Cinnamon"? The anthemish "I Lost Me a Friend" with its anemic drumbreak? "Hey Woman" is more down-to-earth, kind of generic bubblegum but featuring wicked harmonies and some nice organ buildups. Comparisons to Love (both bands were five-pieces with a Black singer) are inevitable. Album closer "Happy to Have You Here Again" is an excellent Beatley bit (with a Geroge Martin-cribbing instrumental break), Mike Gayle's easygoing 'n' loose lead vocal carrying the day. The most successful song (Top 50 in New York City!) is "Tinkerbell's Mind," a grand, string-laden music box. In total Arthur Lee mode, Gayle coos over a great lite-psych arrangement. The only goof-up is the band's (producer's?) decision to have Mike speak-repeat the last phrase of every verse. Kind of heavy-handed. So: not a classic, but still a small country. 
From RYM (silent mike)

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