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Saturday, 24 September 2016

Johnny Almond Music Machine ‎ “Patent Pending” 1969 UK Jazz Rock,Funk








Johnny Almond Music Machine ‎ “Patent Pending” 1969 UK Jazz Rock,Funk..recommended
ESOTERIC RECORDINGS are pleased to announce the release of a newly remastered edition of the classic debut album bythe acclaimed saxophonist and woodwind player Johnny Almond.“Patent Pending” was the first album by the Johnny Almond Music machine and was issued on Decca’s “Progressive” imprint Deram in 1969. The album was one ofthe finest Jazz Rock albums of the era, by a band featuring Geoff Condon ( Trumpet, Flugel Horn), Johnny Wiggins (Piano, Organ), Jimmy Crawford (Electric Guitar), Steve Hammond (Guitars), Roger Sutton (Bass) and future Yes member Alan White (Drums).Johnny Almond first came to prominence through his work with John Mayall, Zoot Money, Alan Price and ChickenShack, before he formed his own group in 1969. A truly original album, “Patent Pending” showcased Almond’sprowess as a composer and outstanding multiinstrumentalist, with him also playing Organ, Mellotron andVibes in addition to a variety of Woodwind instruments.This Esoteric Recordings reissue has been remastered from the original Deram master tapes and includes a bookletwhich fully restores the original album artwork and a new essay. …… 

Multi-instrumentalist / composer Johnny Almond was one of the most versatile and in-demand players on the British scene in the late 1960s. A member of the Alan Price Set, he also led a septet of young up-and-coming musicians called Johnny Almond Music Machine, which recorded two albums of which this is the first. Soon after recording this album Almond joined the new version of John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, which recorded the revolutionary “The Turning Point” album. In that group he met guitarist Jon Mark, with whom he formed one of the best British Jazz-Rock groups – Mark-Almond. Bass player Roger Sutton (ex-Brian Auger’s Trinity), who plays on this album, was also a founding member of Mark-Almond and would later be e member of Riff Raff and Nucleus. Another player, the drummer Alan White, would later join the legendary Yes. This album is a splendid example of early Jazz-Rock, with strong Rhythm & Blues influences. Almond plays tenor, alto and baritone saxophones, flute, alto flute, organ, vibes, mellotron and bass clarinet – surely deserving the “music machine” nickname. His virtuosity (my favorite being his flute playing) is obvious. He also composed all but one of the eight tunes included here. Overall this is an excellent album and a great trip down the memory lane. Wholeheartedly recommended! ….. 

John Almond (also sometimes referred to as Johnny Almond) was a ubiquitous figure on the British blues-rock scene of the ‘60s, playing with the likes of Alan Price and John Mayall before partnering up with multi-instrumentalist Jon Mark in the Mark-Almond Band. 

Born in Enfield, Middlesex, in 1946, Almond displayed an interest in music from an early age, helped by the fact that his father was a drummer – although percussion was only one of the categories of instrument on which he started to learn. He was also quick to learn from his father’s collection of records, which included a lot of '40s jazz by the likes of Benny Goodman and Woody Herman. Alto saxophone became his first instrument, but he also became proficient on tenor sax and eventually achieved professional mastery on seven others, including various keyboard instruments and the vibraphone. 

He had turned professional before finishing high school and played in various groups as a teenager, including a big band under the direction of Wally Johnson. His late teens coincided with the British beat boom, but Almond was working with sounds and instruments far removed from what was sweeping popular music out of Liverpool and Manchester. Rather, he led a jazz combo of his own for a time and played with a group called Tony Knight’s Chess Men before he found an extended berth, lasting a couple of years in a relatively prominent young outfit, Zoot Money’s Big Roll Band. Following Money’s breakup of the band (to join Eric Burdon’s psychedelic-era Animals), he joined the Alan Price Set, and then signed on to John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers in June of 1969. By the end of the year, with the encouragement of producer Mike Vernon, he had cut his first solo album, Patent Pending, credited to the Johnny Almond Music Machine, on which he played a half-dozen instruments. A year later came his second solo album, Hollywood Blues, also credited to the Johnny Almond Music Machine. 

His biggest success came, however, when he joined up with his fellow Bluesbreaker alumnus, arranger/multi-instrumentalist Jon Mark to form the Mark-Almond Band, which lasted for most of the '70s (with a breakup in the middle) and generated a lot of great press and reviews, even if they didn’t sell huge numbers of records after the early part of the decade. Since the late '70s, Almond has worked primarily as a session musician, but his name recognition is such that his 1969-1970 solo albums have found an audience on compact disc in the 21st century, at least in Japan and Europe. 

*** 
A stone groover from British multi-instrumentalist Johnny Almond – stepping out here on a range of instruments that includes tenor, alto, flute, organ, vibes, and mellotron! Like Almond’s other session from the time, the set’s got a tightly arranged groove that feels a lot like some of the best funky soundtrack work of the late 60s – an approach that has the larger band vamping in a mix of electric and acoustic instrumentation, while Almond soars out on expressive solos that nicely shift with the feel of each track! A few numbers take on a slightly exotic feel that we really love – using heavy percussion and a bit of effects to emphasize the groove – and a good part of the credit for the strength of the album should go to drummer Alan White, who’s really cutting it up nicely here! Titles include a version of Yusef Lateef’s “Before Dawn”, plus the original numbers “Tales Of Junior”, “Solar Level”, “Voodoo Forest”, “Pequeno Novo”, and “To RK”, a great tribute to Roland Kirk! (Dusty Groove)… 

Reviewed by Nathan Ford 

Originally released on Deram in 1969, this first release by Johnny Almond’s Music Machine is now startlingly rare in its original form, and surprisingly, this new Esoteric reissue seems to be only its second reissue since 1969. 

This is surprising given Almond’s pedigree. By 1969 Almond had already been a member of Zoot Money’s Big Roll Band (he only left when Zoot folded the band in order to join Eric Burdon’s recently psychedelicised Animals), the Alan Price Set, and John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. And after the two Music Machine albums, he formed Mark Almond with Jon Mark (whom he’d played with in the Bluesbreakers). All bands with a certain amount of collector’s cache, so this must be absolute garbage to have been left untouched until now, right? Guess again. 

“The Johnny Almond Music Machine” is an excellent, diverse album that epitomises the adventurous spirit of the 1969 underground, featuring a crack young band, with a teenaged (future Yes) Alan White tearing it up on drums. Almond himself plays a ridiculous numbre of different instruments on here - Sax (Tenor, Alto & Baritone), Flute, Alto Flute, Organ, Vibraphone, Mellotron and Bass Clarinet. 

Almond’s R&B, jazz, and blues roots aren’t forgotten, but the funk levels are amped up considerably on the numbers that vamp on this theme. Check out “Solar Level” and Junior Parker tribute “Tales of Junior”, which are particularly beaty and brassy. 

In keeping with the spirit of the times though (not to mention the label), there’s a strong progressive and post-psychedelic element to a number of these tracks too, and these are the tracks that are most likely to capture the imagination of readers of this rag. “Voodoo Forest” will be familiar to many readers from its appearance on Decca’s bargain-bin staple “World of Progressive Rock” compilation, and its moody atmospherics are indeed one of the highlights here for those of an adventurous mindset, but it’s not alone. “Reversed for Two Horns” is a startling, explorative duet between Almond and trumpeter Geoff Condon, who was apparently flu-ridden during this session. If so it certainly explains the feverish, hallucinatory levels this track often reaches. And opener, “Ensign” is a beaty jazz funker which would have been ideal for soundtracking a UK crime film of the time, were it not for it’s face-melting psychedelic conclusion. …… 

Johnny Almond - Sax, Flutes, Organ, Vibraphone 
Steve Hammond - Guitars 
Roger Sutton - Bass, Claves 
Alan White - Drums, Congas, Cowbell, Percussion 
Jimmy Crawford - Electric Guitar 
Johnny Wiggins - Piano, Organ 
Geoff Condon - Trumpet, Flugelhorn 

Ensingle 
Before Dawn 
Voodoo Forest 
Solar Level 
To R.K. 
Reversed For Two Horns 
Pequeno Nova 
Tales Of Junior 

Prof.Ivan Trihla “Zodiaco” 1975 Spain Experimental Prog Funk Esoteric psych











Prof.Ivan Trihla “Zodiaco” 1975 Spain rare Polydor label Experimental Prog Funk Esoteric psych

Eddie Fisher “Eddie Fisher & The Next One Hundred Years” 1970 US Jazz Funk,Soul Jazz


Eddie Fisher  “Eddie Fisher & The Next One Hundred Years” 1970 US Jazz Funk,Soul Jazz

A virtual primer in the art of soul-jazz guitar, Eddie Fisher and the Next Hundred Years is a record of uncommon virtue and consummate skill. A longtime R&B sideman behind greats including Solomon Burke and Albert King, Fisher clearly relishes his turn in the spotlight, unspooling a series of endlessly inventive solos boasting the reach and consciousness of psychedelia. Backed only by an uncredited bassist and drummer, Fisher shifts gears effortlessly, transitioning from nuanced, intimate melodies to wild flights of fancy in the blink of an eye. Songs including “Jeremiah Pucket,” “Land of Our Father,” and “Either One” twist and turn like rides at an amusement park, achieving a comparable excitement and awe. ….. 

Tracklist: 

01. Jeremiah Pucket (Fisher) - 4:40 
02. Land of Our Father (Fisher-Matthews) - 5:13 
03. Either Or (Fisher) - 5:41 
04. Another Episode (In the Continuing Story of Zeke and the Man) (Fisher) - 2:54 
05. Beautiful Things (Fisher) - 12:01 
06. East St. Louis Blues (Fisher) - 4:09 

Dancer`s Inferno “Creation One” 1973 US Private Funk Jazz

Dancer`s Inferno “Creation One” US 1973 Private Jazz Funk
full dailymotion playlist
http://www.dailymotion.com/playlist/x3d0en_John_Dug_dancer-s-inferno-creation-one-us-1973-funk-jazz/1#video=x24xs3v


Danser’s Inferno,“ a 14-piece jazz-rock group, was conceived by London-born composer-multi-instumentalist John Danser in the 1970s. The group performed in NYC at jazz clubs and concert halls and was considered one of the three foremost bands of the 70s, alongside the legendary Blood, Sweat, and Tears and Chicago. The record received a 5 star review by David Kerr of Variety Magazine. …..


There was a time when jazz, funk, and soul music meant absolutely nothing to me. I was fifteen when I bought my first garage-sale turntable and listened to my father’s Grateful Dead and Doors albums. Names like Otis Redding, Thelonious Monk, and Parliament were not in my vocabulary. Regardless, after that needle hit its first groove, I was hooked, and I hit the streets in search of new acquisitions. 
I convinced an older friend to drive to the Salvation Army one rainy afternoon. After an hour of digging, I was disappointed over the absence of my rock idols on disc, but did walk out clutching one LP whose graffiti-laden cover caught my eye. After one listen at home, my virgin ears unaccustomed to tremendous drum breaks and killer horn production, I filed the record away. A few years later, I stumbled upon an auction of this desirable piece of wax that ended at $1000. Within seconds, I located the diamond in the rough, blew away eons’ worth of dust, and gave John Danser the second chance he deserved. 
Creation One offer eight jaw-dropping tracks that are jam-packed with complex and over-the-top horn arrangements, all scribed by Danser, who plays his share of brass on the session. Fourteen unknown musicians make up his troupe, each contributing a dizzying array of talent.
It’s easy to get lost within the depths of this disc, backtracking and dissecting countless breaks. In doing so, the last minute of “Love, the Rhythm of the World” often gets overlooked. Its hushed and quiet beginning belies the climactic peak of Randy Maddison’s vocals over one of the band’s tightest grooves. “Sombre Guitar,” the standout track that excites diggers around the globe, is an upbeat body-mover whose opening dose of horns and congas will get feet shuffling on the dance floor. 
Little is known about this enigmatic LP, except for two reissues in 1975: one with an alternate cover on Thimble, and the other an original pressing repackaged with sheet music. Needless to say, whatever copy you can obtain of this rarity is a keeper, whether you paid one dollar or a thousand. 


Bass – Jaime Austria 
Drums – David Cox 
French Horn – Bill Hamilton 
Guitar – Frank Vanto 
Layout – Boro Hall Graphics 
Organ, Clavinet – Mitchell Kerper 
Other [Librarian] – Daniel Danser 
Saxophone [Soprano, Bariton], Flute, Piccolo Flute – Larry Charles 
Saxophone [Tenor], Clarinet [Amplified], Flute – John Danser
Trombone – Andy Matzkow 
Trombone [Bass] – Jim Morris 
Trumpet [Lead], Flugelhorn – Saul Lefkoff 
Trumpet, Flugelhorn – Dave Tucker, Thomas Rheam 
Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Congas – Fred Gaud 
Vocals – Randy Maddison 



Tracklist 
A1 Sunday Morning 6:55 
A2 Sombre Guitar 3:38 
A3 Inferno 5:03 
A4 And Once In My Life 5:00 
B1 Turning The Corner 4:07 
B2 Love, The Rhythm Of The World 3:58 
B3 Badinage 4:48 
B4 Time Is Laughing 6:48 

Arthur Brown “Chisholm In My Bosom”1977 UK



Arthur Brown  “Chisholm In My Bosom”1977 UK
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“I just felt an unstoppable need to tell you, on the subway home after work, that "Chisholm in my bosom” indeed is a highly and sadly underappreciated album. I’ve spent the last few weeks in it’s bosom, as it were, and I love it. It is soulful and inspired, especicially the title track. 20 minutes of folkified prog. Brilliant!“ 2013 …… 

Around the same time that Captain Beefheart was being pointlessly made over in an inevitably doomed attempt to render his music more palatable to mainstream audiences, similar moves were afoot to re-imagine Arthur Brown as a “colourful” AOR figure – less of an affront to delicate sensibilities than the demoniacal nuthatch of yore with his head on fire and his cock out. 

Amazingly, it worked: on record, at least. To say that “no one bought it” refers more to the simple fact of audiences failing to shell out for the relevant product rather than refusing to countenance the concept of Brown as a kind of hobo Robert Palmer. Chisholm In My Bosom has actually weathered the passage of time surprisingly well, given that it missed the zeitgeist by several light years on its original 1977 release. Let A Little Sunshine (Into Your Life) and Need To Know are definitive 70s AOR, the latter in particular, with its harmonised, lightly flanged guitar parts, somewhere between Killing Of Georgie-era Rod Stewart and The Sutherland Brothers & Quiver. 

Brown had never been in more supple voice; if Monkey Walk is like The Goodies fronted by a stripper vicar, the meandering 19-minute title track could also be an itinerant Astral Weeks….by Record Collector……. 

Three years on from the dismal Dance album, Arthur Brown resurfaced with what, from all advance warning suggested, was going to prove his long-awaited return to fame – and a reunion with former Crazy World ally Vincent Crane. Chisholm in My Bosom, however, emerged as little more than a gospel-tinged retread of its disappointing predecessor, while Crane himself was evident on just one track. The full reunion was still another two years ahead, and an altogether different album away. Hopefully, one scoured Chisholm in My Bosom in search of excitement, and found it in a terrific version of "I Put a Spell on You.” But, of course, Brown had already executed the definitive reading of that number a decade earlier, on the Crazy World’s debut and, while “Monkey Walk” and “Chisholm in My Bosom” themselves would both reward further listens, still the album itself is one that not only lays unplayed in almost every record collection that harbors it, it lies forgotten as well…by allmusic…… 

The second Arthur Brown solo album is somewhat more interesting then the previous album for the proghead, although one has the worst fears after the first few disco-funk tracks, but then comes a slow blues version (with Vincent Crane of Atomic Rooster on organ) of Screaming Jay Hawkins’s I Put A Spell on You, that does bring chills in the spine but although not like it does in his recent years concerts, where it has become the centrepiece of the show along with Fire. The following track is also of interest, but the first side finishes on a bluesy-soul piece that can almost pass for the real thing mostly because of the Crane- Brown pair! Any experienced progheads will now have noticed, that side 2 is occupied by a 23 min track, and you are wondering why I have not gotten to it yet!! Well of course part of the reason is teasing you to death by writing useless sentences such as this one to say absolutely nothing, dragging on, dilute the context of this review until suddenly I drop (actually Arthur should drop it, not me the poor reviewer) on you the Bomb!! 
Well no such luck, since there is no bomb to explode but it is no wet gunpowder either so a firecracker is a more fitting description. To call this track an epic is maybe pushing it a bit, but there are mellotrons, great synths, a good bass line and great singing and almost everything to please you, but this stays in a minor mode, Brown clearly exploring every corner of his imagination to be imaginative, but the usual madness that we were used to is not really present. But with this track, we are not far away from Kingdom Come, since two ex-members are among the participants, there are some real excellent moments , of course when the mellotrons appear - we are in 1977, sir and those were supposed to be un-hyp! 

Chisholm In My Bosom is definitely a much better album than the previous Dance With, but unfortunately it is still too unfocused (the short tracks on side have nothing in common with the title track) for its own good. Should you choose to investigate this album, be prepared some major ups and down …by progarchives….. 

Arthur Brown is one of those incredibly talented artists who had a brief burst of fame many years ago, and has effectively had to live off it ever since. Arthur’s is, of course, Fire, recorded with his Crazy World in 1968; you’ll probably have seen the insane b+w promo video for it with Arthur’s flaming headpiece. There was much more to Arthur Brown than Fire, though. In the early ‘70s he put together Kingdom Come, to play a weird, twisted form of progressive rock quite unlike anyone else. Their first album, Galactic Zoo Dossier (****) is good, but they improved upon it with Kingdom Come. 

This is definitely one of the oddest prog albums you’ll ever hear, with Arthur expounding on school, religion, his bodily functions etc., mostly at some length. The music takes no prisoners, either, with some wonderfully dissonant organ passages in the brilliantly-titled A Scientific Experiment Featuring “Lower Colonic Irrigation”, among other highlights. The Mellotron isn’t mentioned specifically, but is presumably played by Goodge Harris, with strings slapped all over The Hymn, an otherwise (relatively) straightforward number, and a few chords in Water, but not really enough to consider it a 'Mellotron album’. 

Journey, however, is another matter. Arthur only retained the services of his guitarist and bassist, bringing in American keyboard man Victor Peraino, and electing to use the Bentley drum machine, actually a Bentley Rhythm Ace, later to give its name to a British dance-orientated act. The music is (slightly) less odd than on Kingdom Come, but makes up for it with its weird, mechanical feel, and the large amount of Peraino’s Mellotron present. There’s nothing on the first two tracks, but Gypsy is smothered in strings and flutes, before Superficial Roadblocks roars in with brass and choir providing the main chordal backdrop. This track has to be one of the most Mellotron-heavy ever, with an unaccompanied choir section on Corpora Supercelestia. Spirit Of Joy features that rarest of M400 sounds, the Mellotron Hammond (along with some strings), only distinguishable when Peraino attempts some organ 'chops’. 

Peraino went on to front his own version of Kingdom Come, producing another Mellotron Monster in No Man’s Land, but try as he might, he couldn’t quite reach the heights of lunacy reached by either of these albums. The last I heard, these were both still available on bizarrely-packaged Voiceprint CDs, with loads of unlisted bonus tracks, and Arthur’s story in the booklets, but told in the wrong order… Still, it’s just good to actually be able to find them at all, and hopefully introduce another generation of listeners to the hidden delights of these strange albums. Barking mad, brilliant and wholeheartedly recommended musically. Oh, and Journey’s a Mellotron classic. Buy. …. 

Line-up / Musicians 

- Arthur Brown / vocals 
- Andy Dalby / guitars 
- Rick Kulack / guitars 
- Eugene Dilibero / guitars 
- John McBurnie / guitars 
- Robert Kirby / keyboards 
- Vincent Crane / keyboards 
- Goodge Harris / keyboards 
- Mike Storey / keyboards 
- Phil Curtis / bass guitar 
- D Harper / bass guitar 
- Norman Wattroy / bass 
- Phil Cranham / bass 
- Charlie Charles / drums 
- John Lingwood / drums 
- Steve Holly / drums 
- Morris Pert / percussions 
- Robin James / percussions 
- Tony Uter / percussions 
- Jacquie Sullivan / backing vocals 
- RJ Lange / backing vocals 
- Bobbie McGhee / backing vocals 

Songs / Tracks Listing 

1. Need To Know (3:36) 
2. Monkey Walk (4:32) 
3. Let A Little Sunshine (Into Your Life) (3:30) 
4. I Put A Spell On You (4:11) 
5. She’s On My Mind (3:26) 
6. The Lord Is My Saviour (3:43) 
7. Chisholm In My Bosom (23:00)

The Lemon Drops “Crystal Pure” 1966-69 US Garage Psych




The Lemon Drops  “Crystal Pure” 1966-69 US Garage Psych
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Anyone who likes the Leaves, the Seeds et al will love the early cuts by this band, a hard-luck Chicago outfit who couldn’t turn a local wave of popular enthusiasm into something bigger, despite some good songs. Their later stuff was more self-consciously psychedelic, but it’s still very well done, with superb playing and harmonies. The Lemon Drops were Jeff Brand (bass), Bobby Lunack (rhythm guitar), Gary Weiss (drums), Eddie Weiss (rhythm guitar), and Danny Smola (vocals), who began rehearsing in the Weiss home when they were between 14 and 17 years old. With lead guitarist Ricky Erickson in tow and later an official member, they cut their first record, “I Live In the Springtime,” for Rembrandt, a local label co-owned by one of the Weisses’ elder siblings. “I Live in the Springtime” got an enthusiastic reception locally, and was played as far away as New York. 
The bandmembers became celebrities among the local kids when they were thrown out of school for their long hair. By that time, they were on their second single, the angry anti-Vietnam rocker “It Happens Everyday,” and soon after had a new lead singer, Dick Sidman. The band slipped easily into the psychedelic blossoming of the Summer of Love, adding more overt flower-power references to their mix of sounds. It looked as though RCA was interested in the group, but a mix-up prevented the tapes for their third single, “Sometime Ago”/“Theatre of Your Eyes,” from getting to the company in New York on time. A potential contract with Uni Records came to nothing, and their third single, as well as a dozen tracks cut live in the Weiss home in January of 1968, went unheard. A few more songs were cut on behalf of Buena Vista Records, but the death of the label head scotched the deal, and a potential contract with Alden Records fell apart, along with the group, following an acid party at the owner’s Los Angeles mansion in the summer of 1969. by Bruce Eder 
Combines the contents of both LPs issued on the Cicadelic label in the mid-‘80s (Crystal Pure and Second Album) onto one CD, making this indeed the definitive collection. Almost all of their known tapes, covering both their searing electric garage/psych and softer, acoustic garage/folk sides. Dating from 1967 and 1968, this features a lot of original material that the band recorded in Chicago studios, as well as some drummerless home demos. These are endearing (and still moving) relics of an age of great exuberance, innocence, and hope. Good harmonies on the psychedelic ballads, which have been described as “garage-band Donovan.” One of the best reissues of unknown '60s garage/psychedelic music. by Richie Unterberger …… 

The Lemon Drops were pioneers of a psychedelic pop and folk rock sound in the Chicago suburbs in 1967. All were students at McHenry High School. Danny Smola (16 years old-lead vocals), Eddie Weiss (14 years old-guitar), Gary Weiss, brother of Eddie (16 years old-drums), Jeff Brandt (17 years old-bass), George Sorrenson (16 years old-lead guitar) and Bobby Lunak (15 years old-guitar). They had been playing for about a year, but it wasn’t until Reggie Weiss (brother to Eddie and Gary) heard them perform that they matured into a band with a distinct sophisticated sound. 

In 1966 Reggie (nee Roger) Weiss, age?? and Anton (Tony) Urban opened Rembrandt Recording Studio near Southern Illinois University, 400 miles south of Chicago. The business was successful and a record label was formed called Rembrandt Records. The first groups signed were popular college bands like The Nite-Owls, The Circus, The Nuchez, and Mondays Children. In early 1967, Weiss, Urban, and artist John “J.D.” Dettenemeir returned home to Chicago from Southern Illinois University. They heard The Lemon Drops rehearse and were impressed enough to suggest a record deal with Rembrandt Records. 

Reggie became the catalyst for the group, writing, producing and recording their music. The first song he wrote for them, “I Live In The Springtime” was inspired by the winter weather in Chicago. The b-side was a folk-rock ballad titled “Listen Girl” (written by Eddie Weiss and Danny Smola). Both songs featured the excellent lead vocals of Danny Smola and the brilliant twelve-string guitar work of Bobby Lunak. On May 1, 1967, The Lemon Drops went to RCA Studios in Chicago to record the single. George Sorenson quit the band a few days before the session. A new lead guitar player, Ricky Erickson, replaced him. Erickson was formerly of The Nuchez. Their single, (Rembrandt #5001)“Open Up Your Mind”, earned a B+ rating in the October 29, 1966 issue of Cashbox. 

Five hundred copies of “I Live In The Springtime” were pressed and quickly rejected because Reggie found out that the drum track was omitted. He had supplied RCA with a stereo mix-down tape, but apparently the person mastering it patched only one of the two tracks thru instead of collapsing them both into one mono track. A few of the drum-less singles leaked out to the public. One would even end up in 1998 on the Rhino Nuggets Box Set. 

A subsequent new pressing of “Springtime” was issued with the drum track in place and one thousand units were pressed. Popular Chicago AM radio station WLS, showed interest in the record but wanted Rembrandt Records to have thousands more copies of the single pressed. Reggie could not get the funding for the additional copies and thus the record never charted. 

The Lemon Drops though, were celebrities at their school, McHenry High. “Springtime” was played on the intercom during lunch and was also in the school’s jukebox. The band gave their first ever performance at the high school expecting around 250 people, but over a thousand students attended. The band wore matching silk blue shirts, except Smola, who had a white one and everyone wore chains around their necks with a mod shaped “lemon drop”(a close look at their color publicity photo shows this). The band performed “Springtime”, “It Happens Everyday” ,“Alone” and cover songs. 

While “Springtime” did not reach any local top 40 charts, this lack of success did not stop Reggie from writing another song for their next proposed single, “It Happens Every Day”. The song was about Vietnam, screaming with frustration and resentment. “Alone” penned by Ricky Erickson was chosen as the b-side, but no vocal tracks were ever added, The songs are never released as the band hires a new lead singer, 17 year old Dick Sidman, and changed their sound to psychedelic flower-power music. 

The next two songs Reggie wrote were at the apex of The Lemon Drops psychedelic sound, “Sometime Ago” and “My Friend”. Early versions of the songs were recorded in Chicago at RCA studios and cut directly to acetate in August 1967. “Sometime Ago” had a rapid garage beat to it, but over the next few months Reggie worked in more layers of optical sound and elevated it to Psychedelic Raga Rock status. On December 4, The Lemon Drops went to RCA Studios in Chicago to record “The Theatre of Your Eyes”(which was originally titled “My Friend”) and “Sometime Ago”. The results were astonishing, the epiphany for the flower-power generation. The new version of “Sometime Ago” featured Homer Gaston (who would also write “Forever” for the band) on Sitar and Dick Sidman on Tablas. JD Dettenmeir designed a mind blowing psychedelic picture sleeve (shown on the front cover of this booklet) for “Sometime Ago”. Reggie recalled, “I gambled on the session being so hot that RCA would pick up the group. As it went, RCA was more interested in the $1200 bill we ran up and I didn’t have the money to pay for the session”. As a result the master tapes remained unreleased. 

In 1968, The Lemon Drops were still without a new single and no deal from a major record label. Out of sheer desperation, the band recorded a live album in two evenings at the Weiss’s home in January. The drums were left out on most tracks because of limited space in the living room. Two microphones are used for the vocals, harmonies and guitars. Originally intended as an album prototype, the tape was a brilliant tapestry of songs with themes of death- “Flowers On The Hillside” and “Death Calls”, Optimisim- “Dream”, Romance-“I Like You” and “Love Is A Word, Fantasy- “To The Tower”, “Learn To Fly”, and Guinevere ( a Donovan influenced song reminiscing about the Rennaisssance period of Knights and chivalry), universal love-“Flower Child Eyes and Arms”(whose haunting lyrics caused lead singer Sidmans voice to falter because he was overcome with emotion from 1: to of the song. Since “Sometime Ago” and “The Theater of Your Eyes” were already recorded, the band only did short 30 second snippets of the songs and placed “Sometime Ago” to lead off the album and “The Theater Of Your Eyes to lead off side two. Fittingly the album ended with “Forever” but the tape has long since fell apart so what remains is what is on the end of the second disc. In the discography at the end of the liner notes, the exact order of the album is delineated. Reggie took the tape to several Hollywood labels, but no deal transpired. The Lemon Drops broke up in March 1968. 

Reggie and Eddie still tried to find an outlet for The Lemon Drop recordings. The owner of Buena Vista Records (a division of Walt Disney) expressed interest in them and offered to put up the funds to promote the group. The Lemon Drops reformed in the late summer of 1968, but without the services of Ricky Erickson. Eddie Weiss moved to lead guitar in his place. In October, four songs were recorded at Bykowski’s Music Store in McHenry. The owner, Ron Bykowski had just opened a new recording studio at the music shop and The Lemon Drops were one of his first clients. For years prior, they bought all their music equipment from Bykowski’s, so they felt relaxed when they performed the four recordings. The songs were “Forever”, “Learn To Fly”, “Maria”, and “I Like You”. While these songs appear on this compilation, they are not the same versions as the ones recorded at Bykowski’s Music. Sadly, these recordings remain the only missing Lemon Drops songs. 

In November as The Lemon Drops were getting ready to move to Los Angeles a letter arrived that said the owner of Buena Vista had died suddenly. The band was left hanging without their main supporter. A month and half later The Lemon Drops go to Sound Studios in Chicago to record more songs. “Paperplane Flyer”, “Fairytales”, “Flowers On The Hillside” and “Dream” were recorded on November 5. Released for the first time is the complete session tape for “Fairytales”. It was the last song recorded at Sound Studios that day and Sidman was ill with the flu, so the ensuing tension at the end of the session is palpable. “Paperplane Flyer” displayed the powerful harmonies of The Lemon Drops and the enclosed version here is a 24-bit master re-mix, as the previous version issued on The Lemon Drops-Crystal Pure(Cic-984) in 1985 had the lyrics obscured by the precussion. 

In December, four more songs are recorded, “Popsicle Girl”, and “Flower Pure”, “Crystal Pure”(original titled “Queen Bee”) and “Jennifer-Ann”. “Crystal Pure” was the proposed a-side for the next single and was laden with Eddie Weiss’ explosive psychedelic guitar sounds and influenced by Hendrix and The Cream. It was the hardest rock song they had done yet (“Death Calls” had previously held the title) The b-side, “Jennifer-Ann” was a love ballad and Weiss played the Spanish Goya Guitar. Had Reggie had the proper funding The Lemon Drops would have released “It Happens Everyday/Alone”, “Sometime Ago/The Theater Of Your Eyes”, “Popsicle Girl/Flower Pure” and “Crystal Pure/Jennifer Ann” as their first four singles. Accompanying the singles would have been an album with a theme threaded thru it, a popular musical trend in the wake of “Sgt. Peppers”. Some of the other albums to tread in this territory were The Moody Blues “Days Of Future Passed”, The Pretty Things “SF Sorrow”, The Zombies “Odyssey and Oracle” Frederic-Phases and Faces, and The Seeds “Future” all recorded within a year or less of Sgt. Pepper. 

Reggie tried to find another record label for the band but to no avail. Kenny Weiss, their road manager, recalled that “Uni Records” really got off on “Paperplane Flyer”. They wanted the band to add another verse or two. The group was skeptical, starting to splinter, and nothing was ever done.” One last stab at fame occurred when Reggie succeeded in obtaining Alden Productions of Redwood City, California to front the band. Dan Herron, the company president, agreed to host the band in Redwood City and pay all expenses. In the summer of 1969, The Lemon Drops drove to the west coast in their own bus, which had the roof painted lemon yellow. Once they arrived in Redwood City they stayed and rehearsed at Herron’s mansion complete with an Olympic sized swimming pool and King Farouk’s Rolls Royce. Also present was another band called “Faith”. Fantastic parties were held at Herron’s mansion and on several occasions the neighbors complained about the nude teenage girls swimming in the pool. At the height of one massive party, The Lemon Drops broke up. 

Eddie and Gary Weiss would go on to form “Watermelon” and then a year later “Buzzsaw”. Like with The Lemon Drops, Reggie produced and wrote songs for the two new groups. In fact, “Springtime” is revived as a Rembrandt single released in 1972 by Buzzsaw backed with “I Can Make You Happy”. The version of “Springtime” on this single is in stereo, the mix Reggie made back in 1967, but that was issued in mono on the single. In the summer of 1972,while in Acapulco, Reggie provided the local radio station copies of the new Buzzsaw single and once again it received substantial airplay. Since that time the mystique of The Lemon Drops has crystallized and grown thru the ensuing decades. All of Reggie Weiss’s original stereo mixes done in 1967-68 are present on this compilation, many for the first time. For a group that only had one single released and was of high school age when it was issued, the subsequent prolific amount of recordings done during their brief two year tenure reflects their sheer genius and talent. Here then on these two CD’s is the final word on the flower-power sound of The Lemon Drops…… 

The more common issue (if a rare single like this could be considered common) is missing the drums and bass. The lesser seen pressing has the exact same label, but it has the drums and bass and the guitar is further down in the mix. We can only summise that they took the stereo mix and issued the left channel (in mono) on one pressing and the right channel (in mono) on the other pressing. It’s not known if the two variations share the same dead wax markings. 

This band formed in the Chicago, Illinois suburb of McHenry in 1966. Despite its repetitive lyrics the band’s only 45 I Live In The Springtime, has a strong enough melody to suggest that better things could have laid ahead…. but as it turned out, none of their other 1967-68 recording sessions were released on record until the mid-eighties. 

Ricky Erickson (ex-The Nuchez) was brought in to do guitar on the 45 after the band’s original guitarist (George Sorenson) had quit prior to the recording and I Live In The Springtime did get some airplay in New York. Consequently the Lemon Drops recorded a second 45, the hard rockin’ It Happens Everyday backed by a Ricky Erickson composition Alone, at the RCA Studios in Chicago, but it was never released. They then recruited a new 17 year old singer Dick Sidman and began working on an ambitious new project with tablas, flowery harmonies and numerous special effects ran up a studio bill of $1,200 that Reggie Weiss, the owner of Rembrandt Records couldn’t pay. Only in 1985 were the master tapes from this session released as Crystal Pure. 
In their quest for major label interest the band proceeded to record a live album over two evenings at Weiss’ home. They took the tapes to several Hollywood labels but none were interested and losing heart the band actually split in 1968. However, the following month the Weiss family moved to Phoenix, Arizona and by chance played their tape for Buena Vista Productions who offered to put up $250,000 to promote the group. Obviously they were thrilled and the Lemon Drops reformed with just Ricky Erickson missing from the new line-up. They recorded lots of new songs in Chicago’s Sound Studios during November and December 1968, but ironically these efforts too proved to be in vain, for the owner of Buena Vista died in his sleep and the deal was cancelled! Devastated the band split up for good. 
Gary and Eddie Weiss later formed Watermelon and then Buzzsaw. In 1972 Reggie Weiss, frustrated by their lack of success issued a stereo mix of I Live In The Springtime as Buzzsaw. 

Compilation appearances include: I Live In The Springtime on Nuggets Box (4-CD), Psychedelic Patchwork (LP), Pebbles, Vol. 8 (LP) and I Wanna Come Back From The World Of LSD (CD); Talk To The Animals, an unreleased cut with loads of fuzz guitar, on Psychedelic Crown Jewels, Vol. 1 (Dble LP & CD); Listen Girl on Time Won’t Change My Mind (LP); Flowers On The Hillside, I Live In The Springtime, Listen Girl, Nobody For Me on Chicago Garage Band Greats (CD); Sometime Ago, My Friend (Theatre Of Your Eyes), Jennifer Ann, Crystal Pure, Maria and (Flower) Dream (demos) on The Cicadelic 60’s, Vol. 5 (CD); I Live In The Springtime (unreleased version culminating in a guitar solo), Alone, Jennifer Ann on Chicago Garage Band Greats (LP); It Happens Everyday and I Live In The Springtime on Green Crystal Ties Vol. 9 (CD). Buzzsaw’s version of I Live In The Springtime can also be found on Highs In The Mid-Sixties, Vol. 4 and Pebbles, Vol. 6 (CD). 
(Vernon Joynson/Max Waller/Barry Margolis) …… 

The Lemon Drops 
*Dick Sidman - Lead Vocals (3-23) 
*Danny Smola - Lead Vocals (1-2) 
*Ricky Erickson - Lead Guitar (1-4, 11-23) 
*Eddie Weiss - Lead, Rhythm Guitars 
*Bobby Lunak - Rhythm Guitar (1-4, 10), Bass (5-9) 
*Jeff Brand - Bass (1-4, 10-23) 
*Garry Weiss - Drums 


Tracks 
1. I Live In The Springtime - 3:03 
2. It Happens Everyday - 2:18 
3. Sometime Ago - 3:41 
4. The Theatre Of Your Eyes - 3:22 
5. Popsicle Girl - 5:19 
6. Flower Pure - 4:00 
7. Paperplane Flyer (Weiss, Sidman, Thunderbolt) - 2:34 
8. Talk To The Animals (Weiss, Sidman, Thunderbolt) - 4:20 
9. Fairy Tales (Weiss, Sidman, Thunderbolt) - 2:26 
10.Hi, How Are You Today - 3:11 
11.Alone (Weiss, Sidman, Thunderbolt) - 1:32 
12.Sleeping On Colours (Weiss, Sidman, Thunderbolt) - 4:55 
13.Sometime Ago (Acoustic Version) - 0:22 

ALBUMS: 
1(-) CRYSTAL PURE (Cicadelic CIC 984) 1985 
2(-) SECOND ALBUM (Cicadelic CIC 982) 1987 
3(-) CRYSTAL PURE (Collectables COL-CD-0517) 199? 
NB: (3) is a 24 track CD compilation. 

45: 
1(B) I Live In The Springtime/Listen Girl (Rembrandt 5009) 1967 
NB: I Live In The Springtime was issued on Rembrandt 5009 in two different ways:

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