Friday, 18 May 2018

The Holy Mackerel “The Holy Mackerel” 1968 US Psych Pop,Sunshine Pop


The Holy Mackerel “The Holy Mackerel” 1968 US Psych Pop,Sunshine Pop
full spotify deluxe edition
https://open.spotify.com/album/2z5wnKsbDyM5MlnaEK6wdc


After singer/songwriter Paul Williams landed one of his songs on the flip side of Tiny Tim’s hit single “Tip-Toe Through the Tulips,” he was approached by record producer Richard Perry with an offer to cut his own album. It was a giant leap for Williams, who had just lost his job at the White Whale label a year earlier, an event that had left him distraught and sour on the music industry. Apprehensive about going it alone, he formed a band with ex-Jefferson Airplane bassist Bob Harvey, guitarist George Hiller, flutist Cynthia Fitzpatrick, ex-Turtle drummer Don Murray, and Williams’ brother Ralph on guitar. Dubbed the Holy Mackerel, the band recorded its psychedelic pop debut throughout the spring of 1968. Before the record’s completion, Harvey left and was replaced by future Elvis Presley bassist Jerry Scheff, and then drummer Don Murray was replaced by Michael Cannon. The record appeared in November of 1968 and despite being a Billboard magazine “Special Merit Pick,” it went nowhere and the Holy Mackerel called it quits soon after. Williams began his successful solo career a year later…by….by David Jeffries…~

Originally released in 1968, this was the sunshine pop band’s only album. Looks to be one of Paul William’s early works. With this CD reissue, you get the lp’s initial twelve songs + ten added bonus tracks for your listening pleasure. Most impressive cuts are “The Lady Is Waiting” (both versions), the inspiring “Somewhere In Arizona At 4:30 AM - Restaurant Song”, the country-like “The Wild Side Of Life”, “Love For Everyone” and the somewhat stunning “Listen To The Voice” (truly, great flute work). Line-up: Paul Williams - lead vocals, George Hiller - guitar, harmonica, organ, banjo & vocals, Jerry Scheff - bass & vocals, Mentor Williams - rhythm guitar, Cindy Fitzpatrick - flute & vocals and Mike Cannon - drums. Recommended for fans of the Beau Brummels, Mamas & The Papas, Dillard & Clark and the Lovin’ Spoonful….by Mike Reed…..~

“I was an out-of-work actor who started writing songs for his own amusement.” 
-Paul Williams, 2005…..~


Paul Williams first pop group was the LA based Holy Mackerel. While he would go on to greater success writing classic pop hits for Three Dog Night and the Carpenters, the music he recorded with the Holy Mackerel is more adventurous and psychedelic. The group’s only album was released by Warner Brothers in 1968. While it wasn’t a commercial success, the LP features some great material. 

The best tunes on The Holy Mackerel are on par with great Millennium and Sagittarus tracks. Sure, there’s two or three weak tracks throughout the album but much of The Holy Mackerel is given over to quality stuff. “Scorpio Red”, “Wildflowers”, “The Secret of Pleasure”, “10,000 Men” and “1984” are excellent dreamy soft psych tracks. “1984” is probably the album’s magical highlight although “Wildflowers” features interesting distorted vocals and plenty of swirling sitar. Many of the songs on the LP are psychedelic folk-rock but there’s a few country-rockers (“Somewhere in Arizona” and “The Golden Ghost of Love”), pure folk (“The Lady is Waiting”), and bouncy Nilsson-like pop (“Bitter Honey”) dispersed throughout ; these cuts are vintage late 60s LA pop. There’s a lot of ideas at work here but the group manages to pull it off, making The Holy Mackerel an artistic success. Highly recommended to those who appreciate intelligent sunshine pop/soft psych sounds. 

Now Sounds reissued The Holy Mackerel in 2010 with plenty of extras. Also worth checking out is Paul Williams 1970 collaboration with Roger Nichols titled We’ve Only Just Begun…….Rising Storm review…~


The Holy Mackerel’s sole album garnered little notice upon its initial release in 1968, and is mostly known today for including Paul Williams, who wrote most of the material (sometimes with Roger Nichols), taking the majority of the lead vocals. There were other noted figures involved in the LP as well, although the group’s lineup fluctuated during its recording: Richard Perry produced, brother Mentor Williams played rhythm guitar and took some lead vocals, original Jefferson Airplane bassist Bob Harvey (who left before the record was finished) wrote one song, and future Elvis Presley sideman Jerry Scheff plays bass on one track. The record might have some appeal beyond the circle of serious Williams fans, as both the material and production are more influenced by folk-rock and mild psychedelia than the ‘70s singer/songwriter fare for which he’s most famous for. It’s a largely likable album, if mild-mannered, erratic, and lacking the heavyweight hooks of Williams’ famous hits. The best tunes are those that play up the most haunting melodies and the Mamas and the Papas-ish folk-rock harmonies, such as “The Secret of Pleasure,” “Scorpio Red,” “The Golden Ghost of Love,” and “1984.” The most psychedelic song, “Wildflowers” – complete with raga-rock riffs, spaced-out lyrics, and distorted fishbowl vocals – is an unequivocal highlight, though somewhat atypical, as it’s the sole cut written by Harvey. There are less memorable stabs at country-rock (including a cover of “The Wild Side of Life”), and the cutesy theatrical “Prinderella,” co-penned by Perry and Michael Rubini, is one to skip over. [The 2010 U.K. deluxe expanded reissue on Now Sounds goes all-out with the packaging, adding ten bonus tracks and historical liner notes including comments by Paul Williams himself. Those bonus tracks include the non-LP single “Love for Everyone”/“To Put Up with You,” which are similar in quality and tone to much of the album, if perhaps a bit more pop-oriented; Williams would redo “To Put Up with You” for his 1970 solo debut LP. There are also mono 45 versions of three of tracks; the nice Simon & Garfunkel-like outtake “Listen to the Voice,” co-written by Harvey and lead guitarist George Hiller; a Williams-penned outtake, “On the Way,” and a demo of one of the LP’s songs, “Bitter Honey.” Capping the bonus material are largely instrumental work-in-progress session tapes for “Love for Everyone” and “And Now I Am Alone” that are mostly of scholarly interest.] ~ Richie Unterberger,…~


Paul Williams is rightly considered an American treasure; he has co-written some of the most well-known, well-loved, and commer­cially successful pop songs of the last century. Yet only a few years before he co-wrote his first big hit, “We’ve Only Just Begun,” Paul was a struggling singer, songwriter and actor. He had played bit parts in a few intriguing but low box-office films, and was one of hundreds turned down for a lead role in The Monkees. After Paul spent a less than lucrative three-month stint as a writer and artist for the L.A-based White Whale Records, the label’s president, Lee Lasseff, showed him the door, telling the crestfallen Williams, “We don’t think you have a future in the music business; we’re letting you go.” Paul reflects nearly forty years later, “I remember going home devastated…’What am I gonna do?’ I thought I was a songwriter". 

“I’ve always found that ‘no’ was a gift, if I didn’t get something I wanted,” muses Paul Hamilton Williams II today. And in 1967, hearing “no” from White Whale made Paul available to hear “yes” from future platinum record producer Richard Perry. 

Perry had produced Tiny Tim’s 1968 Reprise LP God Bless Tiny Tim, which contained the Billboard Number 17 pop hit, “Tip-Toe Thru’ the Tulips With Me.” The flip side of that 45 was “Fill Your Heart,” a song Paul co-wrote with offbeat songwriter Biff Rose. After working on this song, Perry saw talent worth mining in the then-unknown Williams, and made Paul the offer of a lifetime. Says Paul: “Richard decided that he wanted to cut an album with me. And I was offered a contract at Reprise. The idea of going in and recording an album was… there was no way in the world that I was gonna do that alone.” 

Armed with a batch of songs, Paul decided to put together a band with whom to record them. He recruited his brother, Mentor, on rhythm guitar, ex-Jefferson Airplane bassist Bob Harvey, guitarist George Hiller, flautist Cynthia Fitzpatrick, and ex-Turtle drummer Don Murray. With Paul handling lead vocals, this group of musicians became the Holy Mackerel. 

While Paul was working with the Mackerel, he was also beginning a writing partnership with Roger Nichols, who had just released his first and only LP for A&M, late 1967’s Roger Nichols and the Small Circle of Friends. Chuck Kaye, then A&M’s head of publishing, and coincidentally the roommate of White Whale’s Lee Lasseff, took a liking to Paul’s work with Biff Rose, and put Paul and Roger together. Paul recalls: “Biff was my first collaborator. He went and played A&M everything he’d ever written; they liked his songs, and the ones that I’d written as well. When he told them this guy Paul Williams had written the lyrics, they said, ‘We want to meet him.’ They were really looking for that lyricist for Roger.” 

The Holy Mackerel began recording their eponymous LP in March 1968 at L.A.’s leg­endary Sunset Sound Studios. The first two tracks cut were “The Golden Ghost of Love” and an early version of the Nichols/Williams song “To Put Up With You,” which Paul was to record again for his 1970 album Someday Man. Later that month, the band moved oper­ations over to United Studios, adding other musicians, including bassist Steve LeFevre. 

During the spring 1968 recording of the album, Perry schooled the newly formed Mackerel on the myriad possibilities of the recording studio. “One of my favorite things on the album was a serendipitous moment,” Paul remembers. “We were sitting in the stu­dio recording the strings on the ending of ‘1984.’ Either Richard Perry or the engineer reached over and accidentally punched out the drums, and it was a great accident. We pulled out all the other rhythm instruments and went, ‘Oh, my God.’ It was wonderful; all of the sudden it had this space odyssey kind of feel to it.” Paul continues, laughing, “There are times when (the album) almost sounds like a ‘family album,’ there’s such simplicity. I can almost hear (it) in my broth­er’s vocals… ‘Wow, we’re in the studio!”’
Recording continued through the spring and summer. An album jacket was designed picturing the Mackerel’s original lineup; however personnel problems necessitated that new cover photos be taken before the album’s release. Bassist Bob Harvey wrote only one song, one of the most overtly psy­chedelic cuts on the LP (the electric sitar-laden “Wildflowers”) then left the band before the album’s completion. The Mackerel soon replaced Harvey with studio whiz and future Elvis Presley bassist Jerry Scheff; then drummer Don Murray was replaced by Michael Cannon. George Hiller explains: “Don wanted to go play in nightclubs and we couldn’t imagine why. I guess he didn’t feel comfortable with the ease with which (the Mackerel’s album) all came together.” (Buffalo Springfield drummer Dewey Martin also played on The Holy Mackerel although it’s unclear on which cuts.) 
A confluence of styles is immediately apparent upon listening to the completed LP. There’s the Springfield-informed country rock of “The Somewhere In Arizona At 4:30 AM Restaurant Song (And Now I Am Alone)” and “The Wild Side of Life,” and the bluesy “Nothing Short of Misery,” all sung by Mentor. There’s the infectious sunshine pop of “Bitter Honey.” There’s the soft psych of “1984” and “Wildflowers.” There’s even the spoken-word, spoonerism-based cut “Prinderella,” an odd track featuring the voice of Bob Harvey and the piano and harp­sichord accompaniment of Michel Rubini. Musically, the album had something for everyone, but sadly, few of them would get a chance to hear it. 
Sandwiched in the Reprise catalogue between Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland (Reprise 6307) and Neil Young’s first solo LP (Reprise 6317), The Holy Mackerel (Reprise 6311) failed to make a big splash with record buyers. Perhaps it was because the album’s early November release date virtually assured that it would be lost in a sea of Reprise’s higher-priority Christmas ‘68 releases, or because without having per­formed any significant gigs, the Mackerel had no ready-made following eager to snap up a release from the band. In any case, nei­ther the LP nor any of their three singles managed to chart. About the album, Paul laments: “I’m not sure if even my family bought it.” Despite receiving a “Special Merit Pick” in Billboard, the eclectic LP was barely promoted by Reprise, and remained a virtual secret to the music world at large, which turned out not to be that big an issue, since by the time The Holy Mackerel was released, the band had actually already been split up for a few months. George explains: “Jerry (Scheff) got his job playing bass with Elvis. Each of us really had different goals and objectives… I think probably (the main reason for the breakup was) Paul’s feeling enough confidence (at that point) that since he put together this group of songs for our album, he could probably go out and do an album on his own. Paul really was the heart and soul of the (Mackerel). He’s just a genius, a pretty multi-talented person.” 
Today, Paul describes his experience with the Mackerel this way: “What hap­pened was we kinda wound up in the studio before we were really a band. We were a band trying to form. It’s me kind of looking for my musical voice. I was a huge Buffalo Springfield fan; you can hear that in some of the stuff. I was a big Beatles fan, and you can hear bits and pieces of that, too. My brother really loved country, and I ended up writing a couple of country songs, (but) I think they were written from the point of a dilettante. They’re not bad songs, but they’re not quite me being me yet. They’re indicative of the craftsman more than the artist.
Despite the LP’s shortcomings, there are tracks of which Paul remains particularly fond: “I find myself most drawn to ‘10,000 Men’ and ‘1984.’ There’s an underlying phi­losophy, a kind of old-souls thought that I think is older than my years at that point. You have to realize that it was 1968. 1984 meant Big Brother, George Orwell’s 1984, the oppo­site of what all of us hippies were dreaming about. And with 1984 being decades away,” he says, laughing, “it was never actually going to get there; it was so far in the future. The lyric expressed such hope for a simple world.” 
Mentor Williams, the successful writer and producer of “Drift Away” for Dobie Gray in 1973, closes with these comments about his talented brother and Holy Mackerel bandmate: “Paul’s dedicated his entire life to the arts: to writing poetry, to acting, and to music. I have nothing but admiration for my brother. He’s kind of been my mentor all these years. What an incredible example for me.”….Steve Stanley…..~

If ever an album was lost in the shuffle, it was the 1968 debut LP by The Holy Mackerel. The LP, assigned as Reprise 6311, fell smack in between Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland (Reprise 6307) and Neil Young’s eponymous solo debut (Reprise 6317). But adventurous listeners would find themselves rewarded if they picked up the album by the oddly-named group, with its cover sleeve of five gents and a lady smiling for the camera under three-dimensional comic book-style lettering proclaiming them “The Holy Mackerel.” Produced by an emerging Richard Perry, The Holy Mackerel might as well have been called Something for Everyone. 

Over the course of 12 tracks, the group traversed psychedelia, country rock and best of all, sunshine pop with the terrifically infectious “Bitter Honey,” co-written by Paul and Roger Nichols. Of course, the Nichols/Williams team would go on to become a Los Angeles-based hitmaking factory, turning out some of the most-loved songs of all time: “We’ve Only Just Begun,” “Rainy Days and Mondays,” “I Won’t Last a Day Without You.” They also wrote some tunes which are not-so-well-known but no less wonderful: “The Drifter,” “Someday Man,” “Trust.” Cherry Red and producer Steve Stanley on September 27 will give The Holy Mackerel the deluxe Now Sounds treatment with an expanded reissue, appending a whopping 10 bonus tracks to the original 12-track LP, including 9 songs new to CD and 5 previously unissued in any form. Click on the jump for more background on The Holy Mackerel, one of this author’s favorite lost LPs of the era, and the full track listing for the Now Sounds reissue with pre-order link! 

The Holy Mackerel originally consisted of Paul Williams, brother Mentor Williams (who would go on to write Dobie Gray’s much-covered smash “Drift Away”), Bob Harvey (late of Jefferson Airplane), guitarist George Hiller, flautist/vocalist Cynthia Fitzpatrick and Don Murray, formerly of the Turtles. Perhaps not boding well for the album, the lineup changed before the LP was ever released. Harvey was replaced by a name soon to be familiar to Elvis Presley’s fans, bassist Jerry Scheff; Don Murray was replaced by Michael Cannon. In the liner notes to Collector’s Choice’s 2005 CD reissue (CCM-543-2), Steve Stanley indicates that Buffalo Springfield’s Dewey Martin also contributed drums to the Mackerel’s LP; the Springfield influence was clear on country-flecked tracks like “The Somewhere In Arizona at 4:30 A.M. Restaurant Song (And Now I Am Alone).” The album’s eclectic nature may have hurt its initial reception, but it’s filled with the sounds of young artists at their hungriest and most imaginative. 

Despite the album’s commercial failure and the band’s dissolution, its reputation remained strong over the years. Lead singer and songwriter Paul Williams went on to create his underrated solo debut Someday Man, wholly written by the Nichols/Williams team and produced by Nichols, and then to even greater fame. Andrew Sandoval revisited two of the LP’s tracks, “Scorpio Red” and “Wildflowers,” for Come to the Sunshine: Soft Pop Nuggets from the WEA Vaults (Rhino Handmade RHM2 7818) and Hallucinations: Psychedelic Pop Nuggets from the WEA Vaults (Rhino Handmade RHM2 7821), respectively. Steve Stanley has more than done his part in keeping the Williams/Nichols partnership in the spotlight, spearheading Collector’s Choice’s reissues of The Holy Mackerel and Someday Man, and via Rev-Ola and Now Sounds, reissuing the complete output of Roger Nichols and the Small Circle of Friends as well. (If you’re still reading this far and don’t have both Roger Nichols albums, along with Someday Man, stop now and order immediately! You won’t regret it.) 

Now Sounds’ edition boasts non-LP single tracks “Love for Everyone” and “To Put Up With You,” one of the most delicious put-down songs ever, with Williams’ pointed lyrics directed at a heartbreaking if attractive lady: “Yes, I’d like to hang around/But I’ll have to let you down/I just haven’t got what it takes/To put up with you…” set to a breezy Nichols melody. “Scorpio Red” and “The Lady is Waiting” are heard in their mono 45 versions, joined by session outtakes and demos, including a demo of “Bitter Honey,” memorably covered by Jackie DeShannon on her Laurel Canyon LP. ….by Joe Marchese …..~


Musicians 
*Paul Williams - Vocals 
*Cynthia Fitzpatrick - Flute, Vocals 
*Alvin Dinkin - Viola 
*Jesse Ehrlich - Cello 
*David Frisina - Violin 
*Jim Gordon - Drums 
*Allan Harshman - Viola 
*Bob Harvey - Bass 
*George Hiller - Banjo, Dobro, Guitar, Harmonica, Organ, Vocals 
*Nathan Kaproff - Violin 
*Raymond Kelley - Cello 
*Raphael Kramer - Cello 
*Steve Lefever - Bass 
*Marvin Limonick - Violin 
*Charles Loper - Trombone 
*John Lowe - Flute 
*Lewis McCreary - Trombone 
*Oliver Mitchell - Trumpet 
*Alexander Murray - Violin 
*Don Murray - Drums 
*Richard Nash - Trombone 
*Erno Neufeld - Violin 
*Roger Nichols - Piano 
*Michael Rubini - Harpsichord 
*Jerry Scheff - Bass 
*Thomas Scott - Flute 
*Frederick Seykora - Cello 
*Clifford Shank - Flute 
*Kenny Shroyer - Trombone 
*Anthony Terran - Trumpet 
*Dave Timberley - Project Assistant 
*Ray Triscari - Trumpet 
*Mentor Williams - Rhythm Guitar , Vocals 
*John Audino - Trumpet 
*Michael Barone - Trombone 
*Larry Bunker - Tympani 
*Michael Cannon - Drums, Percussion, Vocals 
*Jules Chaikin - Trumpet 
*William Collette - Flute 
*Vincent DeRosa - French Horn


Tracklist 
The Secret Of Pleasure 3:35 
Scorpio Red 3:26 
The Lady Is Waiting 2:05 
Wildflowers 3:58 
The Somewhere In Arizona At 4:30 A.M. Restaurant Song (And Now I Am Alone) 2:25 
Prinderella 2:44 
Bitter Honey 2:22 
Nothin’ Short Of Misery 2:35 
The Golden Ghost Of Love 2:42 
The Wild Side Of Life 2:52 
10,000 Men 3:42 
1984 4:27 

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..

volume

volume

Fuzz

Fuzz

Analogue

Analogue

Cassette Deck

Cassette Deck

Akai

Akai

vinyl

vinyl

Music

Music

sound

sound

Hi`s Master`s Voice

Hi`s Master`s Voice

Vinyl

Vinyl

music forever

music forever

“A Revolutionary New Triumph in Tape” 1958

“A Revolutionary New Triumph in Tape” 1958

vinyl

vinyl