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Sunday, 6 May 2018

The Rainbow Press “There’s A War On” 1968 + “Sunday Funnies” 1969 US Psych Pop Rock


The Rainbow Press “There’s A War On” 1968 + “Sunday Funnies” 1969 US Psych Pop Rock

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Marc Ellis and William H. Yergin were high school friends, In the fall of 1967, Ellis told him about a friend from Suffern, N.Y., on the Hudson River, who was looking for other band members. So, that summer, Yergin and five others jammed together. Halfway through the summer, they auditioned in New York City at the same theater used by Ed Sullivan. 

The band subsequently logged its first contract in middle of the summer of 1968. The recording company, Mr. G, was a division of Audio Fidelity Records, Inc., which was the first company nationally to release a true stereo record, a revelation in the mono-heavy time. Cashbox and Record World magazines, which featured industry news, named Rainbow Press picks of the week. The band’s record company wanted a second album, “Sunday Funnies,” which was recorded around Christmas 1968 and released in the spring of 1969. 

“There’s A War On” is excellent late ‘60s soft rock with more than just a touch of psychedelia about it. The ten well-crafted songs are all original, and are delivered smoothly by a tight 6-piece band dominated by Groff’s superb vocals. The album’s name and the eponymous track are as close as we get to political posturing, which is a great relief as the lack of prosletising let’s the strength of the song writing and the band’s performance shine through. There are loads of tight vocal harmonies, and plenty of fuzz guitar liberally dispensed throughout this polished and very enjoyable record.“ 

The second LP "Sunday Funnies” was recorded during Christmas vacation at the 8 track studio A&R in NYC. It was released in the Spring of 1969, with the release of the single “Great White Whale”. The Rainbow Press was truly a studio band, never going on the road to perform as the Rainbow Press. The group went its separate ways that summer. Yergin went to Case Western Reserve University and became a dentist. Marc and Larry are still in the music industry, Dave uses his musical abilities in his career. 
the Maple Leaf….~



The Rainbow Press “There’s A War On” 1968

For an album that’s becoming a minor collectable, remarkably little is known about Rainbow Press, other than the band recorded two late '60s albums (There’s A War On & Sunday Funnies) for the mysterious Mr. G label. the album itself is excellent late '60s soft rock with more than just a touch of psychedelia about it. The ten well-crafted songs are all original, and are delivered smoothly by a tight 6-piece band dominated by Joe Groff’s superb vocals. Radioactive. 2004……~

“Rainbow Press” started in 1968 by NY college students - Marc Ellis (guitar), Bill Yergin (percussion), Joe Groff, Larry Milton( electric piano + guitar), Dave Troup ((bass) and Charlie Osborne (organ). Called at the beginning “Continental Divide” it was formed, let’s say, for self-amusement and as summer entertainment. Instead they got spotted and signed by Audio Fidelity Records for their Mr.G label, changed the name to “Rainbow Press” and recorded debut album in the studio of Radio City Music Hall. The record company definitely was after another “great thing”, trying desperately to cash in on the new music trend. 
The artwork is close to Thick As a Brick. 
Basically this is melodic (or soft) rock,influenced to a certain extend by sunshine pop/surf, with an inclination towards mild and mellow psychedelia - pleasant melodies, a bit melancholic, nice vocal harmonies - not disturbing, not surprising. It would not offend your taste, but it wouldn’t excite it either. 
“The RP has managed to excite the entire recording world with its stylistic approach to contemporary lyric writing. The musical message created by the group is strong but it is also complimentary to the listener’s tase” - usual gross exaggeration from sleeve notes. The album didn’t chart, and I know nothing about its impact on music industry and audience. Anyway, the label pushed for the second album - “Sunday Funnies” (1969), another minor collectable. 
In brief, both albums are complimentary - to complete the collection. Good for family consumption 
It sounds as converted directly from vinyl which might be the case - the Cd is a bootleg by Radioactive…..by….Golovanov Alexey….~

This extremely short-lived band released two studio albums in their active period. This debut of theirs is probably the more famous of the two records but it’s still a quite forgotten album as well. The Rainbow Press plays a nice mix of psych rock and pop psychedelia with some baroque influences here and there. Although their sound is quite soft and pop oriented some of the tracks include some strong fuzzy guitarwork. 

Although the material gets a bit weaker on the second side I still would call this as a solid LP. The best songs here are very good and the weakest are pretty decent as well. Overall this debut album by The Rainbow Press gets 3,5 stars from me which means it’s an enjoyable disc and worth checking out if you like this genre. I have never listened to their second and final album Sunday Funnies but apparently this debut LP is the better of the two….by….CooperBolan ….~

Psych pop/rock with decent songwriting. Seems to have a political theme but only a few of the tracks actually do, with the rest veering from that topic. This is mostly soft stuff but they do break out the fuzz guitar every so often, lending the psych rock feel. I think fans of both styles will be interested in hearing this one but I don’t think it is anything too special. Very listenable though and nothing even close to being bad. Good enough for me….by…geldofpunk …~

Most people were introduced to the bizarre psychedelic sound of The Monocles (later The Higher Elevation) thanks to the inclusion of the bizarre 'The Spider & The fly’ and 'The Diamond Mine’ on the legendary Pebbles Vol. 3 (the 'acid-punk’ volume). These youngsters fCool US'68 psychedelic concept album with all the right moves: solid songwriting, refreshing harmonies, studio effects, organ, fuzz guitar, electric piano, sunshine / baroque touches…Think Rainy Daze, Strawberry Alarm Clock, The Doors… 
The Rainbow Press evolved from The Continental Divide, a college band from New York comprised of members from two previous British Invasion groups: The Group and The Specs. They were Bill Yergin on drums, Dave Troup on bass, Larry Milton on electric piano and 12-string guitar, Marc Ellis on guitar, Charlie Osborne on organ and Joe Groff on vocals. All the members sang vocal harmonies and the twin electric piano / organ action gave the band an unusual and cool sound. 
In 1968, Audio Fidelity approached them and a contract was secured. The band changed their name to the more groovy sounding The Rainbow Press and sessions for their first album started at Radio City in New York. 'There’s a war on’ saw the light in 1968 on the Mr. G label (the 'hip’ branch of Audio Fidelity) and it’s hard to believe this perfectly recorded and sounding psychedelic beauty was recorded by college students! …..~

Credits 
Bass – Dave Troup 
Electric Piano, Twelve-string Guitar – Larry Milton 
Engineer – William Hamilton (2) 
Guitar – Marc Ellis (2) 
Organ – Charlie Osborne 
Percussion – Bill Yergin 
Producer – Herman D. Gimbel 
Tambourine, Maracas – Joe Groff

Tracklist
A1 Step Aboard 3:10 
A2 A Simple Way 2:33 
A3 Cyclic Epic (The Song Of The Barnegat Mosquito) 4:10 
A4 Better Way 2:38 
A5 The Girl That Cannot Love 4:49 
B1 There’s A War On 4:20 
B2 Lightning Streak 2:41 
B3 I’ve Found Someone 3:14 
B4 Our Country’s Still O.K. 3:51 
B5 No One Follows The Daytime 3:38 







The Rainbow Press “Sunday Funnies"1969

Credits 
Art Direction – Rhea Atkins 
Bass – Dave Troup 
Electric Piano, Twelve-String Guitar – Larry Milton 
Executive-Producer – Herman D. Gimbel 
Guitar – Marc Ellis (2) 
Illustration – I. Sanabria* 
Organ – Charlie Osborne 
Percussion – Bill Yergin 
Tambourine, Maracas – Joe Groff

Tracklist 
Sightseeing 3:15 
Great White Whale 2:35 
The Lost Platoon 4:30 
I’ll Cry Instead 3:28 
You Warmed Up My Life 3:45 
As I Went Out One Morning 3:44 
Have You Ever 3:11 
Sing Your Song 3:22 
Definitions 3:59 
Smitty’s Rainfall 3:41













Band Discography 

The Rainbow Press - There’s A War On 1968 
The Rainbow Press - Sunday Funnies 1969 
45s:There’s A War On/Better Way (Mr G 817) 1968 
The Last Platoon/Great White Whale (Mr G 821) 1969 

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