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Archive for the ‘MC Squared’ Category

MC Squared = A Lost Sixties Treasure Unearthed By Now Sounds

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Though Albert Einstein popularized a rather different equation, Now Sounds has revealed to us that Michael Crowley + Michael Clough + Linda Carey + Randy Sterling + Jim Keltner = MC Squared.  The group released four singles on Reprise Records in the heady days of 1967 and 1968, the first of which was sandwiched between releases by Dino’s daughter Deana Martin and South African vocalist Miriam Makeba!  Throughout MC Squared’s tenure at Reprise, the band was in good company; 1968’s “Smilin’” b/w “That’s the Word” arrived between 45s from Jimi Hendrix and Lee Hazlewood!  But the group also recorded an entire album for Reprise that was shelved in 1968 and has remained unheard ever since.  The groovy musical archaeologists at Now Sounds, however, have come to the rescue.  Tantalizing Colours: The Reprise Recordings unveils a spellbinding lost classic.

MC Squared had its roots in the New Christy Minstrels’ sister group, Epic recording artists The Back Porch Majority.  As with the Christies, Randy Sparks kept tight reins over the Majority, and those reins became stifling for two of its members, Michael Crowley and Michael Clough.  The friends had developed a songwriting partnership, but there was no place for their original compositions with the Majority.  Taking another member, the winsome Linda Carey, with them, the two Michaels impressed Reprise Records A&R man Lenny Waronker enough to receive a contract on Frank Sinatra’s label.  (Waronker soon broke through himself with his productions for Harpers Bizarre.)  Before long, the group had expanded to five members.  First came Randy Sterling, who had already proven his considerable ability as an arranger on We Five’s “You Were on My Mind” (No. 3 Billboard, No. 1 Cashbox!) and would soon assume the producer’s role for the band.  Jim Keltner rounded out the group.  Then, Keltner was a talented drummer who had played for Gary Lewis and the Playboys; in time, he would become a legendary session man.  Ultimately, MC Squared featured Crowley on lead guitar and vocals, Clough on guitar and vocals, Sterling on bass, Keltner on drums and percussion (what else?) and Carey, on vocals.

We’ll pick up after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

July 26, 2012 at 09:54

Posted in MC Squared, News, Reissues

Release Round-Up: Week of July 17

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America, Perspective/In Concert (BGO)

Two out-of-print albums from Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell circa 1984 and 1985 are now available as a two-for-one CD from the U.K.’s BGO label!  Read more here.

Donny Hathaway, Live + In Performance (Shout! Factory)

The Shout! Factory label combines two of the late soul man’s live albums (the first, from 1972, and the second, a posthumous set from 1980) in one package, newly remastered by Steve Hoffman.  Read more here.

Elton John vs. Pnau, Good Morning to the Night (Mercury/Casablanca)

Sir Elton opened up his vaults to Australian dance-pop duo Pnau, and the result is this club-ready collection of mash-ups!  Eight new songs have been created from Elton favorites as well as deep tracks.  Read more here.

MC Squared, Tantalizing Colours: The Reprise Recordings (Now Sounds)

Now Sounds unearths a long-lost album from a psychedelic band including session vets Randy Sterling and Jim Keltner, circa 1968!  The label describes the band as “sounding like a unique hybrid of The Mamas and the Papas and Jefferson Airplane,” which strikes us as about right!  Watch for Joe’s run-down soon.

Melba Moore, This Is It: Expanded Edition (Funky Town Grooves)

Melba Moore’s 1976 collaboration with producer Van McCoy is expanded with two bonus tracks!

Sam Phillips, Martinis & Bikinis (Omnivore Recordings)

Sam Phillips’ classic pop-inspired 1994 LP, produced by T Bone Burnett, arrives on CD and vinyl with four bonus tracks!  Keep an eye open for Joe’s review tomorrow.  Read more here!

Various Artists, Pete Waterman Presents the Hit Factory (Sony U.K.)

This affordably-priced box set rounds up eighties classics from Bananarama, Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, Rick Astley, Cliff Richard and Samantha Fox, among others from the famed PWL label!  Read more here.

Written by Joe Marchese

July 17, 2012 at 08:34