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Archive for the ‘The Sugar Shoppe’ Category

“Catch the Love Parade” With Second Volume of Now Sounds’ “Book a Trip”

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Book a Trip 2Between 1965 and 1970, Los Angeles’ Capitol Tower – standing then, as it does now, near the intersection of Hollywood and Vine – was the place to be.  Capitol Records had The Beatles, and the Beach Boys, too.  But the label that Nancy Wilson and The Lettermen called home also hosted a number of bands with groovy names like The Tuneful Trolley, The Sugar Shoppe, The Pink Cloud, The New Kick and (my personal favorite) The Unforscene.  These happening acts, and many more, take the spotlight on Book a Trip 2: More Psych Pop Sounds of Capitol Records, the new anthology from Cherry Red’s Now Sounds label.  The first volume of Book a Trip arrived in 2010, and some of the names on this worthy successor will be familiar to those who own Volume One: Chris and Craig, The Sidewalk Skipper Band, The Staccatos, Griffin.  But the rest of the artists on this musical mystery tour (from L.A. to London, Canada to New York by way of Boston, and back!) might become favorites, too.

Like its predecessor, Book a Trip 2 is a celebration of an era of concise, melodic songcraft, as well as optimism and youthful energy.  The harmonies were as bright as the future seemed, and the instruments were real and varied.  If you listen while reading along to producer/designer Steve Stanley’s track-by-track liner notes, you’ll start connecting the dots between personnel, songwriters, performers, producers and arrangers.  Talents frequently overlap on these criminally-unknown recordings which otherwise share in common the Capitol label and its subsidiaries, plus a five-year time period and a pure pop sensibility.

After the jump, join us on our far-out Trip! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

January 8, 2014 at 14:05

Review: The Sugar Shoppe, “The Sugar Shoppe”

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The Sugar ShoppeWho was a proprietor of The Sugar Shoppe?

Was it Thomas Andrews, architect of the Titanic?  Was it Anthony Hope, the lovestruck sailor who befriended the murderous barber Sweeney Todd?  Or was it Jesus himself?  Well, actually it was all of the above, as The Sugar Shoppe was co-founded by none other than actor/singer Victor Garber years before his roles in Titanic, Sweeney Todd and Godspell (not to mention Alias, Argo, Assassins, Damn Yankees, and so many more).  Garber joined singer, songwriter, musician and vocal arranger Peter Mann, Lee Harris and Laurie Hood in the harmony vocal group.  Through the Shoppe doors also passed producer Al De Lory (“By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” “Wichita Lineman”), string and horn arranger Mort Garson (“Our Day Will Come”) and the elite of Hollywood’s Wrecking Crew – Hal Blaine, Carol Kaye, Larry Knechtel, Earl Palmer, Mike Deasy, and Plas Johnson.

Mann, Garber, Harris and Hood intended their group as a sort of Canadian answer to the Mamas and the Papas, and parlayed their success up north into a Capitol Records contract.  Though the Shoppe was ultimately short-lived, its sole long-player has just received its very first legitimate CD reissue from Cherry Red’s Now Sounds imprint.  And it turns out that The Sugar Shoppe, newly remastered and comprehensively expanded, is quite an enjoyable place to spend some time!

Hit the jump to pay The Shoppe a visit! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

April 24, 2013 at 09:21

Posted in News, Reissues, Reviews, The Sugar Shoppe

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