________________________________________________________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ S P E C T R O P O P _________ _________ _________ ________________________________________________________ Volume #0173 October 25, 1998 ________________________________________________________ Here are the great songs. The unbelievable excitement...Subject: Ballroom Review Sent: 10/23/98 4:15 am Received: 10/23/98 7:48 am From: David Bash, BasXXXXXXXXcom To: Spectropop List, spectrXXXXXXXXities.com Hi Everyone, I wanted to post my review of the Ballroom CD, which will appear in an upcoming issue of Discoveries. I highly recommend that every fan of soft pop get this disc as soon as you can. I know it's available through several internet sites. -- Spectropop Rules!!!!! Take Care, David The Ballroom Preparing For The Millennium Revola CREV058CD Mention the name Curt Boettcher to fans of late 60s soft pop, and you'll get nods of reverence. Over the years, Boettcher has had a growing mystique, in large part because the wonderful bands he led didn't achieve even a modicum of popularity during their tenure, but also because he was such a talented writer and musician. His bands Sagittarius and The Millennium have been written about quite often in recent years, as their albums have been reissued on CD. Even though he passed away more than 10 years ago, Boettcher's name is constantly on the lips of many fans, and perhaps because of the intrigue surrounding his musical life everyone wants to fill in the missing pieces. One of those pieces has long been discussed in rather hushed tones although few knew much about it, and that was the unreleased album by The Ballroom, the band that Boettcher had circa 1966, before Sagittarius and The Millennium. Most collectors had given up on the possibility that this album would ever see the light of day, but fortunately people like Joe Foster of Revola Records was persistent in his quest to make it happen, and Revola has now released a disc called Preparing For The Millennium, which contains not only the Ballroom album, but outtakes from Ballroom and Millennium sessions as well as solo projects by Ballroom members. The end result was more than worth the wait, as the music within is beautiful, harmony filled pop that will easily satiate the appetite of any fan of late 60s pop music. Curt Boettcher had many strengths as a musician and songwriter, but perhaps his greatest was his voice, which not only soared to the heavens but contained a childlike innocence not unlike that of Peter Pan. However, while his music was certainly pretty, whimsical and melodic, it was often tinged with enough psychedelic flourishes to conjure the image that perhaps our Peter was injesting some funny, mind altering substances (which indeed Boettcher was at the time). Upon listening to The Ballroom CD, one can hear the germination of a fruitful period for Boettcher, and his bandmates Sandy Salisbury, Michelle O'Malley, and Jim Bell were able assistants, contributing tight musicianship, beautiful Association/ Cowsills like harmonies, and sophisticated songwriting in the case of Salisbury. The album (actually, the tapes of 11 of the original 13 songs could be found) could almost serve as a soundtrack to a fairytale, albeit a slightly askew one, and Boettcher's Peter Pan personna is easily communicated on tracks like the delightful "Spinning, Spinning, Spinning," "Love's Fatal Way", and the Salisbury penned "Magic Time". The band could emerge from that mold as well, as the American Indian flavored "You Turn Me Around," (co-written by "Along Comes Mary" writer Tandyn Almer- Boettcher had produced the first Association album) the slow, intense, and mystical "It's A Sad World," the goofy, Vaudevillian, pot induced "Crazy Dreams," and the pop/psych workout of the traditional R&B "Baby Please Don't Go" would attest. The Ballroom album also has nascent renderings of "Would You Like To Go" and "Musty Dusty", which would appear in more ornate versions on Sagittarius' Present Tense and The Millennium's Begin albums, respectively. The Ballroom versions are slightly slower and sparer, and in that form perhaps more cogently illustrate the beauty of these songs. Although The Ballroom is considered to be a Boettcher-led project, perhaps the highlight of the album is the Salisbury penned "I'll Grow Stronger," which contains an amazing melody line, complimentary whispery lead vocals and exquisite harmonies. Truly an amazing aural experience! The next 8 tracks on the CD are outtakes and demos from The Ballroom and The Millennium, many of which emerged on either the aforementioned Sagittarius or Millennium albums. These are all excellent, especially "Another Time", which is more acoustic based than the released version but greatly emphasizes the delicate, complex melody lines, and "I'm Not Living Here", which in this version is carried by a prominent, slightly distorted bass line (these outtakes contain some different lyrics than those versions which appeared on "Present Tense"). Some songs that had not previously seen the light of day in any form are the uptempo, slightly loungy "If You Only Knew," the slow, Indian tinged "Believe You", which could have easily fit on the Monkees' Head soundtrack, and the pretty, early Monkees-ish "Sunshine Today". The final three songs on the disc are the gypsy-ish "Milk And Honey", by a pre-Ballroom Boettcher project called Summer's Children, "All Really Have Is A Memory", a soft, romantic Salisbury solo track (credited to "Sandy" on the 45) that out Left Bankes the Left Banke in the refrain, and a delightful version of Nilsson's "Best Friend" by the Salisbury led group Puppet. The packaging of Preparing For The Millennium is stellar as well, with cool photos, vintage press clippings, and the usual excellent liner notes and song annotations by the venerable Dawn Eden, which include insights from various members of The Ballroom and The Millennium. All in all, Preparing For The Millennium is a collection that should be considered the Holy Grail of soft pop. David Bash --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Subject: Touch The Wall Of Sound/Flabby Road Sent: 10/23/98 2:46 am Received: 10/23/98 7:48 am From: David Marsteller, daveXXXXXXXXeflin.org To: Spectropop List, spectrXXXXXXXXities.com On Fri, 23 Oct 1998, john rausch wrote: >...and to david marsteller: > >the wall of sound set that you mentioned being on clearance is a >reissued 2 disc set,the original release was on 3 discs from japan. >That is the set I have but i`m not sure if the newer set was >condensed track wise to fit on 2 discs, the original 3 disc set >has a total of 60 cuts. great collection by the way :-) most of >the songs were transferred directly from the records to cd, there >are some stereo but mostly mono . "cause i love him" by alder ray >is in stereo and sounds great, but thanks to a tape from mark >landwehr, i got to hear the mono mix which has more umph....maybe >more "compression?" >jonr If someone on the list hasn't already got the 2CD version, I'll post about it when my copy arrives. By the way, can anyone comment on the Flabby Road collection of Beatle-related songs? I've got a copy on order, but haven't heard much about it. Dave --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Subject: more on baldness Sent: 10/24/98 9:53 pm Received: 10/25/98 2:19 am From: Ron Bierma, ELROXXXXXXXXcom To: Spectropop List, spectrXXXXXXXXities.com In a message dated 10/22/98 12:27:03 PM, you wrote: <<I don't think they sped up the vocal tape, I think it was the other way around. As the vocals were being recorded, the engineer slowed down the multi-track tape little by little with a variable speed oscillator. The vocalists were hearing the rhythm track slowing down little by little, so they were able to keep their singing in time with the retarding rhythm. When the multi was played back at normal speed, the rhythm sounded relatively consistent and the singing in time, but the voices got progressively higher.>> Thanks to Jamie & Marc for theories on my "She's Going Bald" question. I think the above is probably the method used, tho I think there is no actual rhythm track at that point in the song, so perhaps they had just a metronome or some other inaudable time keeper being slowed down with the tape. I guess they could have recorded MLs bass 1st in real time, then the sha-na-nas recorded to his timing? Try it...it's pretty hard, then try it in 4-5 part harmony...RB --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Subject: The Crystals Twist Uptown! Sent: 10/23/98 3:48 am Received: 10/23/98 7:48 am From: Jimmy Cresitelli, JimmXXXXXXXXcom To: Spectropop List, spectrXXXXXXXXities.com AGREED! That's a fabulous album cover-- all dressed up in their party dresses, ready to go... uptown? You know, my friends and I actually managed to teach ourselves "The Frankenstein Twist" and did it at parties all through the '70s and early '80s... it's really easy to learn, and the next thing you know, you're out on the floor, doin' that Frankenstein dance... ; ) And regarding Barbara's writing ability: I am a writer by trade, and can attest to Barbara's ability to grab the reader, hold his interest, and keep him amused and entertained as well. Good work, Ms. Alston! I too am looking forward to a great read. Once the Crystals are published, I guess we'll be needing a book from Fanita James, to pose as a counterpoint to Darlene's bio? ; ) Barbara: our regards to Phippy, wherever she may be! Keep on rockin', people... JimmyBoy --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Subject: There's A Story (I want you to know) Sent: 10/23/98 7:30 am Received: 10/23/98 7:48 am From: Barbara Alston, BARBXXXXXXXXcom To: Spectropop List, spectrXXXXXXXXities.com Hi Guys! Thank you again for your wonderful comments. It pleases me to know that you are all die-hard 60's fans! :-) I love it because those were the greatest years of my life. Yes, Fatima, Dee Dee and I are writing a book. We're telling it all, just the way it happened as far as we can remember. We are, however, trying not to mention other artists by name, so you'll have to figure out who we are talking about. I don't think this group will have a problem there! But our purpose is not to trash any artists, we're just trying to tell the whole truth which inevitably includes other performers. [john rausch wrote: >...Anyone interested in seeing the Twist Uptown cover can check it >out at: <http://members.tripod.com/~rauschj/twist_uptown.JPG>] As far as the Twist Uptown album is concerned, from left to right is Patsy Wright, La La Brooks, Dee Dee Kenniebrew, Mary Thomas and yours truly! Phil did not buy the station wagon. I believe our manager, Benny Wells, bought that for us because we did not like "flying". We didn't care if it took five days to get there, we just wanted to drive :-) We had Crystals written on both sides of the wagon (maybe not at the time of the album picture) and were very proud of that vehicle. It was truly a part of the group. We chose our own clothing at all times. Phil never bought anything for us or suggested what we should wear. Dee Dee was the main one for picking out our gowns. I'll ask Dee Dee where the photo was taken, I can't remember. It was in New York, however, but where, who knows! If I'm not mistaken, this wasn't a major picture-taking affair. I believe we did it fairly quickly and with which photographer, I haven't the foggiest! I was the group romantic and dreamer. I don't remember the finer details. That's Dee Dee's forte! I'm the one that was forever in love, forever day dreaming, forever asking questions. I wanted to know everything about everybody I met. I tried to get to know people for who they were in the little time we had together. That's why I have a lot of stories to tell! As a matter of fact, the name of the book will be "There's A Story (I want you to know)." I will make the official release announcement of the book right here on Spectropop. And, again, thanks for the opportunity to express a lot that's been within for many years now. Love, Babs --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- End
Spectropop text contents © Spectropop unless stated otherwise. All rights in and to the contents of these documents, including each element embodied therein, is subject to copyright protection under international copyright law. Any use, reuse, reproduction and/or adaptation without written permission of the owners is a violation of copyright law and is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.