mercoledì 24 dicembre 2014

Eternity's Children - Eternity's Children (Rev-ola Digipack) 1968

Biography : Sunshine pop cult favorites Eternity's Children were formed in Cleveland, MS, in 1965 by singer/keyboardist Bruce Blackman and drummer Roy Whittaker, fellow students at Delta College. With the addition of lead guitarist Johnny Walker, rhythm guitarist Jerry Bounds, and bassist Charlie Ross, the group (originally dubbed the Phantoms) began developing the complex, overlapping vocal harmonies that remained the hallmark of their sound throughout their career. According to Dawn Eden's comprehensive liner notes in the 2002 Rev-Ola reissue Eternity's Children, in 1966 the Phantoms relocated to Biloxi, becoming the house band in the basement nightclub of the Biloxi Hotel and backing visiting performers including Charlie Rich and B.J. Thomas. With the addition of local folksinger Linda Lawley, the fledgling band adopted the more contemporary moniker Eternity's Children, and after Baton Rouge health club magnate Ray Roy caught one of their live appearances, he convinced business partner Guy Belello to form a management company (Crocked Foxx Productions and Music), which soon signed the group to a contract.

Eternity's Children quickly recorded a demo that made its way to A&M producer Allen Stanton, and in the spring of 1967 recorded their lone effort for the label, the David Gates-penned single "Wait and See." (It was produced by Keith Olsen, the former Music Machine bassist best known as the production partner of studio wizard Curt Boettcher.) The record went nowhere, and despite touring as part of a package headlined by the Strawberry Alarm Clock, the Seeds, and the Blues Magoos, Eternity's Children were quickly dropped by A&M. Crocked Foxx soon landed their charges a deal with Capitol's tax-shelter subsidiary, Tower; Olsen again manned the boards, this time bringing Boettcher, who'd previously enjoyed massive success with vocal groups like the Association as well as his own Sagittarius and the Millennium. Despite some flashes of brilliance, Eternity's Children's self-titled debut does not rank among the Boettcher/Olsen duo's crowning achievements both producers were distracted by other concurrent projects, and for every potential smash like the lilting first single "Mrs. Bluebird" or the beautiful "Again Again," there was a "Rupert White" (which simply added a new vocal to a backing track issued the year earlier as the Chocolate Tunnel's "The Highly Successful Rupert White") or "You Know I've Found a Way" (which doesn't even feature the group at all a Boettcher production demo, it later resurfaced in much more complete form on Sagittarius' Present Tense).

During production of the album, relations between the members of Eternity's Children and their management became increasingly strained, and prior to the LP's mid-1968 release, Blackman, Walker, and Bounds all exited. Only Blackman was replaced, by classically trained keyboardist Mike "Kid" McClain, previously of the Houston group the Neurotic Sheep. An appearance on American Bandstand spurred "Mrs. Bluebird" up the pop charts, but Tower did little to promote the single or the band, and after three weeks at number 69 on Billboard, both quickly plummeted out of the Hot 100. Eternity's Children nevertheless reconvened to begin work on their second album, Timeless, this time recruiting Boettcher's longtime engineer, Gary Paxton, to helm the sessions. With primary songwriter Blackman now out of the mix, Ross, Lawley, and McClain all contributed original material, and Paxton also wrangled songs from future Byrds Clarence White and Gene Parsons. After Whittaker left the group sometime during the sessions, drummer Bo Wagner was brought into the studio to complete the tracks coincidentally, Wagner would later join Blackman and Walker in their post-Eternity's Children project, dubbed simply the Children. (Blackman and Walker finally achieved massive chart success in the mid-'70s as members of Starbuck, which scored the Top Five smash "Moonlight Feels Right.") The album, titled Timeless, wrapped in late 1968, and promo copies of the first single, "Till I Hear It from You," were soon dispatched to radio.

But when "Till I Hear It from You" caused little excitement among radio programmers, Tower abruptly scuttled Timeless' U.S. release; the album did appear on Capitol's Canadian branch ("Mrs. Bluebird" was a sizable hit north of the border). Desperate for a change in geography and approach, Eternity's Children decamped to Memphis, home of Chips Moman's legendary American Studios. Abandoning the lush, pristine production of their previous efforts for a more earthy, blue-eyed soul sound, the group teamed with Moman and ace session bassist Tommy Cogbill to record the single "The Sidewalks of the Ghetto." It went nowhere -- by now, Capitol was shuttering the entire Tower imprint, although one last Eternity's Children single, the Spooner Oldham-penned "Blue Horizon," slipped through the cracks, as did solo singles from Lawley ("When the World Turns") and Ross ("A Railroad Trestle in California"). Remarkably, there was one last gasp -- Liberty Records, reeling from the loss of the 5th Dimension to rival Bell, seized upon Eternity's Children as a replacement. They signed to record a single, "Alone Again," but when Liberty was folded into parent company United Artists, the band was dropped. No subsequent recordings ever saw official release, but various Eternity's Children lineups continued performing during the 1970s. Review by Jason Ankeny

01.Again Again 3:03
02.Rupert White 2:06
03.Flowers 1:50
04.My Happiness Day 3:05
05.Lifetime Day 2:34
06.Mrs. Bluebird 3:15
07.Your World 2:35
08.You Know I've Found A Way 1:50
09.Little Boy 3:05
10.Sunshine Among Us 2:42
11.Again Again 3:03
12.Rupert White 2:07
13.Flowers 1:51
14.My Happiness Day 3:06
15.Lifetime Day 2:35
16.Mrs. Bluebird 3:15
17.Your World 2:35
18.You Know I've Found A Way 1:50
19.Little Boy 3:06
20.Sunshine Among Us 2:45

Eternity's Children:
Mike "Kid" McClain - keyboards
Linda Lawley - vocals
Charles Ross III - bass
Roy Whittaker - drums
Jerry Bounds - guitar

4 commenti:

Solidboy ha detto...

flac cue log scans

adamus67 ha detto...

A key band in the collectable field of "Soft Pop", Eternity's Children were the first production project for the team of Curt Boettcher and Keith Olsen, renowned both together and separately for their work with such artists as Tommy Roe, the Beach Boys, and Fleetwood Mac....the two were also of course members of the legendary Milennium, whose other members feature both as session-men and songwriters.… Eternity's Children were also the first project taken on by Gary Paxton's Bakersfield studio, (better known as the birthplace of country-rock) giving the band the opportunity to work with the then-unknown Clarence White and Gene Parsons, mainstays of the latter-day Byrds lineups.…

Keyboardist Bruce Blackman, guitarist Jerry Bounds, bass player Charles Ross III, and drummer Roy Whitaker started out as members of the Cleveland, Mississippi-based The Phantoms. By 1967 they'd relocated to Biloxi, picked up lead singer Linda Lawley and a new, hipper name in the form of Eternity's Children.

Finding mentors in the form of Guy Belello and Ray Roy, the band relocated to Los Angeles where they scored a contract with A&M, releasing the single 'Rumors' b/w 'Wait and See' (A&M catalog number 866). While the single did nothing commercially, it attracted Capitol's Tower subsidiary which promptly signed them to a contract resulting in the release of a sophomore 45. Produced by Curt Boettcher and Keith Olsen, 1968's 'Mrs. Bluebird' b/w 'Little Boy' (Tower catalog number 416) provided the group with a modest hit. Unfortunately before they could record a supporting album disagreements over musical direction saw the group undergo a major personnel shakeup with Blackman, Bounds and Walker quitting.

adamus67 ha detto...

Adding former Neurotic Sheep keyboardist Mike McClain to the line up the survivors soldiered on, releasing 1968's Curt Boettcher produced "Eternity's Children". Though none of the ten tracks were originals, musically the album was a minor surprise, mixing ample doses of highly commercial 'sunshine' pop with occasional touches of light psych ('Flowers'). As lead singers Lawton and Ross had likeable, if somewhat anonymous voices which made them the perfect foils for Boettcher's highly orchestrated arrangement and production effects. Giving credit where due, Lawton displayed some true character on the pretty ballad 'Your World', in the process displaying one of the few flashes of band originality. Anyone into Curt Boettcher's work with Millennium, or Sagittarius would get a kick out of selections like 'Again Again', 'Lifetime Day' and 'Flowers' (the latter was actually written and recorded by Millennium). Other highlights included the piece of social commentary 'Rupert White', the Boettcher-penned 'You Know I'll Fine a Way' and ''Mrs. Bluebird' (the latter sounding like something by Spanky and Our Gang with a killer fuzz guitar solo slapped on it). Sure, it wasn't perfect. Tracks like 'My Happiness Day and 'Little Boy' were way too MOR, sounding like Mamas & Papa's outtakes and you were left with the feeling these guys really weren't much of a band, rather little more than a tool for Boettcher to play with. Elsewhere Tower tapped the album for a single in the form of 'Sunshine Among Us' b/w 'Rupert White' (Tower catalog number 439).

Despite a hit with "Mrs. Bluebird", record company politics caused their second album "Timeless" to remain unreleased (except briefly in Canada)....which has resulted in many fans never even having seen it, never mind heard it, and added to its legendary reputation and astronomical asking price… In addition there are bonus tracks taken from the two abortive attempts to start on a third album, with Boettcher and Olsen in LA, and with Chips Moman and Tommy Cogsbill at the famous American Studios in Memphis (at that time on a roll with Elvis, Dusty Springfield, and the Boxtops).... This new improved package features a host of exclusive pictures and memorabilia, together with extensive notes by "Soft Pop" expert Dawn Eden… Another release for the well respected Rev-Ola label.

Anonimo ha detto...

Thanks Solidboy. Merry Christmas!

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