Tuesday, May 23, 2017

It's Friends of Mine Week: Special It Takes a Village Edition

From (originally) 1972, please enjoy power pop legend/old chum Mark Johnson and his haunting "Rainy Dues"...

...a track from the just released reissue of his 1972 Vanguard LP Years.

Short version of a very long story: Mark all but ruled the Greenwich Village music scene in the late 70s/early 80s; about fifty percent of the reason The Floor Models got it together was our seeing Mark's band The Wild Alligators tear it up at Kenny's Castaways on numerous occasions (the other fifty percent was seeing The Smithereens do the same thing at the same venue).

In any case, at that time, I kept hearing from various Village types that Mark had this earlier album to his credit, but for some reason, nobody -- not even Mark -- would make me a cassette dupe of it. I eventually chanced across it, a few years ago, at some obscure download site via a vinyl rip. And was surprised at how different it was, stylistically, from the kick-ass pop/folk/New Wave rock he was doing when I met him. Years, in fact, was more or less the last flowering of the whole post-Sgt. Pepper baroque/orchestral/psychedelia album esthetic of the late-60s; think early Tim Buckley or something that could have been produced by Van Dyke Parks.

Oh well. Moving right along, let me just mention that this reissue -- splendidly remastered with bonus tracks -- on Real Gone also features definitive liner notes (including an extensive interview with Mark) by yours truly...

...and that you can (and should) order this remarkable artifact over at Amazon HERE.

You're welcome.

Tomorrow: More interesting music by somebody I've actually shaken hands with.


buzzbabyjesus said...

1972 often sounded good. Nice arrangement.

steve simels said...

The riff sounds somewhat Springsteenian, but chances are that's a coincidence. The liner notes deal with this issue.

Anonymous said...

Bought this album in the cheapie bin way back when. I bought it for my uncle who was an audiophile invested in quad equipment. Yes, this album came out in quad. What we're the folks at Vanguard thinking? It didn't stiff bad enough in stereo?

Smoked some hash and listened to it with my dear, dear uncle. Only the one time. Some nice effects and arrangements, but the lead off, "Rainy Dues", was the only thing approaching a keeper.



Anonymous said...

Apostrophes have a way of making even the most self-obsessed look silly.

J. Lewellen said...

Probably my favorite Marc Jonson song, although "Precious Love" and "Real True Lover" are right up there with it.

Anonymous said...

What can I say? I type fast. Sometimes my right pinky does naughty things when my German Shepherd, Sluggo, is licking me. Think of it as a speck of dust on your screen.

Anybody out there see Marc Jonson during his Vanguard period at the clubs in NYC? Wondering how he went over live.


Anonymous said...

And some times the self-obsessed require no assistance.

Kim Dixon said...

Thanks for this, Steve. Marc's work with the Wild Alligators remains my favorite, and their eponymous album is well worth a download.


Anonymous said...

Hey, silly typo police of the apostrophe and anonymous coward

Re: your previous enlightening comment

It's sometimes not "some times". :-)


Anonymous said...

I hear your laughter through my sobbing.