Wednesday, July 9, 2014

I’m Just a Stranger Here

Here is the scenario:
  • a rock band from St. Louis MO is offered a deal with Capitol Records in 1968.
  • the band turns down the offer but is given the name of an A/R man with EMI in London
  • the band flies to London, plays a demo for the EMI man, and gets a record deal
  • hailed as the next Beatles, the band is given a £35,000 budget to record an LP
  • during the recording in 1969 one band member quits
  • the album is completed, the band heads back to Missouri only to lose another member due to a family issue
  • EMI backs out of releasing the LP because there is no longer a band to tour and promote it
  • 34 years later, in 2003, the album is release on CD
The band is the Aerovons, and apparently the only record released while they were still active was an EMI single in the UK.   I stumbled upon the CD recently and was both amazed and amused.  The LP is chock full of McCartney-esque piano pop, sometimes sung with a John Lennon tone.   The songs are quite tuneful though many have elements that were clearly lifted directly from The Beatles.  Over at Peter's Power Pop Peter has cataloged many of the "borrowed" pieces.  However the one big number - World Of You - is a bit of a lost psychedelic masterpiece.  It contains one of the finest string arrangements these ears have heard, at least in a pop song.  With its lovely sad melody, it feels like a wistful winter day.

1 comment:

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

That "scenario" you sketched so concisely reads like the pitch for a major motion picture screen play. *I* would pay to see that movie, original screenplay by Mr. Pleasant. And yes, absolutely Beatles influenced & all to the good. Lennon-like Rubber Soul/Revolver era vocal for sure, but also, if i close my eyes the last words in the 2-line chorus couplet: "here" and "sincere" could be George Harrison. An amazing find Mr. Pleasant, just amazing.