Friday, January 22, 2016

Abraham's Children - 1973 - Time

Abraham's Children

01. Gypsy 3:04
02. Hot Love 3:33
03. Goodbye - Farewell 3:08
04. How to Be a Lady 4:38
05. Thank You 2:54
06. Woman O Woman 3:46
07. Children's Song 4:42
08. Workin' for the Man 6:10

Acoustic Guitar – Ron Bartley
Backing Vocals – Bob McPherson
Bass – Jim Bertucci
Drums – Brian Cotterill
Keyboards – Bob McPherson
Lead Guitar – Ron Bartley
Lead Vocals – Brian Cotterill (tracks: A1), Jim Bertucci (tracks: A3-A4,B1-B3), Ron Bartley (tracks: A2,B3)

Having listened to this one a half dozen times, I've got to tell you these guys barely qualify as a rock band, let alone a psych act. Quality pop outfit yeah, but psych? Definitively not ...

Guitarist Ron Bartley, bassist Jimmy Bertucci, drummer Brian Cotterili and keyboard player Bob McPherson got their start in the late 1960s with the Toronto-based Just Us. That outfit subsequently morphed into Captain Midnight's Dirty Feet (great name), but ran into a problem with Captain Midnight's publishers. The threat of legal action was enough to see the quartet opt for another name switch - this time around Abraham's Children.

Signed to the small Toronto-based G.A.S. Records, the band enjoyed a Canadian top-40 hit with their debut 45 'Goodbye-Farewell' b/w 'Hot Love' (G.A.S. catalog number G-1004). Their 1973 follow-up 'Gypsy' b/w 'Fly Me To The Sky' (G.A.S. catalog number G-1005) went top-10, leading G.A.S. to finance an LP.

Unfortunately, by the time the group started recording the album, musical tensions had begun to flare. G.A.S. executes demanded the band continue to work in a commercial pop vein, while the band members were interested in a harder-rock sound. Guess which side won the fight? Produced by band manager Paul Gross (who contributed a couple of tracks to the LP), 1973's "Time" offered up a mix of the earlier singles and new studio material. Boasting three lead singers in Bartley, Bertucci and Contterbill, the entire set was enjoyable, with tracks such as 'Children's Song' and 'How To Be A Lady' showcasing the group's knack for writing and performing commercial pop. Imagine a Canadian version of Pilot, or The Raspberries and you'll get a feel for most of the album. The group also enjoyed a third Canadian hit with the bouncy 'Thank You' b/w 'Workin' for the Man' (G.A.S. catalog number G-1011). It's interesting that the two best songs are also the least commercial. Both 'Woman 'O Woman' and the group-penned 'Workin' for the Man' are thumping rockers, albeit with harmony vocals that make radio stations so happy.

Following the album's release the band underwent an ongoing series of personnel changes that saw Bertucci, Cotterili and McPherson all quit. With replacements the band struggled on for three more years, during which time they shortened their name to 'The Children''. They also released one final non-LP single - 1974's 'Goddess of Nature' b/w '' (Rampage catalog number UAWX-361-W). The group finally called it quits in 1976. Bartley, Dinardo and O'Shea subsequently formed Bang. Bertucci continued to record under the name 'Jimmy B'.

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