Monday, April 4, 2016

The Phlorescent Leech & Eddie - 1972 - The Phlorescent Leech & Eddie

The Phlorescent Leech & Eddie 
The Phlorescent Leech & Eddie

01. Flo And Eddie Theme 0:55
02. Thoughts Have Turned 3:07
03. It Never Happened 2:08
04. Burn The House 3:16
05. Lady Blue 3:32
06. Strange Girl 3:17
07. Who But I 4:27
08. I Been Born Again 3:46
09. Goodbye Surprise 2:56
10. Nikki Hoi 1:59
11. Really Love 3:26
12. Feel Older Now 4:26
13. There You Sit Lonely 3:40

Backing Vocals – Moe Lakai & The Island Singers (tracks: B3)
Bass, Mandolin – Jim Pons
Drums – Aynsley Dunbar
Guitar – Howard Kaylan (tracks: A5)
Keyboards – Don Preston
Lead Guitar – Gary Rowles
Trumpet – Claude Williams (2) (tracks: B1)
Vibraphone – Lynn Blessing
Vocals, Guitar, Producer – Mark Volman
Vocals, Producer – Howard Kaylan

Recorded at Ike Turner's own Bolic Sound, Inglewood, California
All selections © 1972 Liccianetti Music International (ASCAP) except [B2] © 1969 Hudson Bay Music Co. (BMI) Reprinted by permission

Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan opened for the Alice Cooper Group on the Billion Dollar Babies tour, and the insanity they put on display while performing this album live was controlled insanity, perhaps the best kind. On the back of The Phlorescent Leech & Eddie is a Frank Zappa 200 Motels film poster, the usual mess one would expect from Flo & Eddie, but no Turtles memorabilia. With the solid drumming of Aynsley Dunbar and their incredible harmonies, Flo & Eddie are truly a mixture of the Turtles' pop and the Mothers of Invention's unpredictability. What was so striking about this debut album before Bob Ezrin got ahold of them for the sequel (maybe that's how they got the Cooper tour) is that it is delicious pop music played to perfection -- as melodic as Petula Clark -- just more difficult to grasp. When the boys get to a good hook they let go of it, maybe a mental trigger from all their Turtles hits, a subconscious effort to keep this in the underground, just on the cusp of being commercially viable. What is also striking is that the production work is impeccable. These two guys absolutely ruined whatever chance Mono Mann and his DMZ might've had for stardom when as producers they stripped the essence of that Boston band away from their Sire Records debut. Had they recorded DMZ as perfectly as this album was tracked, who knows how the earth might've shook. "It Never Happened" sounds like Graham Nash's "Chicago" turned upside down, while "Strange Girl" has nothing of the commercial slant that they poured onto the Marc Bolan tunes they performed on. Then there's "Strange Girl," which strangely sounds like the Mothers of Invention going for a hit. The tragedy of it all is that this stuff is so sincerely off the wall while simultaneously being serious that radio should have embraced much of it. The production values here are immense, a thick and deep sound beyond the vocal work we expect from these choir boys. The Phlorescent Leech & Eddie is a glow-in-the-dark album rich with strong compositions, skillful musicianship, and extraordinary vocal work. It is a classic by two true rock & roll geniuses. "Who but I" is a summer song that the Turtles would have killed for. This album is a treasure chest of ideas by journeymen that had a clue; a grasp of what the rock & roll game is really all about. As stated above, it is deliciously brilliant.

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