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Plain and Fancy

Music gives soul to universe, wings to mind, flight to imagination, charm to sadness, and life to everything.


Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Mystic Astrologic Crystal Band - Flowers Never Cry (1967-68 us, marvellous psychedelic rock)

Normally when someone is asked to write something about a recording group, they  find little or no difficulty in doing so. However,  this is not the case with The Mystic  Astrologic, Crystal Band!!! I say this as  the group truly is a paradox and yet everything  the name implies! Still, the group also  is Steve Hoffman due to the fact that it was  wholly conceived in his own mind originally,  (in fact one of his compositions contained  herein, "Geometry Alley" makes reference  to just such a band) and then brought to fruition  after many months of auditioning, rehearsing  and recording!!

Steve Hoffman, (the only band member I will dwell on for this, their first album)  was discovered by his Manager and Producer,  Clancy B. Grass III, in a little known  teen-age club in West Covina round 1966. At that time he simply walked up to Mr. Grass and said. "I write great songs and you have got to listen to them!  It only took one song to prove that here was  a potential "giant" as far as the recording  industry was concerned, and from that point  on the two of them have worked together to  create this album!!

It has been a long time in  the making, and yet when you listen to the  variety of songs and instruments...the approach  given to each composition individually,  etc.; you will see that it has without a  doubt been time well spent!!!  During the course of recording this album,  many people associated with the entertainment  industry, including disk-jockeys, record  company executives, motion picture producers  and so on have heard one or more of  the selections in various stages of completion  and the consensus of opinion has been that  this group has all the qualifications necessary  to become the largest, most successful  group ever to come from the U.S.A.

In fact, it  has been suggested that The Mystic  Astrologic, Crystal Band could be the "heir apparent"  to the throne currently held by The  Beatles!!! A very big statement, but listen  to Steve’s songs, hear what he has to say  and how the band says it. pay attention to  the musicianship of the group and then you  too will be saying "Why couldn't they?"...  with no reply as there is no reason why they  couldn't!!! I have been associated with the  recording industry for some time now and  having had several Top 10 hits in this country  I feel I can say to you that contained  herein are the greatest sounds ever to be put  together by an American group for more  than five or six years!!!
by Albeth Paris 

1. Factory Endeavor - 2:30
2. Early Dawn - 2:05
3. Antagonizing Friend - 2:27
4. Barnyard Philosophy - 2:06
5. Flowers Never Cry - 2:18
6. Geometry Alley - 2:29
7. October Sunshine - 2:00
8. La Vent - 3:04
9. Publicly Inclined (To Blow Her Mind) - 2:42
10.Yesterday's Girl - 2:40
11.The M.A.C.B. Theme - 2:17
12.Sunbeams and Rainbows - 2:55
13.I Think I'll Just Lie Here and Die - 2:22
14.Gaberdene Square - 3:32
15.Ah Ha Ha Ha - 2:33
16.Krystalize - 2:35
17.Today - 1:58
18.Yellow Room - 2:45
19.Authors - 3:20
20.It's Strange - 2:40
21.Only Time - 2:46
22.Oatmeal Quicksand - 1:01
All songs by Steve Hoffman

The Mystic Astrologic Crystal Band
*Steve Hoffman - Vocals, Sitar, Bass, Keyboards
*John Leighton - Vocals, Bass, Guitar
*John Moreland - Lead Guitar
*Bob Phillips - Drums, Percussion
*Ron Roman - Vocals, Percussion

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The Moon - Without Earth And The Moon (1968-69 us, outstanding orchestrated psychedelia)

The music recorded was an effort to contribute an augmented level of warm, meaningful, and enjoyable listening fare for all of the creatures that hear. The beginnings were mainly generated by the songs being written by Matthew Moore. Matthew's brother, 'Daniel Moore', was an independent record producer in Los Angeles and had produced several singles with Matthew as the artist.

Daniel had arranged a meeting with  'Mike Curb' at Sidewalk Productions, in an effort to find a recording contract, and Mike was very helpful in providing the producer, and engineer, and drummer, and keyboardist: (Larry Brown), and in encouraging Matthew to seek out musicians that would form a group to record his compositions. Larry Brown introduced "Drew" Bennett to the proposed gathering, and Matthew had been running into David Marks around town, so he approached David with the idea of recording a few trial tracks. Within a few weeks the project was under way.

The Studio was to be, "Continental Studio", in Hollywood, and the four young adventurers set up camp and locked the doors. These young men were still not yet 21 years of age. The tremendous technical and organizational task had began. All were single, all were very accomplished musicians, all were ridiculously fearless as to the huge undertaking they had embarked upon. It was agreed upon from the beginning that the fewest possible distractions and interruptions during the recording process must be the rule.

The doors were locked and only food deliveries and an occasional visit from Mike Curb was allowed during the basic track recording phase. Sleeping, eating and playing music....that was all. The quest for perfection was the standard, many re-takes, many 'start all overs', and many heated discussions concerning choices of parts to be played or parts, not to be played. Matthew: " I remember waking up ..having slept on the floor near the piano. A dim light was on in the booth, so I tried to walk to the door out of the studio.

 I kept stepping on boxes and kicking over cans and bottles but I made my way to the light panel to bring up the light in the room. I couldn't believe the amount of clutter and trash we had accumulated. We had to take a day off to allow the janitors to come in and clean. I still can recall the 'Warnings' we invoked,  to "be careful and not move any wires or mikes or touch any set up instruments". We had to go out into the world for a day and entertain ourselves. Dave and I went to a $.50 triple feature western movie downtown and watched the winos sleep. A few days later we resumed our quest.

No one knows for sure, how many hours or days or weeks or months it took to finish the first album, (Without Earth)  but we do remember the final moment when we all looked at each other and nodded in agreement that it was finished. The second Album (The Moon), was actually time logged by Larry Brown. He said It took 470 hours, from start to finish. The first one took much more time.

1. Mothers and Fathers - 2:06
2. Pleasure - 3:19
3. I Should Be Dreaming - 2:33
4. Brother Lou's Love Colony (Dalton, Montgomery) - 3:57
5. Got to Be on My Way - 2:00
6. Someday Girl - 2:42
7. Papers - 0:59
8. Faces - 2:06
9. Never Mind - 1:51
10.Give Me More - 2:48
11.She's on My Mind (Dalton, Montgomery) - 2:21
12.Walking Around - 1:56
13.Pirate - 2:55
14.Lebanon (Moore, Moris) - 1:45
15.Transporting Machine - 1:40
16.Mary Jane (Klimes, Whitcraft) - 2:16
17.Softly - 3:01
18.Not to Know - 2:42
19.The Good Side - 2:59
20.Life Is a Season - 2:22
21.John Automation - 2:17
22.Come Out Tonight - 2:47
23.Mr. Duffy (Brown, Moore) - 2:56
24.Pirate (Mono 45 Mix) - 2:38
25.Not to Know (Mono 45 Mix) - 2:41
26.Face in the Crowd - 2:05
27.White Silk Glove (Clifford) - 2:15
28.Come On - 2:58
All compositions by Matthew Moore unless else stated.

*Matthew Moore - Piano, Vocals, Guitars
*David Marks - Guitars, Background Vocals
*Larry Brown - Drums
*Dave Jackson  - Bass
*Joe Foster - Synthesizer
*Nick Robbins - Synthesizer
*Bob Klimes - String Arrangements
*Dave Roberts - Horn Arrangements

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