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Monday, September 23, 2013

Marc Eric - A Midsummer's Day Dream (1969 us, lovely jazzy soft sunny melodies)

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Mark Eric Malmborg was  the stereotyped Southern California teenager - blond, tanned, good looking, great teeth, complete with a love of surfing and music.  As a teenager he began shopping songs around to major labels, eventually attracting the attention of local radio station engineer Bob Raucher.  Raucher helped Eric record material at Hollywood's Gold Star studios. Under the name Mark Eric he also enjoyed modest successes as a songwriter.  In 1968 though efforts caught the attention of Warner Brothers executive Russ Regan.  Regan eventually signed Eric to MCA subsidiary Uni's newly formed R&B imprint Revue.

Produced by Norman Ratner, 1969's "A Midsummer's Day Dream" is probably the best Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys album they never released.  Now, if you weren't a Beach Boys fan that description didn't do much for you.  On the other hand, anyone who was an admirer of Brian Wilson's catalog would find this set to be a 'must own' addition to their collection.  That also neatly captured the strengths and weaknesses of this release.  If you were looking for originality, there wasn't much to be found here.  

None of the dozen selections reflected a unique Mark Eric 'sound'.  What you did get was someone who managed to nail that unique mid-1960s Southern California vibe that mixed Beach Boys and sunshine pop.  Interestingly, Eric and his collaborator/arranger former Animals guitarist Vic Briggs apparently wrote these twelve tracks intending to place them with other acts.  The sessions were apparently only intended to demo the material, but the results were so impressive that Revue decided to release it as a Marc Eric effort.

Musically the album was already several years out of step with popular tastes so it shouldn't have been a surprise to see the parent LP and singles vanish directly into cutout bins.  Sadly that effectively ended Eric's recording career, though he actually recorded some material for a projected sophomore set.  Those tracks were shelved and only saw the light of day when appended to a 2002 Rev-ola CD reissue of the album (catalog number CR-REV 18).  Eric subsequently turned his time and attention to modeling, commercials and acting, briefly appearing in a number of early-1970s television shows including The Partridge Family and Hawaii 5-0.

1. California Home - 2:31
2. Move With The Dawn - 2:48
3. Laura's Changing - 2:19
4. Where Do The Girls Of The Summer Go? - 3:21
5. I'd Like To Talk To You - 2:56
6. Take Me With You - 3:06
7. Night Of The Lions - 2:41
8. Don't Cry Over Me - 2:49
9. We Live So Fast - 2:25
10.Sad Is The Way That I Feel - 3:05
11.Just Passin' By - 2:49
12.Lynn's Baby - 3:10  
13.Place For The Summer - 2:33
14.Build Your Own Dreams - 3:41
15.Summer Goes This Way - 2:50
16.Goin' Native - 2:42
17.Night Of The Lions (45 Mono Mix) - 2:40
18.Don't Cry Over Me (45 Mono Mix) - 2:45
19.California Home (45 Mono Mix) - 2:48
20.Where Do The Girls Of The Summer Go? (45 Mono Mix) - 5:39
All songs Mark Eric Malmborg
Bonus Tracks 13-20

*Marc Eric - Vocals, Guitar

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