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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Cartoone - Cartoone (1969 uk, wonderful folk psych rock, 2009 deluxe edition)

In the late sixties, a typical Atlantic Records album cover used to include these very cool inner sleeves with scores of their many album covers to gawk at for hours. You would see bands of the day like Iron Butterfly, Cream, The Rascals, and then the very cooj album cover for Cartoons.

As hip as their cover looked, the music inside was the real treasure to be explored. Filled with twelve rock and pop gems, the Cartoons story is one to be re-told. 

The four piece band from Scotland, which developed from The Chevlons, consisted of Derek Creigan (Vocals/Bass), Mike Allison (Guitar/Vocals), Mo Trowers (Rhythm Guitar/Vocals) and Charlie Coffils (Drums/Vocals). After relocating to the U.K. and through the help of their friends Lulu and Maurice Gibb of The Bee Gees, they soon got the attention of producer Mark London, who brought them to Atlantic's Ahmet Ertegun and Jerry Wexler for a record contract.

In early 1969, the album was released and featured the guitar wizardry of Jimmy Page of the newly formed Led Zeppelin. Their hook driven hit single "Knick Knack Man" immediately caught the attention of radio programmers across the globe, as did the rest of the album with its solid musicianship throughout and the stellar choice of material like the follow-up single "A Penny For The Sun"and the rocking "Let Me Reassure You". Fan support worldwide ignited album sales for the better part of the year as well as helping them land an opening slot on the Led Zeppelin tour.

Drummer Charlie Coffils recently discussed the close friendship Cartoone had with Jimmy Page, "While we were recording the Cartoone album in 1968, Jimmy was putting together Led Zeppelin. I managed to have a long chat with Jimmy as we were listening to the recordings we had just made, ft sounded great with his Gibson acoustic guitar on "Withering Wood" and all the other orchestral tracks, and Jimmy's paisley pattern Fender Telecaster on the other band only tracks, especially "Let Me Reassure You" with the lovely country guitar licks on the fadeout."

Coffils continues, "He told me that he had found an amazing drummer called John Bonham, who was the loudest drummer he had ever played with, but he still had amazing technique on the drums. Jimmy said the whole band just gelled straight away, and the hairs on everyone's neck rose on that very first rehearsal, as they knew they had found something special. Jimmy told me he couldn't wait to get out there and play "live" with this new and exciting band Led Zeppelin, as all the band members were strong talents who he thought everyone would love. Jimmy had great faith in the band to do well, but he never knew then just how massive they would become... no one did at that time."

Even though the Cartoone album achieved a good amount of press and retail sales, the chance at a second album was shelved, and their deal with Atlantic was over as was the band by 1970. In retrospect, these four gentlemen left the music world with one very fine album and nothing but great songs and memories to look back on forever.

But the story continues thanks to Charlie Coffils. Upon doing research for this release, he located his very rare metal acetate of eight unreleased songs that made up the bulk of the second album. Although it is a bit scratchy and weather torn, forty years later, it is the only known missing link from this sorely missed band and shows a more progressive rock edge to the band, as they were moving into more lengthy jams and compositions.  A true treasure trove for the fans indeed!

On a sad note, both Derek Creigan and Mo Trowers have both passed away, but their contributions to the band and to these tracks will live on. Derek's son John Creigan had this to pass onto the fans about his dad "His writing ability came so naturally to him. He made it look so easy. That along with his voice which was so unique was a perfect partnership in all the songs he did. I really hope this release gets to everyone who missed out the first time and I'm sure they would all agree with me. Cartoone shouldn't be forgotten, their music suits the 60's as much as it does now... timeless."

Both Charles Coffils and Mike Allison continue to be involved in the music industry as both successful producers, writers and musicians. We concur— Cartoone shouldn't be forgotten. With this newly remastered versipn of the classic album, plus the bonus, B side, and eight acetate unreleased tracks, we feel this is indeed the definitive version of Cartoone to enjoy and remember them by. Rock On! 
by Joe Reagoso

1. Knick Knack Man – 3:50
2. Withering Wood – 2:24
3. The Sadness Of Toby Jugg – 2:39
4. Penny For The Sun – 3:06
5. I'll Stay (Mike Allison) – 2:07
6. Girl Of Yesterday – 3:10
7. Can't Walk Back – 2:52
8. Let Me Reassure You – 2:20
9. Mr. Poor Man – 3:43
10.Ice Cream Dreams – 2:47
11.Doing What Mamma Said – 2:39
12.See Me – 2:05
13.Reflections - 2:42
14.Sunday Morning - 2:55
15.Deep In My Heart - 3:53
16.Going My Way - 3:15
17.Give Me Something New - 3:26
18.Reflections - 2:37
19.Don't Look Down Your Nose - 4:12
20.Only I Can Do It - 3:55
21.Come And Sit By Me - 6:40
Bonus Tracks 13-21

*Derek Creigan - Bass, Lead Vocals
*Mike Allison - Lead Guitar
*Mo Trowers - Rhythm Guitar
*Charlie (Chick E.) Coffils - Drums
*Jimmy Page - Guitar
*Leslie Harvey - Guitar
*John Cameron - Orchestral Arrangements

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