Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Racket Squad - Corners of Your Mind (us 1969)

The Racket Squad - Corners of Your Mind (us 1969)

* Genre: psych
* Title: Corners of Your Mind
* Company: Jubilee
* Catalog: JGS 8026
* Year: 1969
* Country/State: Apollo, Pennsylvania

Personnel:
- Joey Covington - drums, percussion (1966-67)
- Sonny Dinunzio - vocals, guitar, keyboards, horns (1967-70)
*(RIP 1978)
- Gene - drums, percussion (1967-70)
- Hop - lead guitar (1967-70)
- Ronnie - bass, tenorsax (1967-70)

ALBUMS:
1(A) THE RACKET SQUAD (Jubilee JGS 8015) 1968
2(A) CORNERS OF YOUR MIND (Jubilee JGS 8026) 1969
NB: (1) and (2) reissued on one CD (Collectables COL-CD-6217).

45s:
1 Hung Up/Higher Than High (Jubilee 5591) 1967
2 Romeo And Juliet/Little Red Wagon (Jubilee 5601) 1967
3 The Loser/No Fair At All (Jubilee 5613) 1968
4 Let's Dance To The Beat Of My Heart/Higher Than High (Jubilee 5623) 1968
5 That's How Much I Love My Baby/Movin' In (Jubilee 5628) 1968
6 Suburban Life/A Loser (Jubilee 5638) 1968
7 I'll Never Forget Your Love/Maybe Tomorrow (Jubilee 5657) 1969
8 In Your Arms/Coal Town (Jubilee 5682) 1969
9 Roller Coaster Ride/Coal Town (Jubilee 5694) 1970
NB: Most of the above released as double-A promos.

Tracks:
01. Ain't Nobody Gonna Love You (Mike Lewis)
02. Sweet Little Smoke (Mike Lewis)
03. Get Out Of My Life Woman (Alan Toussaint)
04. Suburban Life (Mike Lewis)
05. Get Out Of My Life Woman (Reprise) Hopeye (Alan Toussaint)
06. Corners Of Your Mind (Mike Lewis)
07. You Turn Me On (Mike Lewis)
08. Little Wing (Jimi Hendrix)
09. The Minstrel (Gary Hill)
Bonus Tracks:
10. That's How Much I Love My Baby [Bonus]
11. Movin' In [Bonus]
12. Maybe Tomorrow [Bonus]
13. I'll Never Forget Your Love [Bonus]

Co-produced by Mike Lewis (who wrote most of the material) and Stuart Wiener, 1969's "Corners of Your Mind" found the quartet shifting to a distinctive hard rock and psych sound. On the surface that type of calculated move would seem to have spelled artistic disaster, but somehow that wasn't the case this time around. Whereas the self titled debut album sounded calculated, Dinunzio and company seemed much more inspired and engaged on their sophomore set. Perhaps the biggest surprise was simply the fact Dinunzio's blue-eyed soul voice proved well suited for tougher material like the opening rocker 'Ain't Nobody Gonna Love You', 'Sweet Little Smoke' (so much for lyrical subtlety), and the amphetamine powered 'Suburban Life'. Sure, this was just as calculated as the rest of their catalog, but you had to smile hearing Dinunzio singing about 'marshmallow sea' and 'forbidden fruits'. With the exception of the needless 'Get Out My Life Woman' reprise (mis-credited to 'Alan' Toussaint and Dinunzio sounding like a heavily dosed Bugs Bunny), the entire album demonstrated an attractive blend of commerciality and lysergic influences. Other highlights included the unexpected cover of Hendrix's 'Little Wing' (probably the standout track) and the the trippy LP closer 'The Minstrel'. Elsewhere Jubilee tapped 'Suburban Life' b/w 'The Loser' as a single (Jubilee catalog number 45-5638).
Frustrated by their inability to break through the band subsequently called it quits with Denuzzio going on to record a single billed as 'Sebastian' and an LP under his own name. Sadly he was killed in an October 1978 car crash.
~ By: Bad Cat Records.

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