26 June 2010

The Flying Machine - Yes I Understand

Flying Machine - Yes I Understand

Label: Pye
Year of Release: 1971

Flying Machine were, to all intents and purposes, Pinkerton's Assorted Colours craftily continuing under a new name to create the illusion of being a new act. Pinkerton's had managed a number nine hit in January 1966 with "Mirror Mirror", but in terms of mainstream exposure their goose appeared to be cooked after that autoharp-tinged piece of pop faded away.

Once a number of members went their separate ways, the decision was taken to give the act a new name and create the impression of an entirely clean break, and The Flying Machine were born. Sadly, this made little difference to the commercial prospects of the act, who failed to reach the Top of the Pops qualifying end of the chart ever again.

Whilst it's not listed on a few discographies (noticeably, the "Rubble" compilation series fails to mention it) "Yes I Understand" would appear to be their last single, released in 1971 long after the beat boom had disappeared. Their adaption to the seventies is actually incredibly impressive, as "Yes I Understand" sounds like a great deal of the pop issued during the early part of the decade, all chipper melodies and rich arrangements, the optimistic, laidback sound of tracks like "Love Grows Where My Rosemary Grows" and "Me and You and a Dog Named Boo" apparent in its grooves. It's safe to say that this would have sounded very current, and not like the work of some old hands trying to give their career a resuscitation.

It wasn't enough, though, and there were to be no further singles from the act. "Mirror Mirror" would be their only success, and "Yes I Understand" such a footnote that, for whatever reason, few people can seem to remember the fact it even existed. Consider that wrong righted.


Anonymous said...

Ah...but wasn't this used by Esso for a television commercial. Heard this on Stafford's World on Radio Caroline

burkesworks said...

Anon - it was indeed used in Esso's "Action Station" commercial circa '71. Got played a hell of a lot on RNI and Luxy at the time, IIRC, though being tied in with an advert did not help its chances on the BBC chart!

23Daves - no wonder it sounded so similar to much of the other British bubblegum pop of the era; the writing credits to Cook/Greenaway are a big clue! The two Rogers' writing skills were almost as ubiquitous as Tony Burrows' voice back then, mostly with Cook's own band Blue Mink but also on many other releases. As for Junior Campbell, he was in the Marmalade and went on to compose and arrange lots of tv soundtracks, notably Thomas the Tank Engine.

Anonymous said...

Aaah, happy days - I wonder what happened to Mike Summerson, the base player? He broke my heart in 1970!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I heard Mike passed away not long ago.