23 February 2011

Dr. Marigold's Prescription - Breaking The Heart of A Good Man (b/w Night Hurries On By)

dr marigold's prescription - breaking the heart of a good man

Label: Bell
Year of Release: 1970

When you're browsing through the record racks looking for a pleasing obscurity, Bell Records frequently don't offer many contenders when it comes to non-glam rock records (and in fact, even some of its glam output is frankly rather cheap and nasty whether hit parade bothering or no).  Things aren't always as they seem, however, and in between the more bubblegum oriented output lies a few interesting discs.

A band with a name like Dr. Marigold's Prescription should of course mean that the musical gang in question were provincial psychedelic non-pop stars being roundly ignored by the general public.  In truth, that's not quite accurate.  They were actually a slightly boogie-influenced pop band, which their Cook and Greenaway penned A-side "Breaking The Heart of A Good Man" demonstrates keenly here.  All gnashing vocals and pounding drums, the track is perfectly OK, but could perhaps have done with more peaks and troughs in the arrangement to give the proceedings some sort of momentum.  The lyrics seem to deal with some cold-hearted woman who doesn't appreciate her man and spends all his wages on trinkets and other such nonsense.  Can't she see he's in the red, godammit?  Clearly not.

More interesting to me is the bizarre, decidedly popsike B-side "Night Hurries On By", dealing with the life of a nightwatchman through the shimmering haze of his shift-side fire and some rather late sixties recording studio effects.  It's not something which necessarily should have been compiled by now, but nonetheless, I'm a bit surprised that somebody at Bam Caruso or Past and Present didn't see an opportunity here to include it on one of their albums.  It's a warm yet wintery piece of whimsical psych, and sounds a lot stronger than much of the output on the "Circus Days" series of albums, to give an example of one series where it might have found a place.  

Dr Marigold's Prescription apparently began life in 1968 as the backing group for Billy Fury, before moving on to also carry out live work with John Walker (of the Walker Brothers).  Despite being a relatively hitless bunch, their recording career lasted until 1975 before they completely gave up the ghost, and two albums emerged, the scarce 1969 release "Pictures of Life" and 1973's "Hello Girl".  The "Tapestry of Delights" book describes them as "a middle of the road outfit, although the name promises better".  Several online psych fans argue that's an extremely unfair and snappy overview of their work, which is a debate we may be able to have at some later point if I manage to dig up some more of their work.




10 comments:

Andy said...

Daves thanks for the memories brilliant

Anonymous said...

DMP actually formed in 1967,they evolved from a group called "The Followers"who were based in North London.They added a girl singer, but lost her when they recorded their first single, released on PYE in 1968.That song was called "My Old Man's a Groovy Old Man" written by members or the "Easy Beats" a chart group in the 60's.They did work with Billy Fury on and off 68-70 but were ambitious and wanted their own career.They released eight singles,two albums and appeard on Radio One show's and TV.

23 Daves said...

Thanks very much for the additional information - that plugs a lot of gaps in my knowledge.

Anonymous said...

DMP also were a backing band for a British Harmony group called the "Chantelles",who were three girls, they had quite a few record releases,from the late 50's onwards. DMP worked mainly with them in cabaret on the P&O ships, cruising around the Med and to the West Indies,in the late 60's. Another great singer DMP worked with was the American "Bruce Channel" of "Hey Baby" fame,they did two tours of Britain with him and some Radio One live recordings.

Anonymous said...

1969 saw the second single release for DMP,the title of the A side was "You've Got To Build Your Love On A Solid Foundation(b/w Pictures Of Life)" the B side being the title of their first album,which was also released in America on a budget label. The A side was written by Joe Tex,he is worth looking up sometime.It must have seemed a minor success having two records released after playing in pubs in the East End of London.

Anonymous said...

Oct 1970 saw the third single release for DMP on the Bell/Emi label.This song was "Sing Along Sing Along Sing Along(b/w Farmer Jim)". The B side was written by the singer and dedicated to the DJ Jimmy Young who's show they often appeared on.At this time DMP had an appearance on the Basil Brush show at the Shepherds Bush theatre. The record got an amazing amount of plays on Radio One.The A side was written by a great songwriter-Ed Welch. Because of the publicity of the record DMP had a lot more work.

Anonymous said...

Also in 1970 DMP had their third single release,"Breaking the heart of a Good Man" on the BELL label.This song was written by the prolific songwriting team, Roger Greenaway/Roger Cook. Now with this song they thought they had a good chance of a chart entry,but despite a lot of airplay it was not to be.The B side was written by their singer.

Anonymous said...

Dr Marigold's Prescription have their own facebook page now, with many photos. Also Many records now on youtube. They were a fantastic group and still have fans even though they split up. They were such a nice bunch of lads. Pity they didn't make the big time. What a big loss.

Anonymous said...

I used to watch Dr marigolds prescription all the time at the Robert peel Kingston BRILLIANT Apparently Fred still performs with other bands if anyone one knows who and where could they please let me know where he can be seen FRANKHAM1@MSN.COM THANKS

Anonymous said...

frankham1@msn.com all smallcase thanks