9 July 2014

The Gibsons - The Magic Book/ You Know I Need Your Loving

Label: Deram
Year of Release: 1967

I've already talked about Melbourne's The Gibsons at some length on "Left and to the Back", but for those who need a recap - they were previously known as The Chicadas in their home country, changed their name to The Gibsons when they relocated to the UK (in the hope of getting some free Gibsons guitars) and… well, failed in their mission to win over the hearts and minds of the British public, if I'm being honest. A string of singles emerged on both Major Minor and Deram, but none really broke the band in this country, and they returned home in 1970 no better off financially than when they arrived ("but with great memories").

Their manager Phil Solomon owned pirate station Radio Caroline and ensured they always got strong radio airplay through that outlet, and many listeners from the period remember this single bursting through the airwaves in particular - but it was all to no avail.

"The Magic Book" is actually a strong enough Greenaway and Cooke composition, skipping along merrily and innocently through pop's great meadow, and contains plenty of thudding beats and close vocal harmonies. A mainstream effort which doesn't really push the envelope, it's nonetheless pleasant and should perhaps have been purchased by more people.

These days, The Gibsons are perhaps best known amongst aficionados of psychedelic pop for the marvellous "City Life", a London-dissing slice of pop bitterness. That's the way I like it. 

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