10 April 2016

Reupload - Dr. Marigold's Prescription - Breaking The Heart Of A Good Man/ Night Hurries On By

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.

[This entry was originally uploaded in February 2011. I still haven't got around to buying a DMP album, which I must do soon. Another track of theirs, "Muddy Water", can be found on the blog here].


Peter Huffman said...

Check out "So Long Susie" for a nice piece of pop - probably considered bubblegum. Currant Kraze also did this A-side on Deram.

brucster99 said...

Hey!! Sounds like Cat Stevens on the "A" side.