27 March 2010

Eternal Triangle - I Guess The Lord Must Be.../ Perfumed Candle

Eternal Triangle - Guess the Lord Must Be/ Perfumed Candle

Label: Decca
Year of Release: 1969

This is another example of a rather borderline psych-pop track which has been muttered about online recently, although in this case attention has been given to the B-side "Perfumed Candle" rather than the Harry Nilsson covering A-side I've pictured. I feel I need to be blunt, however, and say that "Perfumed Candle" is nowt special at all, being an orchestrally backed piece of Mamas and Papas styled pop which doesn't really sound particularly psychedelic. The cover of "I Guess The Lord Must Be in New York City" is a bit more punchy, breezy and optimistic, and has more sparkle than gruff old Harry's original version - therefore, it gets my vote as the side of choice.

Apparently, Eternal Triangle were to all intents and purposes Canadian act The Poppy Family before a change of name (and fortune). They had a major international hit with "Which Way You Goin', Billy?" the year following this release, although they couldn't quite sustain the buzz which initially surrounded their work, and split in 1973 when the couple fronting the act, Susan and Terry Jacks, divorced. There's a lesson for all muso readers who may be tempted to join acts with couples in them (hint/tip: don't. I've made the mistake of doing this twice in my lifetime, when once should be enough to learn a very simple lesson).

Some of the Poppy Family's albums are highly praised amongst aficionados of seventies music with a psychedelic slant, and they even used sitars on some of the tracks they recorded during that era, which seems very contrary, or incredibly unfashionable for the time depending on which viewpoint you want to take. After their dalliances with all things Eastern and a quick trip to the Divorce courts, Terry Jacks limped off into the sunset minus his lover and bandmate to record a weepy cover of the Jacques Brel track "Seasons in the Sun", and struck global market gold yet again.

If anyone has any opinions on the albums the Poppy Family recorded, please do voice them here - I must confess to never having stumbled on copies of them here in the UK, and it would be interesting to know if there's any hidden treasure contained therein.


Cocktails said...

I have one track by the Poppy Family on a 70s compil 'Living in the 70s Vol.II' called 'That's Where I Went Wrong'. It got to No.61 in Australia in 1970 - so not a huge hit. It is ok, but the truth is I had to just go and put it on now to remind myself how it sounded. I wouldn't have ever guessed that they were anything more than a Canadian Middle of the Road to be honest.

Cocktails said...

PS Can't get 'Perfumed Candle' to load so can't tell whether it's as average as the track I have!

23 Daves said...

Yep, I do suspect it may be a lot of hype about nothing - people are so desperate to believe that there's still some buried sixties treasure out there that they'll frequently put the "lost classic" tag on just about anything.

And yes, does seem to be behaving a bit weirdly at the moment - hopefully it's just a bit of a Sunday glitch.

Anonymous said...

Actually there is absolutely NO connection between the UK folk/pop
trio Eternal Triangle and Vancouver's Poppy Family except that a member
of E.T. moved to Vancouver from
UK in 1973 and lived a block away from
Susan Jacks in West Van. E.T.
existed for about a year in 1969 releasing two singles The group was managed by Julia Morley
who runs the Miss World empire.

Anonymous said...

In addition to previous comment

The Eternal Triangle was a band based in Vancouver, Canada. They released one single in 1966. The A side was titled “It’s True” written by Tom Northcott. The band was a collaboration featuring Northcott, Howie Vickers, and Susan Plesklevits. Northcott would later have a strong solo recording career, largely in Vancouver, but also in the rest of Canada and the US. Vickers would become lead vocalist of The Collectors, who had several local hits and releases in both the US and Canada. And Susan Pesklevits, of course, became internationally famous as Susan Jacks of The Poppy Family. The song was a local radio hit. As previously stated the band had no connection with the UK harmony folk/pop group Eternal Triangle (1969 Decca Records)

23 Daves said...

Thanks so much for clearing that up. I had assumed there was only one band operating under that name, which obviously wasn't the case!

Anonymous said...

ETERNAL TRIANGLE was Sally Kemp, Billy Butler and Bill Thacker. They were based in Chelsea. Sally was tall, lovely and easy to speak with (I heard recently that she is still songwriting). Billy Butler was cool and funny (he lives in Vancouver BC, still performs and is retired from long career in sound recording, has won an EMMY and 2 Juno Awards). Bill Thacker was great and funny too. Sadly he died in a road accident many years ago.

Perfumed Candle was written about infidelity. Butler also performed in another band called Gullivers People.